Apple allowed users to rate and review first-party apps for the first-time in 2021 under regulatory pressure before going into an antitrust investigation. Apple has now offered some more of the first-party apps to the App Store for review and ratings that includes — Messages, Phone app, Safari, Photos and more. Some first-party apps by Apple can now be downloaded separately, but users were never allowed to review them, especially apps like News and Podcasts, Mail that didn’t work for most users and started with three-star ratings.
Techcrunch reports that this change was first noticed by developer Kosta Eleftheriou, who has been an important figure in promoting App Store reforms, especially regarding the App Store scammers. Multiple Apple apps are now available to rate and review with iOS 15.1. This includes some default apps, like Messages, Phone, Clock, Photos, Camera, Safari and Apple Health. The report adds that it also includes apps that are for Apple Watch like World Clock, Workout, Heart Rate and Find Devices. Users on iOS 14 might be able to see the apps but will be unable to review and rate.
This change is expected to allow Apple to update its own apps, other than the iOS updates independently. Google follows this strategy with several of its core Android features and functions, with each app having its own Play Store listings. The report also adds that the apps are appearing with separate listings independent of the latest iOS update. Although most users are not aware about the app listings, yet all the apps have few reviews to start with. The reports says that the only odd thing that was there in the app listing was Safari’s age rating. Apple’s Safari browser has an age rating of 4+ whereas, it’s competitors like Firefox and Chrome has age ratings of 17+
We will have to wait to find out how these apps rate as more users discover, review and rate Apple’s first party apps. By opening itself to user feedback, Apple will be more prepared to make required changes that the users are requesting and even getting warned about possible bugs even before they arrive.