For developers, a long-awaited feature is finally coming to the App Store, as review replies will now be available starting in this version of iOS. For the longest time, reviews on the App Store have been a one-way form of communication, with developers unable to respond to criticisms and complaints in reviews. So if a user makes a review pointing out a flaw that winds up being popular, the developer can’t respond saying that it’s being fixed, or a workaround, or anything like that. Now, starting in iOS 10.3, developers can do so. As well, a new SKStoreReviewController API will allow developers to ask users to rate or review an app while they’re using it.
This feature has been available on Google Play for a while now, and developers who release on Android have specifically cited this as an advantage of Android over iOS. Considering that user reviews can tend to outrageousness, giving developers a chance to defend themselves and to talk back to users who might not otherwise communicate with the developer is a very useful feature, indeed. The iOS 10.3 beta is being made available to developers right now.