Ways to Curb Bad Ratings from the App Store

Ways to Curb Bad Ratings from the App Store


Right now, you’re sitting on cloud nine since you recently launched your first iOS app at the App Store. Users from all over the globe can now have access to your app and it’s just a matter of time for them to download and use it in their mobile devices. After several days, you’ve decided to check up on the download progress of your app. Has it broken the 100-download barrier? Has it reached thousands? Or even better, millions?

But looking at your app, you realize its user downloads hasn’t increased as expected. At the same time, you’re seeing several bad reviews from disgruntled users. With more bad reviews piling up, the chances of increased downloads are likely slim to none.

Anyone who has plans of launching an app should find ways to curb bad user reviews and amass as many good ones as possible. Bad reviews for apps are typically divided into three categories: pricing, usability, and app bugs/crashes.


shutterstock_107648306This isn’t really related to the app itself, but you do know that the price-per-download is important since it keeps your business running while reflecting your app’s value. If you’re getting plenty of bad rep for your app’s price tag and it lacks user downloads, then try lowering its pricing. This is one way to reverse negative user comments on your app page.

If your app happens to be a paid version, you can go for a “Freemium” approach. This allows a combination of free and paid features for your app. If you’re headed this route, make your app isn’t “feature crapped” or you’ll wind up with bad reviews from users who expect big from your app’s paid functionality


Bad reviews in this category tend to come from users who complain everything from an app’s missing functionality to an outdated/horrible user interface. Examples of these include:

  • “The app doesn’t allow me to do…”
  • “I can’t find the button to …”
  • “Doing this is really difficult, you guys need to…”

To prevent bad reviews from your app in terms of usability, you’ll need to this prior to your app launch:

  • Run some of form a “trial” period for your app. You can do this by releasing a beta version of it for user feedback/suggestions. Then make the necessary fixes or upgrades before the official launch.
  • Limit your app launch to one or two countries. Look into the user feedback from those countries. Then make the necessary changes/fixes as dictated by the negative reviews before expanding globally.

There are certain firms that may aid in testing your app before the market launch. For instance, Testadrome makes it easier for you to send your apps to a group of isolated users for testing and feedback. Any app issues will be detected for you to make the necessary changes. Then push a test phase for a certain period before the app launch.

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If you’ve already launched the app, make it a habit to check user reviews and release app updates/improvements based on their feedback. Include a feedback tool such as Freshdesk, UserVoice, or Helpstack for users to comment on. If users find a loophole or a missing functionality from your app, they can contact you directly instead of leaving a negative feedback on the page. Try accommodating the opinion of your users as much as possible. By doing so, you get positive reviews in return.


An app that crashes constantly or doesn’t live up to user expectations will lead to bad reviews. For app crashes, you’ll need to have a few tools at hand. Crittercism or Crashlytics are two popular tools that can help you deal with app crashes. These services send you an e-mail in the event of a crash and then you can follow up on them through their official website. This may be sufficient enough for some issue fixes, but there are instances where such information isn’t enough to deal withDeathtoStock_Creative Community3 other issues.

If it’s not crashes, your app could be facing a lot of bugs. These bugs are a little harder to pin down due to their complexities. Some examples include:

  • Your app can connect to an API but some users may experience some features not working as a result of an unknown case you didn’t know existed.
  • Some app functionality isn’t compatible with certain devices
  • Users end up using your app you didn’t even think was possible in the first place

You’ve probably heard developers say something like, “I don’t know what’s happening, it works without any problem in my device.”

When someone leaves a bad review related to these bugs, you feel like bringing all users (who left negative comment) to your office, plug their mobile devices into your computer, and see what went wrong. In reality, it’s impossible to do. But this is where Bugfender comes in. The service allows you to retrieve user device logs remotely so you can check and debug what’s wrong with your customer’s device and come up with the right bug fixes.

On both cases, it’s essential to have these in the libraries before the app launch. Once your app goes live, it’ll be too late to add them. Run some tests with your app to ensure the bugs are minimized or absent. Any app has some form of bug, so having a crash reporting tool and remote debug library is essential. For the remote log tool, it’s also important to add in logs to the critical aspects of your code. This will help you the information you need to comprehend any app issue.


Basically, here’s the summary of what you need to do to curb bad ratings for your app:

  • Test out your app in different ways before the launch
  • Launch your apps to a small group of users before expanding globally
  • Add crash report libraries (Crashlytics Fabric or Crittercism)
  • Add a remote logging tool (Bugfender)
  • Have a direct line to accommodate user feedback through your inbox.
  • Try to address and fix as many negative feedbacks as you can

Launching an app without running into any problem is close to impossible. That’s why it’s important to possess the right tools to acquire user feedback and enough details to fix any app problems. Paired with a strong customer service, you can easily convert angry users into loyal fans if the problems are swiftly addressed. Utilizing a combination of these tools will not only make it little easier for you but you’ll also benefit from good user ratings in the end

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