updated 08:25 pm EDT, Thu March 12, 2009
App Store ratings changes
Apple has made another set of changes to the customer review system for the App Store, with new sorting options that can separate reviews by version number. Considering that many developers release a number of updates to their products, potential buyers can now take a look at how well customers have rated the latest version. The results are not muddied by the initial launch, which in some cases shows a lower rating from before the developer had a chance address bugs and refine the app.
Conversely, a developer can inadvertently release an update that functions poorly or includes changes that receive a negative reaction. In these cases, the separation of the ratings could also serve as an indicator.
The ratings changes are not yet functioning properly, however, as AppleInsider reported that many top-selling apps do not list a rating for the current version. For the title Flick Fishing, the App Store claims that there aren't enough reviews yet to provide an average on the current version, although a statistic shows that there are actually 417 reviews for the latest release.
Additionally, a new menu can be used to filter the reviews by "Most Helpful," "Most Favorable," "Most Critical," or "Most Recent."
The changes could mark another attempt for the company polish the image of the review process. The system initially allowed developers to easily shill their own apps and trash others, without even purchasing or using the apps. Customers now must buy the app before writing a review, but Apple is still working to cull some of the first reviews that were provided when the system was being abused.