Reviews disabled beta

I think this can definitely warrant a finally. Apple has disabled the ability for users to leave app reviews in the App Store while running iOS betas.

The change seems to be retroactive, as I tested it from both the just-released iOS 9 beta 4 and the previous beta 3, and both throw up errors that the review feature isn’t available while running a prerelease version of iOS.

The ability for users to leave reviews of apps while running beta versions of iOS has long been a thorn in the side of developers. Often times apps that are currently on the App Store aren’t compatible with iOS betas, or at the very least, they have bugs. This is, of course, no fault of the developer, as the app works fine on publicly available iOS versions.

Many have long wondered why Apple ever allowed reviews from users running beta iOS versions, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears…until now.

Developers can now sleep a little easier knowing that their apps won’t be one-star-reviewed by someone experiencing a problem with their app while running an iOS beta. That’s good news for developers, and good news for us users. Developers can now keep their focus on tackling the real issues that face their apps.

What do you think about Apple’s decision to eliminate reviews stemming from users running iOS betas? Is it a good move, or do you prefer things how they were before?

Thanks, Zaheen.

  • Merman123

    Makes sense. It’s only fair to developers.

  • Robert A. Petersen

    A welcome change. Not the fault of the developer that something might not work in a beta, and they can’t update an app to fix iOS beta issues.

    Was just needlessly giving App Developers bad reviews.

  • Many have long wondered why Apple ever allowed reviews from users running beta iOS versions, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears…until now.

    Presumably to leave genuine reviews? Because of the idiots that write “OMG everything is broken, fix your s**t. – OneStarReviewer” the rest of us can’t leave a normal review.

    • mynanolife

      You can leave a review, just not while using an IOS Beta version, which presumably will not work properly with the app you are about to review. That’s just pure logic! And if you are a real developer and need to install IOS Beta for testing purposes, you definitely need to acquire a new iPhone for that.

      • I’m not complaining (even though it sounds like I am :P) and fully understand why Apple has done this I just think it’s a shame that there’s people out there that don’t know the meaning of beta software. When you install alpha or beta or pretty much any pre-release software you should know what you’re in for. Apps will obviously be broken and so will parts of the OS.

      • John Wickham

        This is why part of me resents a Public Beta program. If it were meant for the public to have, it wouldn’t be in beta.

  • Techsticles

    Would be nice if developers could update their apps to works with the Public Beta at least.

    • Mozaik

      Why would they if OS is not stable , they are waiting to OS go stable and then update the App.

      • They are waiting for Apple to allow AppStore submissions for iOS 9…

    • Chris

      Platforms such as Test Flight were designed for this very purpose, if you know apps are crashing contact the developer as a lot of them now use these types of platforms. All you need to do is give them your Apple ID (your email address) and you typically get an invite link with instructions.

    • diggitydang

      I’m not a developer but they work on the update on their own. The Beta OS releases are for the dev to work on the app while Apple finalizes it. They wouldn’t update it before the release of the final version though as that would go out to everyone who owns that app, and the update may actually conflict with the current OS.

      I would hope though, that the updates are ready for the new OS release. I’ve seen some apps linger and that makes me mad (especially when it’s a PAID app). Or they release the new app as version 2 and then not support version 1 on the new OS.

    • Techsticles

      I get that there may be issues with apps and the Dev releases. The trouble is I’ve helped several users downgraded back to 8.4 because the “Public” release has apps that Apple will not allow developers to update.

    • James G

      Some do. I’ve seen iOS 9 Beta compatibility in release notes for some major apps.

      • Techsticles

        Really? You hear that Plex!

        How many iPads do I have to downgrade?

      • James G

        Shadowmatic, an award winning game and featured in the App Store, is one of them.

      • japplemusik

        Dropbox is another (even more popular) one.

  • DrQuack32

    Mixed views on this. I have an app I am using for a company. I am on the public iOS9 beta. How do I give them feedback to tell them their app crashes and it needs fixing when the email bounces back and the website is non existent? I get the premise behind it but in some respects, they needs to be meaningful (and I do mean meaningful) feedback to developers so they can bug fix.

    • Mozaik

      Betas are for to test OS stability and for developer to fix stability issue within their App and add new features for latest update , if their is problem within App and you are on latest beta you should email it and not leave review because we dont know if developer has addressed the problem or not and could be releasing update as soon as Apple releases iOS 9 update.

    • John Wickham

      The fact is that a beta platform is not meant to be reliable; if you really need this app, you should not be using a version of iOS that is still being made. It’s not up to the developer to make sure everything works for you when you choose to use unsupported software.

  • Apple should have done this before. Better late then never I suppose.

  • James G

    This was a necessary action; especially given the large number of non-developers running the Public Beta.

  • John Wickham

    Thank Christ, this has been really damaging in past years.