Ever wanted to snoop on a competitor’s iOS app reviews? Now you can—in Slack.
With the shutdown of HipChat (announced earlier this year), most tech pros will be turning to Slack for their communication needs. While Slack has a ton of issues (such as running on Electron), it does have a healthy ecosystem of bots that is growing all the time. Within Slack, you can automate just about anything.
And that goes for reviews, too. A bot named—wait for it—AppReviewBot sends reviews for any app right to a Slack channel. While it’s meant for those who want a better way to monitor reviews for their own apps, it can be used for any iOS app you like.
As a standalone tool, it’s handy for developers or teams who want to keep an eye on reviews in real time, too. Now that Apple allows developers to interact with users via App Store review threads, being immediately aware of what’s being said is nice. The longer a poor review (or confused user) goes unchecked, the more out-of-touch a developer appears.
But AppReviewBot is also handy when you’re keeping up with competitor apps. We tried it for two apps—Carrot Weather, and Facebook—and found no threshold or qualifiers for being able to see App Store reviews (we’ll also note this is a stream of reviews, and there’s no way to interact with them).
The app takes full advantage of Slack. You can start a threaded chat from a review, star a review in Slack, set up a reminder to check in on it later, and add an emoji reaction. You can also feed reviews to any channel you like, and create dedicated channels for each app you’re tracking. This makes it really great for keeping up with apps that might have features you’re considering for your own app; if a competitor added a feature your team is working on, keeping tabs on how users respond can help guide your own build process.
AppReviewBot is free to use, but relies on patronage. It has three levels of support, ranging from $2.99 to $9.99 per month, so consider paying if you’re going to regularly keep tabs on your competitors. It’s limited by being iOS-only, but with the popularity of native iOS apps, we feel AppReviewBot is a good tool to keep pace with what users are saying about everyone.