Apple Gets Smart, Blocks iOS 9 Beta App Store Reviews

If you're running the beta version of iOS 9 good luck leaving App Store reviews. Apple finally disabled the ability to leave app reviews from devices running beta versions of iOS, which means third party developers getting hit with one star reviews because they can't release iOS 9 compatibility updates can breathe a sigh of relief.

No App Store reviews for you, iOS 9 beta tester!No App Store reviews for you, iOS 9 beta tester!

The change is good news for frustrated developers watching their App Store ratings drop when people who installed the public iOS 9 beta leave negative reviews. Here's what I wrote last week when I offered up my beta etiquette list for App Store reviews:

For developers, this is a two fold problem. First, they're faced with users who don't understand what beta means. Second, they can't release iOS 9 compatibility updates yet. If Apple follows its usual timeline, app compatibility updates can't get uploaded to the App Store until about a couple weeks ahead of the official iOS 9 launch. In other words, apps that are broken in iOS 9 will stay that way for now, and there won't be any updates to address those issues for several more weeks.

Apple isn't officially releasing iOS 9 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch until later this year, but is giving non-developers access to the beta version now. The number of negative app reviews almost immediately jumped up and many included comments about how apps weren't working properly with the beta OS.

Unfortunately, far too many people who installed the iOS 9 public beta don't really understand that "beta" means the operating system is still in development and some features won't work properly, or may be missing. It also means some third-party apps may be unstable or lose some functionality until they can be updated.

This is the first time Apple has offered a major iOS upgrade as a public beta, so there's going to be a learning curve while everyone figures out how non-developers react to the issues they encounter. Considering negative reviews from beta users isn't new, however, this is a problem Apple should've been able to anticipate.

Blocking App Store beta iOS user reviews from the beginning would've been great, but at least Apple finally acknowledged the problem and took action.