June 21, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Android developers can finally respond to comments left by users in the Google Play store. Until today, user reviews on Google Play were just a stream of comments that couldn’t be challenged unless another user stuck up for the developer or provided clarity on a complaint. Now, there’s an official channel that lets app creators interact with the people who use their creations.
The Google Play team announced today that the Android Developer Console now includes an Application Comments section that lists Google Play reviews. Developers can then see a comment like, “Doesn’t work on Phone X” and respond saying that a new update has been made available or is coming soon. The response is then shown alongside the original comment in Google Play, and the user who wrote the review will receive a notification that the developer has responded.
The Application Comments section can be filtered by language, app version, rating, or device. It allows developers to address user concerns in an immediate way and maybe appease a customer that might have written off the app prematurely. I’ve previously urged users not to use Google Play as tech support, but the ability to provide feedback or address concerns in a public forum might be beneficial to developers.
Google is rolling out this feature today to those with a Top Developer badge. Replying to user reviews will be tested with those developers and rolled out to all Google Play apps at a not-yet-determined time. Maybe now we’ll see fewer stupid comments?
“Conversations are meant to be two-sided, and facilitating discussion between developers and users will ultimately yield better apps, to the benefit of everyone.” – Ellie Powers, Product Manager at Google Play