James Montemagno
James Montemagno

Live, Love, Bike, and Code.

Live, Love, Bike, and Code



James Montemagno

Asking for app reviews really works! It just takes 1 line of code!

Last week I launched a new app called My Cadence for both iOS and Android. Even though it was a quick app that only took me a week or so to build and ship, I still followed my checklist of best practices to ensure as much success as I could. I of course did real world testing myself and with TestFlight users, I tested light and dark theme modes, and I even put in-app purchases in from the start! Even with all of this, there one line of code (using the Store Review Plugin) that can really make a difference for your app once it hits the app store, and that is asking users for reviews!

I know what you are thinking, but James everyone hates those pop ups asking for reviews. I agree with this statement, but only when the request for a review is not handled properly. For example, I got a request to review my banking application before I even logged in! That is annoying and you know that the users is going to cancel and never leave a review. So, when I implement app review requests, I try to be clever about it track a main action that the user is doing. Then after so many times I will prompt them for a review. In the case of My Cadence after 5 successful connections to a sensor when the user hits stop, I will prompt for a review.

The first thing I do is create a small preference that can track usage across sessions with Xamarin.Essentials Preferences:

public static int Usage
    get => Preferences.Get(nameof(Usage), 0);
    set => Preferences.Set(nameof(Usage), value);
Preference to save an integer for usage stats

Then, when the user presses Stop to disconnect, I grab the count, increase it, check if it is the 5th time, and the request a review using the Store Review Plugin.

var count = Settings.Usage;
if(count == 5)
Settings.Usage = count;
Requesting Review after 5 times using the app

The best part is that this enables the users to not only give you a star rating, but also allows the user to write a full review on both iOS and Android!

iOS flow from start to finish
Android review flow

Now, on to my findings! It really works! My app has been available for 1 week now and I already have 6 ratings and 5 full reviews!

App Store Connect with Reviews!

It is still early days on Android, but I already have 2 ratings and a review, which is awesome! This method of asking specific users after they use specific features of your app a specific amount of time is a wonderful way of getting helpful reviews. The logic here is that users that are repeat users of the application must like it enough to keep using it and are more likely to leave a review. So far, this rings true, but of course you need to have an application that does what is advertised.

I hope that this was helpful and that you take a look at putting in-app review requests into your app with this simple method.

iOS Screenshot from Apptentive

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