Apple has been ardently working on improving its App Store ranking and review system as of late. Just recently we reported that Apple had tweaked its ranking algorithm in an effort to improve the legitimacy of App Store rankings.

Now another new policy to help support their efforts has apparently gone into effect. Any app that has been obtained by means of a developer promo code is no longer eligible for review.

In fact, Apple explicitly states that if you want to review any such app, you will need to actually purchase said app…

In a recent post on the Touch Arcade forums, one of their members posted an email that was allegedly from a representative from Apple. In the email the rep provides a response to the poster’s question as to why they can no longer review apps obtained via promo code:

So while gift cards, gift certificates and other payment options remain valid means of establishing a review, providing a review by way of a promo code is no longer valid.

To be honest I’m surprised that Apple didn’t establish these guidelines a long time ago, but it’s evident that they’ve only just recently begun taking the App Store review methodology seriously.

Perhaps Apple’s lawyers suggested that they tighten the reigns a bit to avoid any potential lawsuits.

What do you think? Do you appreciate Apple’s attempts to better App Store reviews?


  • 00sigma

    Wow….I’m going crazy….I can no longer review “Free” apps!!!

  • Young Money

    Their rating system sucks anyway. You cam scroll through pages of reviews and see nothing but one stars and somehow the overall rating is 3 1/2 stars. It doesn’t make sense. I dont download very many apps though so it’s w/e

  • Perhaps Apple’s lawyers suggested that they tighten the reigns a bit to avoid any potential lawsuits. haahahahah

  • ddr

    They’ve messed with the account ownership of apps as well… I tried to download an update to Sword and Sworcery today and for some reason it thought my brother’s account owned it, and told me I had to purchase it… Weird. It was able to update fine on my computer.

  • Vincent

    Good to see they’re trying to improve. The fact that you can leave a review with an app installed by Installous shows that the system is a bit broken.

  • I honestly don’t see how this move “improves” anything. I think that people who receive promo codes for apps (like bloggers) would be more inclined to leave a helpful review than most.