How to Increase Your Number of Windows Phone App Ratings

GettingUserReviews

Image Provided By Microsoft UK

App ratings provide two main tools for developers.  They provide insight and feedback to the developer as to what needs to be corrected or improved amidst the app.  App ratings also promote the app so long as the ratings themselves are high.  As you can see both uses for App ratings are cohesive and when utilized properly, can provide a great boost to application uptake.

Some developers never take into consideration the uplift a good app rating provides.  Microsoft has created a class within Windows Phone 8 called MarketplaceReviewTask() that makes it easy for developers to add to their existing code.  This code asks for feedback from the perspective user after 5 instances of use thus increasing the number of ratings the app will receive.

Addition of this class is easy.  Simply paste this code snippet in the Application_Launching  part of the App.xaml.cs file. Should your code already have an Application_Launching event, simply place the code before it.

// Code to execute when the application is launching (eg, from Start)

// This code will not execute when the application is reactivated

private void Application_Launching(object sender, LaunchingEventArgs e)

{

// This will automatically create a name value pair entry in the Isolated Storage

// facility of the application if not present and set the default value to false

IsolatedStorageSettings.ApplicationSettings[“askforreview”] = false;

// This is the variable we use to count to five

int startedCount = 0;

// We check if it exist in Isolated Storage for the application

if (IsolatedStorageSettings.ApplicationSettings.Contains(“startedCount”))

{

// and if it does we read it’s value in the variable

startedCount = (int)IsolatedStorageSettings.ApplicationSettings[“startedCount”];

}

// we increment the value counter variable by one

startedCount++;

// and store it back in Isolated Storage. Again if this is the first time

// the name value pair will be created automatically. If it already exists it get’s

// overwritten

IsolatedStorageSettings.ApplicationSettings[“startedCount”] = startedCount;

// Finally we check if we reached 5 starts and then change the flag to true in Isolated

// Storage so we can ask for the review.

if (startedCount == 5)

{

IsolatedStorageSettings.ApplicationSettings[“askforreview”] = true;

}

}

Next, place the following code in your MainPage.xaml.cs or any other page which might be the startpage of your app thus overriding the OnNavigatedTo event. If you already have code in this event, add the code before yours. Make sure to change [App Name] to your application name for the message box.

protected override void OnNavigatedTo(NavigationEventArgs e)

{

base.OnNavigatedTo(e);

// First we load the flag variable from Isolated Storage.

var askforReview = (bool)IsolatedStorageSettings.ApplicationSettings[“askforreview”];

// If we need to ask for review

if (askforReview)

{

// We set the variable back to false in Isolated Storage so not to ask again

IsolatedStorageSettings.ApplicationSettings[“askforreview”] = false;

// We create an instance of MessageBox asking the user if they want to review

// the app.

var returnvalue = MessageBox.Show(

“Thank you for using [App Name], would you like to review this app?”,

“Please review my app”,

MessageBoxButton.OKCancel);

// If they do we instanciate a MarketplaceReview class and call the show method

// Note that this will fail in the emulator

if (returnvalue == MessageBoxResult.OK)

{

var marketplaceReviewTask = new MarketplaceReviewTask();

marketplaceReviewTask.Show();

}

}

}

You have the ability to select a different count before asking for a review however asking after the 5th running of the app is usually the norm. Also note that after the app stops asking for reviews the counter will still increment in Isolated Storage but will not be a burden on the phone memory.

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