How are ratings in the app store calculated – and shouldn't old ratings deteriorate?

Up until tonight, I saw only three ratings (with text) in the app I maintain. The three visible were “good”. Nevertheless, the overall app rating was “neutral”. So I asked two of my dev team members to also rate it “good” (without text). Since then, it is “very positive”. My answer below explains why.

As a dev/maintainer, I expect to be informed when my app gets rated, no matter whether with or without text. And I expect transparency on the current status of ratings (like “35 bad, 167 neutral, 28 good”), ideally with timestamps.

I propose to (a) allow for “rate only” (without text) but (b) to urge people to leave a hint what should be improved, at least if the rating is not “good”.

I further propose that old app ratings should (c) deteriorate over time and (d) no longer be counted at all if they were given for a NC version that is no longer supported. This deterioration rate may depend on (e) dev feedback (like ‘issue solved’) and (f) the timely maintenance of the app (or the lack thereof).

You’ll want to take this to to the appstore Github. There are a variety of related issues filed. Here are couple to check out.

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I added a comment to the associate with version issue and created two RFE issues for the other proposals. In the ratings visualization issue, this sentcence seems to explain the “neutral” of my app: “Less than 5 votes gives no rating yet.”