iPhone 4.0 to remove controversial "rate on delete" prompt

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The next revision of the iPhone OS will remove the rating prompt that users see when they delete an app from their device.



The finding, noted by Arnold Kim of MacRumors, erases a behavior first implemented in iPhone 2.2, shortly after Apple opened the App Store.



The initial intent of the prompt, which asked users to assign a one to five star rating for the app, was to increase the number of feedback ratings in the App Store. Users could also decline to rate the app (as shown below on iPad).



However, developers complained that the prompt negatively skewed their ratings, as it added more low ratings from users who didn't like the app, but didn't do anything to encourage high approval ratings from those who kept the app and used it frequently.







Keeping on top of App Store reviews



A year ago, Apple modified its ratings policies in iTunes to prevent users from entering ratings for apps unless they'd actually downloaded them.



The company subsequently removed large numbers of ratings from people who had never even tried the apps they had rated. Removed ratings were often either from users protesting over pricing or, occasionally, from developers padding their reviews with positive rankings from dummy accounts.



The company followed up a few weeks later by tying reviews to the revision of the app, a feature which allowed users to filter out old complaints related to problems that had since been fixed.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    Wow. All this just grows ever more complex for Apple. The larger and the more ubiquitous they get, the more of these they will have to deal with, regardless of how well-intentioned the motives.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    Personally, I just found it plain annoying.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member
    Good decision. It was an annoyance.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    Finally, Apple has resolved this terrible idea!



    The current way of doing things ABSOLUTELY skews ratings downward into hell, because why else would you be deleting an app unless you didn't like it and didn't want to use it anymore?



    The very first time it prompted me to assign a star rating to a program that I had just deleted because I didn't like it, I thought, "Uh-oh. This can't be good for developers' ratings." And then I proceeded to give the app a 1-star rating because it was junk.



    Yet the programs that I love, and which have been living happily on my iPhone for months or years, have never prompted me for ratings, which would all get 4 or 5 star ratings from me.



    Although I have taken the extra effort of going back to the app store and visiting the apps themselves to give them positive ratings (and reviews).
  • Reply 5 of 50
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    Yep. All part of the forward moving process.

    It's all a big learning adventure; for Apple as well.



    Sure is fun.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    For some reason, I wasn't even sure the rating was going to iTunes Store, the little box doesn't say so directly. For a little while, I thought it goes back to my iTunes app like how songs are rated for local use. I use those ratings as one of my smart playlist conditionals, which in turn determines how often songs get synced to my phone. That aside, there is no local equivalent ratings, so I had to assume it was being sent.



    I think the general adage is that people that had a bad experience tend to put more work into telling others about their experience as it is, which tends to skew the perception of the product. Making it that easy to post a negative probably doubly compounds the problem.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post


    ...

    Yet the programs that I love, and which have been living happily on my iPhone for months or years, have never prompted me for ratings, which would all get 4 or 5 star ratings from me.

    ...



    Same experience here.



    It's good to see Apple is acting on this issue. Even better, Apple can think of a way for user to rate their favorite apps from the iPhone (without the need of going to iTunes/AppStore).
  • Reply 8 of 50
    rraburrabu Posts: 239member
    Apple should just track total number of hours that apps are in use on everyone's systems and sync that back to the store. Apps used for more hours per day are likely to be better...
  • Reply 9 of 50
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    This was one of those oddly shortsighted moves by Apple. This rating upon deletion system sounds great until you think about it for more than 2 seconds.
  • Reply 10 of 50
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rrabu View Post


    Apple should just track total number of hours that apps are in use on everyone's systems and sync that back to the store. Apps used for more hours per day are likely to be better...



    the howl of 'big brother' would probably be quite deafening.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    Good to get rid of that annoying prompt. Thanks, Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    All arguments about statistical accuracy aside, I think this is a bad move.



    The purpose of the rating system is not to be statistically accurate, but help users see how other people like or dislike applications, who cares about a bias towards negative ratings?



    Imagine there are 2 apps with similar functionality. Both are downloaded and installed 1000 times. The first app is horrible and 500 people delete it and rate it one star. The second app is much better, but not perfect, and 75 people delete it rating it 1 star. As it so happens no one takes the time to go into iTunes and rate either one without deleting it.



    A new user comes along and wants that functionality, they see the 2 apps. The first has 500 one 1-star ratings, the second has 75 1-star star ratings. I mean really, which one is the user going to try? How is the statical error and bias hurting? Bad apps get a slew of negative ratings for a reason.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    I noticed this as well and I assumed it was because it's not fair to be rating applications based on your experience of using it on a beta firmware.



    That said, I've never liked the idea and if it stays gone I'll be glad.
  • Reply 14 of 50
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    This reminds me that I need to rate apps that like more often.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The company followed up a few weeks later by tying reviews to the revision of the app, a feature which allowed users to filter out old complaints related to problems that had since been fixed.



    I'm always going to try to take credit for this change as I emailed Apple suggesting the idea a while before they did it. I don't really care if it was me they listened to or they had the idea independently but it makes me feel better



    As for this new change, I quite like it... not so much because the 'rate on delete' system skewed results, but because it would often leave apps with a number of ratings, but few actual reviews stating why the app was so rated. Hopefully this means that the people who are reviewing the apps in the App Store now care enough to tell us why.
  • Reply 16 of 50
    gsteenogsteeno Posts: 52member
    I didn't have a problem with the prompt, b/c if I was deleting the app, it's b/c I didn't find it valuable. Hence the (appropriate) lower rating.



    And I agree with Apple to make feedback easy. It's obviously critical to App Store, for users to sift through the apps and for developers to keep quality high. It just needs to be both easy and allow for balanced ratings. Maybe an auto-prompt after a week, not just one after deletion?



    Personally, there are some apps I just love and use religiously, have yet to give feedback. This is (very) poor on my part, but for some reason there is an energy barrier to logging into iTunes, finding the app, and providing positive comments. Hopefully Apple can implement something that facilitates this. My lazy a$$ would be happy.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rrabu View Post


    Apple should just track total number of hours that apps are in use on everyone's systems and sync that back to the store. Apps used for more hours per day are likely to be better...



    Some apps only need to be used for short time but are still good, so this system wouldn't work either. Like asapHockey, i use it JUST to track twitter of the local AHL hockey team around me, and sometimes i can read through those in like 2 minutes, but the app stays on my system b/c it does the job. I use other apps to get the rest of my hockey news.



    Good thought, just don't think it would work
  • Reply 18 of 50
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh View Post


    All arguments about statistical accuracy aside, I think this is a bad move.



    The purpose of the rating system is not to be statistically accurate, but help users see how other people like or dislike applications, who cares about a bias towards negative ratings?



    Imagine there are 2 apps with similar functionality. Both are downloaded and installed 1000 times. The first app is horrible and 500 people delete it and rate it one star. The second app is much better, but not perfect, and 75 people delete it rating it 1 star. As it so happens no one takes the time to go into iTunes and rate either one without deleting it.



    A new user comes along and wants that functionality, they see the 2 apps. The first has 500 one 1-star ratings, the second has 75 1-star star ratings. I mean really, which one is the user going to try? How is the statical error and bias hurting? Bad apps get a slew of negative ratings for a reason.



    diabolical situation you have created

    your king may have to settle all this



    peace 9
  • Reply 19 of 50
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Good decision. It was an annoyance.



    your sig is screaming in colors my buddy



    sunglasses i guess
  • Reply 20 of 50
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Hmmm, now we're less likely to know if an app is not any good.



    It seems fine that the system didn't capture positive ratings. It still resulted in lower ratings for apps that weren't as good. Who cares what the average is for all apps as long as the better ones are ranked higher?
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