Stars... They're What Growing Developers Eat for Breakfast
In this day and age, free is nearly expected. You spent eight hundred bucks on your smart phone, why should you have to pay for the apps on it? And speaking of free apps, they better be amazing, so why bother downloading something that doesn’t have at least 4 stars attached to it? Once you download the app, why bother adding a rating of your own? This extra effort can seem very time consuming and trivial from a consumer’s perspective.
This attitude poses real problems for developers. Developing software is time consuming, and it can be very expensive. Many developers can’t even break even to make back their $99 per year developer account that allows them to have apps on the app store to begin with. Is it because people don’t like their apps, or they make garbage software?
No. It’s because their apps get burried, and the people who do download them, don’t bother to add a review. Reviews matter, a lot. A new app will get burried in the App Store search, when people do run across it, they will be hestiant to download it because they don’t see any reviews.
Apple won’t show reviews until there have been at least 5 for the current version (Apple says that this will change in the future). This can make a developer hesitant to release bug fixes, or new features, because the developer is worried about having to start over from 0 reviews.
Developers have to resort to bugging users to rate and review apps in pop-ups, which is frankly not the greatest user experience. Even with the pop-ups, my personal experience is that for ever 250-500 downloads, an app will only get a single review. Getting those 250-500 downloads may take forever, too, because who wants to download an app that doesn’t show an average rating yet?
Most developers are just regular Joes and Janes, putting hours of blood, sweat, and tears into their app—people without advertising budgets, or resources for letting the world know that their app exists in it—people who might just be one review away from their app blowing up, and having all their wildest dreams come true. So if you download an app, especially one that doesn’t show a rating yet, be kind, leave a review—or at the very least, a rating. We developers really appreciate it!