With the launch of iOS 15.1, Apple introduced a new prompt for the Podcasts app that asks customers to rate it, and as it turns out, confusion over what is being rated has led to an artificially inflated App Store rating for Podcasts apps.
Prior to the launch of iOS 15.1 on October 25, the Podcasts app had 1.8 stars and lots of negative reviews from customers who were unhappy with the design of the app. Now that Apple is asking customers to rate the app, the App Store ratings for the Podcast app have shot up to 4.7 stars, a marked difference.
Apple did not make any major changes to the Podcasts app, so customers are not suddenly more satisfied with its design and performance – instead, many people leave reviews of podcasts themselves. As noted by Kosta Eleftheriou and highlighted today by The edge, are many of the reviews for the podcasts available through the Podcasts app and not for the app’s functionality.
The best review in the App Store starts right now with “Best Podcast Ever!”, Where the reviewer praises the podcast they had listened to at the time the review prompt appeared.
The rest of the reviews are a mix of one-star comments about the design of the Podcasts app and positive reviews of podcast content.
With the review prompt, the Podcasts app receives thousands of reviews a day, and many of them are positive. Apple confirmed The edge that it uses a new prompt, the same one that is available to all developers. “With iOS 15.1 released last month, Apple Podcasts began asking listeners to leave a rating and review like most third-party apps – using the standard rating & review prompt available to all developers,” a spokesman said. .
As The edge points out that Apple does not break any rules by using this prompt, which is standard issue in third-party apps, but it is misleading for customers looking for an ideal podcast experience. The podcast app is the first app that pops up when you search for “podcasts,” though unchanged ratings suggest other podcast apps offer a better user interface.
When looking at the reviews of third-party podcast apps, the majority of the reviews are for the apps themselves, and customers do not seem to accidentally offer reviews of podcast content, as happens with the Podcasts app. It’s not clear if Apple plans to remove its confusing in-app rating prompt for the Podcasts app, but reviews of the Podcasts app certainly should not be trusted.
Customers have been increasingly dissatisfied with the Podcasts app since iOS 14.5, which is when Apple introduced a design change that caused several bugs ranging from sync issues to an issue that caused a large number of podcast episodes to be re-downloaded on one walk. There were actually a large number of complaints, prompting Apple to make some changes to iOS 14.6, but the app has continued to accumulate negative feedback.