Without a way to try an app before purchasing, getting rid of app reviews entirely doesn’t make any sense. The 1–5 star rating part of reviews though? Kill it and leave these options for reviews:
- The ability to leave a written review with a title and subject.
- The ability to mark other reviews useful or not.
Five-star ratings have been dysfunctional since long before the “Rate This App” annoyance plague (not just at Apple — Amazon’s and Netflix’s don’t work, either), and written comments are much more helpful when comparing or evaluating apps. It’s important that the reviews still be sorted first by descending app version, though, to prevent ancient reviews from effectively being pinned to the top forever (like we see in iTunes reviews for podcasts).
This wouldn’t kill “Rate This App” dialogs, though — they would just change to “Review This App”. But it would make it harder for fraudulent or solicited ratings to appear substantial or have a strong effect on sales.