iOS 10.3: The end of annoying app rating reminders

Apple introduces a new API in iOS 10.3 that will eventually stop developers from annoying users with reminders to rate their apps in the iOS App Store.

One of the most annoying things about iOS is finally about to be fixed. I’m referring of course to the irritating habit of some app developers to constantly remind users to rate their apps.

Who hasn’t had to deal with this on their iPhone or iPad? I can’t even remember how many times I’ve seen the stupid “rate this app” reminder on my iOS devices. Ugh.

But all that is about to change with iOS 10.3, Apple has added restrictions and additional control that lets users permanently turn off those annoying app rating reminders.

Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac:

Apple is launching an official way for developers to ask for ratings in the App Store with iOS 10.3. The new system attempts to strike a balance for customer experience and developer incentive, allowing users to leave a rating without leaving the app — but the API enforces that the developer can only display the popup three times a year.

Adoption will not be mandatory with iOS 10.3 but Apple intends to force developers to use the official API in the future…

Currently, apps can prompt for reviews and ratings in the App Store however they please. This ranges from subtle links in settings pages to full screen modal popups. As ratings contribute so heavily to placement in App Store search rankings, many apps prompt users on a very regular basis — often once per app version.

The high frequency of alerts is a pain point for customers who just want to use the app and get on with their day. The new Apple-sanctioned SKStoreReviewController API can be disabled at a system level by users with a toggle in Settings, if they don’t ever want to see the rating request screen. In addition to the three-per-year limit, once a user leaves a review, the popup will never be shown again.

More at 9to5Mac

I had no idea that Apple was working on this, but it’s some of the best news about iOS I’ve read in a while. It might seem like a small thing to folks that haven’t had to deal with constant nagging from apps for reviews, but for the rest of us it’s definitely a big deal.

I can’t wait to disable the app review nag screen permanently. That will be the first thing I do after installing iOS 10.3. When I want to review an app, I’ll do so. But I certainly don’t need or want any of my apps reminding me to post a review.

In fact, when an app does remind me to rate it, I’m actually more likely to give it a lower rating than I might have otherwise. Yes, that is how annoying I find the reminders to rate apps in iOS.

The only onion in the ointment here is that Apple is still going to let developers opt to use the old API if they want to, for the time being. But eventually the company is going to force developers to adhere to the new API. I suppose that Apple has to implement this change slowly, but I'm looking forward to the day when I never see another app rating reminder again.

Thanks, Apple!

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