Apple’s App Store is not a platform without problems, but a new discovery by App Store critic and Twitter user Kosta Eleftheriou has shown that even its review score can’t be trusted. Eleftheriou pointed out that the reviews for the Apple Podcasts in the platform went from 1.8 stars to 4.6 stars—and there’s a very sneaky way Apple did it.
On 9 October, Eleftheriou tweeted about the low ratings received for the Apple Podcasts app. The app received 1.8 out of 5 stars overall—which… I mean I don’t have to tell you that it’s not a very good score. One of the reviews that gave it a 1-star rating explained that the app doesn’t work very well, doesn’t save podcasts and that it keeps making the user delete and reinstall the app to “get new episodes”.
However, on 17 November, Eleftheriou pointed out that the ratings for the same app suddenly increased to 4.6 out of 5 stars. And apparently, it’s still going up. The Verge reported through AppFigures that the app has been getting thousands of ratings every day since 9 November—with the vast, overwhelming majority of them issuing a 5-star score. AppFigures estimated that 6,292 5-star ratings were submitted on 17 November alone.
So why has its ratings suddenly shot up? Well, some more recent reviews of the Apple Podcasts app include specific reviews of individual podcasts. The top review is even headlined “Best Podcast Ever!!!”.
“With iOS 15.1 released last month, Apple Podcasts began prompting listeners to leave a rating and review just like most third-party apps—using the standard Rating & Review prompt available to all developers,” wrote an anonymous Apple spokesperson.
There’s a possibility that Apple’s new prompt for iOS 15.1 could have confused users to write a podcast review when they should have written a review about the app itself. But unintentional or not, it looks as if Apple is taking advantage of this strange confusing situation.
This isn’t the first time the App Store’s rating system seems a little sussy. In May, Eleftheriou also found that an app—which claims to let users stream videos to their TVs—would not let users open the app itself without giving it at least a 3-star review.
[ SOURCE, IMAGE SOURCE ]