Why leaving Mac app store reviews is so important

(Posted on August 06, 2016 by Admin)

So you have found a favorite Mac app. You love it and you love the new features the developer adds with each update. But did you know that there’s a very strong incentive for Mac developers not to update their apps too frequently? Depriving you of new features and possibly bug fixes…

You see: Whenever we push a new version of Vector to the app store all the current ratings are gone. Well, not gone, but hidden under “All Reviews”. What’s worse is that the average star rating in the App Store search results is gone too. (The small stars you sometimes see next to an app’s icon in the store).

Those stars will re-appear only once the app gathers at least 5 new reviews!

Vector 2.4 for example had, in the US store alone, over 60 ratings, 4.5 stars on average. Whenever someone looked for an audio editor in the app store they could directly see that Vector might be a good choice.

But as soon as we pushed version 3.0 to the app store those stars disappeared. And users stopped clicking as often on the Vector link because there was nothing telling them that they wouldn’t waste their time with Vector. This resulted in a significant sales drop for us.

Now here’s the thing: We’re running a business. It’s not a hobby for us. And we rely on the revenue to keep working on Vector. If the sales drop too much we can’t continue developing and supporting the app and we’ll have to start a different venture.

Which means that your favorite app could become abandoned or disappear.

So here’s a dilemma for us: We have a great update with many new awesome features lined up. But as soon as we push it to the app store we’re going to make significantly less money. What are we going to do? How would you decide? We decided to push the Vector 3 update nonetheless. But we paid with a drop of 40% in sales that still hasn’t recovered.

And here’s where you come into play: Leave a review. An honest one. We don’t want fake 5 star reviews. If you think Vector is “meh” then leave your 3 star review. That’s fine with us. But please leave one. And if you don’t like writing reviews just a star rating would be more than enough!

Because on the Mac App Store it takes MONTHS till the average app gets 5 reviews. Sure, the featured ones by Adobe and other big brands get their reviews quickly in a few days or hours. But all the other non-famous apps have to sit there and wait for months. Months in which the developer might lose interest…

So if you like a Mac app and would love to see the development continues please leave a review!

P.S. If you’re wondering why Apple is doing this: It’s because the Mac and the iOS app stores share the same technology. On the iOS store there’s more than enough user volume so apps don’t have wait too long for reviews. But the Mac has only a small fraction of that user volume. So it takes months in the Mac store to get 5 reviews.