Ryan Harter

Freelance Android Developer

Impress Your Users

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App ratings are an extremely factor in any app. No matter what app store you are on, people value the opinions of other users. Google has always said that high Play Store ratings are an important factor in getting your app featured.

I won’t pretend that I know a magic bullet to get endless 5 start reviews, but here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

Communicate

I get emails from my users. I invite that by putting a ‘Contact Us’ button on the about screen in Hashnote. Often times these are simple questions or requests, but I make a concerted effort to respond to every user email I get.

Users love to see that the person on the other end of the apps that they use are, in fact, people. I don’t have canned responses, or contact forms, just an email like everyone else. I personally respond to the emails I get from users, whether they’re good or bad.

I recently receive a couple of emails from a user who had downloaded that app and like the idea, but wasn’t familiar with hastags and @-mentions. She wanted to use it, but needed a simple explanation of how to use them. After exchanging two emails with her, she was happy and I got this review.

Ask For Ratings

The simplest thing you can do to get Play Store ratings is ask for them, but you have to be smart about it. Users who are annoyed or have just had a bad experience with your app won’t give you great ratings.

A great developer resource for this is AppRate by Timothee Jeannin. Hashnote doesn’t use this library, but rather the android snippet it is based on.

AppRate allows you to set specific limits regarding when users are asked to rate your app. Some important limits include:

  • Minimum days since install, since people can’t rate the app before they’ve had the change to use it.
  • Minimum number of launches, for the same reason, you want people to get the chance to use your app.
  • Ask after crash, since someone who recently experienced a crash isn’t likely to give you a high rating.

None of this is to say you should be subversive about ratings and prevent people who don’t like your app from rating, but it pays to be smart about it.

Make a Great App

Something that shouldn’t need saying is your app quality. This is what will truly get happy users and great ratings. If you work hard to make sure your app is solid, well built, and a pleasure to use, you’ll get plenty of great ratings.

What this all really comes down to is impressing your users. Once you do that, you’ll see great ratings and more downloads.

Do you have other tips for getting lots of great ratings on the Play Store? Share them below in the comments.

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