Apple prevents beta testers from punishing developers with bad App Store reviews

Running iOS 9? You can't leave App Store reviews anymore.

iOS 9

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Developers working to make their apps compatible with iOS 9 now can’t be penalized for glitches that beta testers experience. In the fourth developer beta of iOS 9 that Apple pushed out on Tuesday, testers are no longer able to submit reviews in the App Store.

The change, first noticed by AppleInsider, is a welcome one for app developers. Until now, reviewers using beta versions of iOS have been able to leave critical reviews of apps not optimized for the beta software. This is detrimental to developers because users running the current version of iOS wouldn’t necessarily experience crashes or other problems associated with less stable beta software.

But before now, iOS beta software has only been available to developers, who have to pay a fee to install future versions of iOS. Now that Apple has opened iOS 9 to public testing, users who are not developers might not be as familiar with beta software problems and have left critical reviews of apps based on their iOS 9 experiences.

It’s unclear if reviews that have already been submitted by beta testers will be removed from the App Store. It’s also unclear if Apple will prevent testers running El Capitan from leaving reviews in the Mac App Store, but we’ll update this story with more information when we find out.

Why this matters: Beta software is beta for a reason, and developers shouldn’t be punished with poor reviews by users running unsupported versions of iOS. If tweets are any indication, developers are pleased with this development.

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