Apple Just Provided the Perfect Example of Why You Can’t Trust App Store Review Scores

Apple Podcasts rises above bad reviews, but at what cost? From a report: You pissed off people by somewhat breaking your app, and they're leaving angry reviews. How can you salvage your reputation? Apple just found one incredibly effective way -- get listeners to submit better reviews by interrupting their podcast experience with an in-app prompt to submit a rating. That's how the Apple Podcasts app went from a publicly embarrassing 1.8-star score all the way to 4.6 stars in a little over a month without any actual fixes, as developer and App Store watchdog Kosta Eleftheriou points out. And it's still going up: according to AppFigures data, the app has been getting thousands of ratings every day since November 9th, with the vast, overwhelming majority of them issuing a 5-star score. The app has made it to 4.7 stars overall as of this writing and is firmly the No. 1 App Store search result for "podcast." It looks far more desirable to a new user than it might have before. If you think there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, you might be right -- it could definitely be that people who bother to submit reviews tend to be angry, and a lot of people who love Apple Podcasts and never bothered to look it up in the App Store (remember, it's preinstalled!) are finally balancing things out. But do those people actually love Apple Podcasts? Because if you really look at the reviews, it seems like some funny business is going on. There are new, positive reviews, but they aren't reviews of the Apple Podcasts app at all -- they're reviews of podcasts themselves.

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