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Apple recently released the fourth developer beta of iOS 9, which removes the ability for iOS 9 beta testers to leave app store reviews.

What Does This Mean For Developers?

The change is meant to curb negative reviews for apps that have bugs with the unfinished iOS. Developers–who cannot submit an app to a beta OS–have a better chance to iterate without tanked ratings.

Yet now developers are facing a bigger problem: how do you receive feedback on your current iOS 9 version without the app store?

Here are quick tips to get the feedback you need for an amazing app build the moment iOS 9 launches:

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1. Upgrade to In-App Messaging

Users leave negative app store reviews because it’s how they feel most heard. Since the App Store is now unavailable, valuable iOS 9 testers will simply churn without a word. Make your support center incredibly obvious and testers will certainly use that instead. When the CoFounder of Haystack app needed feedback for his beta, he found Helpshift’s intuitive in-app messaging system encouraged users to speak up. He received more than 200 direct responses in the first 3 days–without getting the app store involved.

You’ll have a useful way of deflecting negative reviews before they even happen when the app store does return. Easily make informed front-end changes, kill bugs, and improve features without fearing a bad rating in the meantime.

2. Update Your FAQs

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Does your app have a knowledge base? Get one ASAP, and if you already do, you should create a section in your FAQ for the problems that iOS 9 beta testers face. Self-service prevents testers from destroying your workflow with repetitive questions (some developers see incoming issues cut in half) and makes user feedback more informed.

Developers can use this reliable SDK to modify their FAQs without submitting a new build— inform iOS 9 beta testers in real time without requiring an update. The FAQ includes:

  • a rating system based on helpfulness
  • offline availability
  • a web portal that can syncs automatically
  • the ability to embed images/videos, and more.

3. Don’t Get Left Behind

Mobile apps see better engagement by switching to in-app messaging, but there are still apps that force users to connect with email addresses. What if your local store forced you to speak with them by writing a letter? You would likely never reach out to them again. iOS 9 beta testers will have the same reaction with email. Today’s modern mobile user expects an experience that acknowledges them within the app itself.

Apple’s upcoming OS is a great chance to upgrade your app’s feedback loop. Give yourself the tools necessary to make the best possible iterations without the app store. iOS 9 beta development won’t stand a chance.

Published July 24, 2015
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