Android users might soon see developers responding directly to their reviews in the Google Play Store.
According to the Android Developers blog, Google Play is now letting developers reply to individual reviews. Developers no longer have to address concerns in patch notes or through various social networks. Now they can respond to what users have to say in the store that sells their apps.
The feature is only available to Google’s hand-selected “Top Developers” at the moment, but it will come to other developers sometime “in the future.” Unfortunately we don’t know when “in the future” Google plans to roll it out, but we hope it’s soon.
The new feature means developers have an easy way to tell users when the developer is working on fixing a bug they found, or why the app won’t work on their particular phone. It also gives the developers a way to tell the users when they are flat-out wrong about the app. This could mean we’ll see less reviews from users that are simply correcting or informing other users.
Google doesn’t mention making the feature available to individual users at any time, which is probably a good thing. While it’d be nice to offer opinions of other users’ reviews, those discussions can easily turn into massive arguments which benefit nobody. Those arguments are best left to other places on the Internet, if they have to happen at all.
We hope Apple and Microsoft adopt this feature if it works out well for Android. We see a number of frustratingly misinformed or just wrong app reviews in other stores, and we’re sure other developers would love a chance to address those users.