Apple has quietly disabled the ability to leave app reviews in the App Store on devices running the iOS 9 beta. If a user attempts to write an app review on a device running the beta OS, they’ll see a notice saying, “This feature isn’t available. You can’t write reviews while using a prerelease version of iOS.”
Developers should welcome this with open arms, as it will prevent beta users from hurting their app’s ratings and reviews for apps affected by beta-related problems that are out of the developer’s control.
MacRumors notes that MacStories‘ Federico Vittici wrote out last week that negative App Store reviews left by beta testers have been a thorn in the side for developers since Apple started their public beta testing program.
Some users running beta software fault developers for apps that crash or don’t function correctly when run on a beta version of iOS. They then leave negative App Store reviews, hurting the app’s ratings over issues that are out of the developer’s control.
As developers expected, the public beta release of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan led to an increase in negative reviews for apps running on the beta OS seeds. Many developers took to Twitter to share such reviews.
While users running iOS 9 can no longer leave reviews, they can still leave star ratings. Also, it appears iOS 9 users can still leave reviews for iOS apps via iTunes. While this will still allow negative reviews caused by the beta versions of iOS, it should slow them down a bit.