Apple has launched iOS 10.3 beta 1 to its developers enabling them to better respond to very negative reviews on the App Store – a welcome development.
This feature, which Android developers have had access to since 2012, is long awaited in the iOS and macOS developer community, which has struggled to properly reply to critical remarks from users, some of which are without foundation.
After iOS 10.3 is made available to the public, Apple developers will be able to “respond to customer reviews on the App Store in a way that is available for all customers to see”. This indicates that App Store will be getting support for threaded conversations in reviews, in addition to developer profiles.
iOS 10.3 will also offer developers access to a new API (which ask users to rate or review an app while it’s in use) ending persistent requests for ratings from consumers.
As per a recent report at The Loop, developers will only be able request reviews from consumers three times in a year. Users will also the ability to use a master switch to turn off requests for app reviews from all developers.
iOS 10.3, which looks like it will be a large update, also introduces support for AirPods in Apple’s Find My iPhone app. This will enable users to search for the AirPods from the app, within Bluetooth range of any of your iOS devices. The AirPods will then make a loud sound – possibly from somewhere unexpected, like under the sofa.
iOS 10.3 also incorporates the next-generation APFS file system with native encryption, replacing the age-old HFS+ file system, a feature brought in originally with macOS Sierra.
Additional new features comprise a Podcasts widget, 3D Touch support on the Weather icon, a redesigned Settings menu, HomeKit improvements and, er, cricket scores in Siri. However, it appears that despite rumours Theatre Mode is not in the offering, hinting at Apple potentially changing its mind about the idea.
Apple hasn’t revealed iOS 10.3’s availability, but it seems possible that it will remain in beta for a period of one or two months.
Photo credit: Sebastien Wiertz