BREAKING NEWS: Apple's New Policy for Reviewing Apps on the App Store

A new post in the Touch Arcade forum highlights a very important change in Apple's policy regarding how iPhone/iPad apps are being rated/reviewed in the App Store. Now, it is no longer possible to rate or review an app if it was downloaded using a developer's promo code. This change seems to have been in place for the past 2-3 weeks, but it's getting more and more consistent now. We're guessing that the older codes of which developers have released in the past might not be affected with this new policy, but every new codes from now on can't be used to gain reviews on the App Store. 

This change will affect how developers would distribute their promo codes now. With this new policy in place, giving away codes in the various forums/contests would not get them anywhere, not even a good review on the App Store. It seems that a good way to use the codes is to share it with review sites like ours. Having the reviews published in public sites (other than the App Store) has been a good marketing strategy for app developers in the past, but this policy change has made it a more important success factor for the app.

I would leave you with the e-mail quotation that's been spreading across different users who have asked this question to Apple, where they seem to get the same exact response. And if you're an app developer, please investigate whether you're affected with this policy change or not. And if you are affected, please share in the comments section with us, what you think this would affect your marketing strategy. As always, we would love to help you reviewing your apps on our site. Please contact us if you want to get your apps reviewed on our site.
Anand here again from iTunes Store Customer Support. Thanks for writing back and letting me know your concern. I understand that you are still not able to write a review. I know how disappointing it can be when things don't work out the way they should. I am sorry to inform that it is no longer possible to rate or review an app if it was downloaded using a developer's promotional code. 

However, I took the liberty of submitting your feedback to Apple on your behalf. Please know that Apple takes the feedback from our customers very seriously. This is the reason for our feedback page - to create a forum where our users can vent, praise or share whatever feelings they have to allow us to meet your needs, and grow as a company. I suggest that you use the link in order to share your feedback with us. I would also encourage you to share this link with all of your friends and family who wish to submit the feedback, and have them all submit the same request." 

"It is no longer possible to rate or review an app if it was downloaded using a developer's promotional code.
You can review this app by purchasing it on a different iTunes account using something other than a developer's promotional code, such as a GiftCard, Gift Certificate, or other payment options."
Check out our iPad apps reviews and iPhone apps reviews too while you're here.

UPDATE: If you're someone who wants to publish your reviews on the App Store but can no longer do so (because of this new policy), please don't hesitate to drop us an e-mail. We may be able to help get your reviews published here on our site. 


  1. I am a developer and a writer here at Appenthusiast but I don't think this will be a huge deal.
    Devs give me codes to review their app on this site not on the app store.

    As my co-worker Erci said, If you are a dev that has codes, please send them to us and we will consider reviewing your app.


  2. What is the reason for that? Doesn't Apple think a fair review would be written? Or do they think too many codes are being given away? Couldn't the review include something like, "promo code used to download app?"

  3. Honestly, Nancy, I don't know.

    It might be because the promo code "user" might give it a bad or good review just because and not anything to do with the amount of money (in this case no money) they spent on the quality of the app.

    We'll see how it pans out.

  4. e Skills Learning is a developer of educational apps used in the schools. While we are happy to have comments from users on iTunes, the more important marketing strategy is to have detailed reviews by educators that will help other educators decide if the app is appropriate for their students or not. IEAR and Applicable2U are just two sites that have done a fantastic job for the school market.

  5. Hello, E skills!

    I would love to review some of your apps, would you be interested in having a contest for some free copies?