24 of the most famous ghost photographs ever taken
Ghosts, the paranormal and the supernatural have always been debated. Do they exist?
Many people have reported sightings before, but without any real proof, they’re usually disregarded as merely stories. Being able to take photos of spirits obviously helps the cause, but are all of them real or have some been doctored?
Here is a round-up of 24 of the most famous “ghost” photos of all-time. Some have been faked no doubt, but they look so good on first inspection they could definitely convert some non-believers.
William Mumbler – 1860s
William Mumbler is credited with creating the first photo to show a ghost in the 1860s. But it wasn’t a ghost at all, it was simply an accidental case of double exposing a negative while taking photograph of himself. The entrepreneur in him turned this into a business, where members of the public would have their portrait exposed with an image of a dead relative.
Lord Combermere – 1891
This image taken of the library at Combermere Abbey in Cheshire, England by Sybell Corbett clearly shows a figure sitting in the chair on the left. It’s believed to be the ghost of Lord Combermere, a British cavalry commander in the 1800s.
Goddard’s Squadron – Freddy Jackson – 1919
Sir Victor Goddard
This image was taken by Sir Victor Goddard, of his squadron in 1919. The ghostly image behind the fourth sailor from the left, at the top, is believed to be of Freddy Jackson. Jackson died a few days before the photo was taken by walking into a moving propeller.
The SS Watertown – 1924
This image taken from the SS Watertown shows the faces of two crewmen, James Courtney and Michael Meehan in the water. The two men died while onboard the ship and were given a burial at sea.
Other crew members on the ship saw the faces in the water but didn’t initially take photos, they went back to a similar spot and saw them again. Five of the six photos showed nothing, but this was the sixth and clearly shows the faces of two men.
The Brown Lady – 1936
Captain Hubert C. Provand
This photo of “The Brown Lady” is considered by many to be actual photographic evidence of ghosts. It was taken at Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England in 1936. There had allegedly been many sightings of the figure before this photo and it’s said to be the ghost of Lady Townshend. She was locked in a room in the hall by her husband when he found out about her infidelity and left there to die.
Mrs Andrews baby – 1947
This photo of a child appearing over a grave was taken by Mrs Andrews in 1947. She noticed the ghost when she had the film developed, but said it wasn’t her daughter in the picture. Despite there being some graves for children nearby, the child in the picture has never been identified.
Corroboree Rock – 1959
Nobody knows who the ghostly figure in this photo is, but it was taken in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia in 1959. Some people think it’s just a case of a double exposure, while others think it could be a spirit watching us, or something else, because it looks like they’re holding binoculars.
The Back Seat Ghost – March 1959
This photo was taken by Mabel Chinnery in 1959. It shows her husband in his car with, allegedly, her dead mother-in-law on the back seat. While paranormalists believe it to be real, others have debunked it as being another case of double exposure.
Newby Church – 1963
Reverend K. F. Lord
Some analysts think this photo taken at Newby Church in North Yorkshire, England is a fake because the character looks to be posing too much. However, Reverend KF Lord insists there was nothing visible to the naked eye when he took the photo, and photo experts say it hasn’t been double exposed.
Tulip Staircase Ghost – 1966
Rev. Ralph Hardy
This photo taken inside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, clearly shows a ghostly figure holding the handrail of the Tulip Staircase. Photo experts have all agreed that it hasn’t been tampered with, so is considered a genuine example of ghosts’ existence.
Robert A Ferguson – November 1968
Robert A. Ferguson
Because this photo was taken on a Polaroid, it’s been deemed by many to be legitimate. It shows Robert A Ferguson giving a speech, with the ghost of his deceased brother Walter peering over him.
Worstead Church – 1975
Peter Berthelot took this picture of his wife, Diane, sitting on a pew at the Worstead Church in Norfolk, England in 1975. When they had the film developed, they noticed a ghost sitting on the pew behind Diane. A man allegedly stayed in the church all night sometime in 1830 to try and disprove the theory of ghosts, but he claimed the following morning he had in fact seen the white lady seen in this picture.
Amityville Ghost – 1976
Ed and Lorraine Warren
This photo, taken by Ed and Lorraine Warren, claims to show the ghost of nine-year-old John DeFeo. DeFeo, along with his other brother, two sisters and parents, were killed by his older brother Ronald at their house in Amityville.
Ed and Lorraine Warren were paranormal experts who entered the house and captured this image using a camera that consistently took infrared photos during the night.
The DeFeo murders were the inspiration for The Amityville Horror books and films.
Toys ‘R’ Us – 1978
The Toys ‘R’ Us store in Sunnyvale, California is allegedly haunted by the ghost of Johnny Johnson, and this image shows a silhouette leaning up against the shelves. The same figure wasn’t there when the photo was taken.
The story goes that Johnny had a thing for a girl named Elizabeth, the daughter of a plantation owner – the plantation used to be on the Toys ‘R’ Us site. Johnny bled to death after cutting himself chopping wood, and now roams the aisles of the store searching for her. Or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
St Botolph’s Church – 1982
If you look carefully in the upper right hand corner of this photo, you can just make out a translucent figure. It was taken at St Boltoph’s Church in 1982 and, at the time, there were only three people in the building. A builder later contacted Chris Brackley, who took the photo, to tell him he recognised the face as being the same as someone he’d previously seen in a coffin in the church.
Coventry Spectre – 1985
Fortean Picture Library
At first glance you’d think there’s nothing wrong with this photo. But look again, and you’ll see a tall, dark figure wearing what could be a monk’s frock, with a hood, in the top left. This is a photo of the Coventry Freeman society showing everyone at the event, including the mysterious figure, bowing their heads. Nobody at the event was seen wearing that style of clothing.
Pawling Fire Department – 1988
The white figure in this photo is believed to be some sort of angel, overlooking Rose Benvenuto, who was involved in the car crash. She said it could only have taken a miracle for her to survive the crash, and lo and behold, there’s a angel-like figure in attending firefighter Sharon Boo’s photo.
Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove – 1991
Ghost Research Society of America
The Ghost Research Society of America took this photo at Bachelor’s Cemetery in Illinois, after it noticed strange readings on its equipment. Researchers didn’t see anything at the time, but when this image was exposed, it showed a woman in white clothing sitting on one of the graves.
The Wem Town Hall Ghost – November 1995
Although Tony O’Rahilly’s photo appears to show the ghost of a young girl in the doorway to a burning down Wem Town Hall, it was later deemed to be a fake. The girl in question apparently appears on a postcard that appeared in the local paper.
Boot Hill Ghost – 1996
Terry Ike Clanton
Only Ike Canton’s friend was seen when this photo was taken, The mysterious man wearing a hat behind him wasn’t. Canton later looked more closely at the photo and decided the figure was in fact holding a knife, with the point ending just above his collar.
Grandpa’s Ghost – August 1997
Denise Russell took this photo of her grandma, who lived alone at the time, on 17 August 1997. Even though the photo had been developed, copied and given to other family members, nobody noticed the male figure standing over her until Christmas Day 2000. The Russell family say it’s a spitting image of their grandpa who died in 1984.
Sefton Church – 1999
From Brad Steiger’s Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places
This picture at Sefton Church in Liverpool, England, clearly shows a man wearing a black uniform, believed to be the old church minister. There were allegedly only two photographers in the church on the day it was taken, and nether of them recall seeing a physical being standing there when the photo was taken.
Girls in Manila – 2000’s
Ghost Research Society
The two girls in this photo, taken in Manila, Philippines, didn’t report seeing anyone or feeling any presence when this photo was taken. It was also taken on a digital camera, so it can’t have been the result of double exposure.
Tewin Bury Farm Ghost – 2008
Neil Sandwich took this photo of a farmhouse where his friends were getting married. When he put the photo into Photoshop and adjusted the exposure, he noticed a mysterious white figure on the right hand side, appearing to be peering out of a doorway. Cleaners at the farmhouse had apparently seen the ghost of a young boy wearing white clothes before, too.
Aliens didn’t send this 40-year-old signal from space
Forty years ago, the Ohio State University Radio Observatory detected a mysterious signal deep in outer space, located in the Sagittarius constellation. Many have pointed to this, which came to be known as the “Wow!” Signal, as evidence that we are not alone in the universe. That is, until now.
Researchers at The Center for Planetary Science have determined, sadly, that aliens were not responsible for the Wow! Signal. Instead, in an article published in Washington Academy of Sciences, they outline their discovery that a comet was likely responsible for the naturally occurring radio transmission.
The research team noticed that the frequency of the Wow! Signal closely matched the radio waves naturally emitted by hydrogen, called the hydrogen line. They then determined that a comet called 266/P Christensen emitted a strikingly similar signal, likely due to its hydrogen cloud. After that, it was just a matter of showing that the comet was indeed in the vicinity of the Sagittarius constellation in 1977.
This is probably a blow to alien enthusiasts who have used this signal to bolster their beliefs that we aren’t alone in the universe. It’s worth noting, though, that finding the facts behind mysterious signals is a good thing; it improves our science and our knowledge about the universe. And it doesn’t disprove the existence of alien life. It just means we have to keep searching. The truth is out there.
Source: The Center for Planetary Science
EU wants to make it easier for police to obtain user data
In light of recent terror-related attacks, the EU is looking to make it much easier for law enforcement to obtain data from tech companies like WhatsApp, Facebook and Google. The European Commission will propose three options, which will help guide future legislation put forth by the EU.
The first option is the least intrusive and would allow law enforcement agencies in one EU member state to ask a company in another state for data without having to go through that state’s authorities first. The second would require those companies to hand over data if asked by another state’s law enforcement. And the third — the most extreme — would give law enforcement agencies direct access to cloud-stored data.
EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova told Reuters, “This third option is kind of an emergency possibility which will require some additional safeguards protecting the privacy of people.”
This is the latest skirmish between law enforcement and companies that may have useful data on a suspect. Last year, Microsoft scored a legal win that supported its refusal to turn over data stored in Ireland to officials in New York.
Discussions taking place today will include what types of data will be covered by the new law. “My preference is to go for this as an extraordinary measure for extraordinary threats, for high gravity criminal offences such as terrorism and there I am in favor of enabling the use of personal data,” said Jourova. The EU plans to put forward legislation by early 2018.
The best SD card readers
By Justin Krajeski
This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. When readers choose to buy The Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.
After spending eight hours researching and testing 12 card readers, we found that the IOGear USB-C 3-Slot Card Reader is the best option for anyone who needs an SD card reader for a new laptop with USB-C ports. The IOGear delivered fast, consistent speeds, and supports SD, microSD, and CF cards.
Who should get this?
If your camera uses SD cards but your laptop lacks a card reader (or it has one, and you’re unimpressed by its speed), you’ll need a separate card reader that hooks up to your laptop via USB-C or USB-A to transfer your photos and videos.
All of the latest MacBooks (including the 2016 MacBook Pro models) have only USB-C ports, and no SD card readers. Some new Windows laptops exclusively use USB-C ports, too, and others have a mix of USB types and no built-in SD card slot.
If you already own a card reader with a USB-A connection, you can get a USB-C–to–A adapter to use it with a new computer.
How we picked and tested
We tested 12 card readers to find the best SD card reader for most people. Photo: Kimber Streams
The most important features for an SD card reader are speed, physical size, and ease of use. Because most new laptops have at least one USB-C port—and some now have only USB-C ports—we focused on USB-C card readers for this guide. We also looked for readers that support both SD and CF cards to ensure compatibility with as many cameras as possible.
After researching all the USB-C SD readers available, we called in 12 models that met our requirements by accessories makers we trust. Then we plugged them into a 2016 MacBook Pro and a 2016 Dell XPS 13 and used AJA System Test and CrystalDiskMark to test their speeds with three SanDisk cards–one SD card, one microSD card, and one CF card.
Our pick: IOGear USB-C 3-Slot Card Reader
The IOGear USB-C 3-Slot Card Reader is the best SD card reader for most people. Photo: Kimber Streams
The IOGear USB-C 3-Slot Card Reader is the best SD card reader for most people because it’s affordable (usually less than $20) and produced fast speeds during our SD, microSD, and CF tests, every single time.
In our SD card test, the IOGear had read and write speeds of 84 MB/s and 72 MB/s, respectively. When reading and writing to the microSD card, it had speeds of 85 MB/s and 64 MB/s, and in our CF card test, it had read and write speeds of 144 MB/s and 114 MB/s.
Unlike our other picks, the IOGear lacks an indicator light, so you can’t see when your card is connected or a transfer is underway at a glance. We also found that the SD card slot was a bit too shallow. The IOGear reader is slightly bigger than our other USB-C picks, but it has the best warranty of its competitors, covering three years.
Runner-up: Transcend USB 3.1 Type-C Multi-Card Reader
The Transcend USB 3.1 Multi-Card Reader is a good second choice if the IOGear is unavailable. Photo: Kimber Streams
If our pick is out of stock or unavailable, we recommend the Transcend USB 3.1 Multi-Card Reader. It was as fast as the IOGear in nearly every test, except for its awful microSD write speeds on Mac. For more information on the Transcend’s speed tests, please see our full guide.
The Transcend supports SD, microSD, and CF cards, plus it has a Memory Stick slot on its back. It also has an indicator light, and a two-year warranty.
A budget option: Cable Matters USB 3.1 Type-C Dual Slot Card Reader
The Cable Matters USB 3.1 Type-C Dual Slot Card Reader is less expensive than our other picks, but it doesn’t have a CF card slot. Photo: Kimber Streams
If you use only SD and microSD cards, you should get the Cable Matters USB 3.1 Type-C Dual Slot Card Reader. The Cable Matters reader has similar speeds to the IOGear and Transcend readers, but it doesn’t support CF cards. It’s smaller, lighter, and cheaper than our other top picks, plus it has good speeds and an indicator light. It also comes with only a one-year warranty.
For faster SD cards: SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C Reader
The SanDisk is nearly three times as fast as our top pick, but it costs about twice as much. Photo: Kimber Streams
If you use a camera or cards that support UHS-II speeds, we recommend the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C Reader. Although it costs more than twice as much as the IOGear, and doesn’t have CF or microSD slots, the SanDisk had read and write speeds of 256 MB/s and 193.6 MB/s in our SD card tests, respectively—nearly three times the speed of our top pick. It also has a useful indicator light.
At $50, it might be more economical to buy our USB-A pick and a USB-C–to–A adapter if you want UHS-II–speed transfer rates, but that option is bulkier, heavier, and slower.
For traditional USB ports: Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader
The Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader is the best option for traditional USB ports. Photo: Kimber Streams
If you need a USB-A card reader, or a reader that can take both CF cards and high-speed UHS-II SD cards, the Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader is your best bet. The Kingston supports SD, microSD, CF, and Memory Stick cards, and it reliably transferred data at UHS-II speeds in our SD card tests. It also has a big red indicator light, and comes with a two-year warranty.
The Kingston had read and write speeds of 159 MB/s and 127 MB/s, respectively, during our SD card test. In our microSD card test, it had expected read and write speeds of 83 MB/s and 69 MB/s. It was a bit slower when reading and writing to a CF card, with speeds of 127 MB/s and 107 MB/s.
This guide may have been updated by The Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.
Note from The Wirecutter: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.
Humans may be able to regrow skin after severe burns
While reconstructive surgery techniques have improved greatly over the last decade or two, there’s one goal that remains elusive: actual regrowth of human skin. But now, scientists may be one step closer: Yesterday, Salt Lake City-based biotech company Polarity TE, Inc. announced that they had “regenerated full-thickness, organized skin and hair follicles in third degree burn wounds” in pigs.
As far as we know, this is the first time anyone’s been able to fully regrow skin after third-degree burns. According to PolarityTE, the SkinTE technique works by taking a biopsy of the patient’s non-damaged skin, though it’s not exactly clear how the healthy skin is reintroduced into the wound. The (somewhat graphic) photos on their website show the progression of regeneration, eventually covering the entire wound with no scarring and regrowth of all layers of skin, including hair follicles.
Now, this technique has only worked on pigs thus far, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work on humans. In fact, pig and human skin is quite similar, and historically the characteristics and behavior of pig skin burns have been predictive of how human skin will react. In fact, PolarityTE notes that it might actually be harder to regrow skin on pigs — though they don’t go into detail on why that’s the case.
If this procedure is successful on humans, it’s a huge step forward. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this will change the lives of burn victims. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long to find out: PolarityTE is planning on moving to human trials later this year.
Source: PolarityTE, SkinTE
HTC’s squeezable U11 is now available
Back in May, we called HTC’s U11 its true flagship phone (albeit with an awful name). We were impressed by both the hardware and its striking profile. Now, you can pick one up for yourself: The HTC U11 is shipping today via Sprint, Amazon and HTC.com. Consumers can also purchase devices today at Sprint retail stores.
The HTC U11 is certainly a worthy competitor to other smartphones out there. It comes with a 2560 x 1440, 5.5-inch touch screen, with 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, a 3,000mAH battery and an octa-core Snapdragon 835 chipset. Two cameras — a 12 megapixel on the back and a front-facing 16 megapixel — round out the package. There’s no headphone jack, but the included earbuds pack in both active noise cancellation and tune your music based on the contours of your ear.
HTC is billing Edge Sense as the real hallmark feature of the U11 (though we weren’t quite sure of its utility). Pressure sensors at the sides of the phone can determine how you’re holding you are it (even while you’re wearing gloves) and be used for shortcuts — which are, of course, customizable. The HTC U11 comes in three colors, blue, black and silver, and an unlocked, no-contract version will cost you $650.
GoPro’s Fusion could make 360 video cool, if it nails the software
Yesterday GoPro CEO Nick Woodman presented the Fusion 360/VR camera to the world for the first time at Mountain Games in Vaile, Colorado. The company teased an image about a month ago, but it turns out that was a bit of a trick. The deliberate use of lighting hid the true shape and form of the camera. Fusion is actually bigger than it looked. GoPro has long considered itself as having outgrown the “action cam” label, instead positioning itself as an enabler for stories beyond the reach of your phone’s camera. Put in those terms, Fusion, and 360 video in general, could make more sense.
Over the years the importance of software over hardware has become increasingly apparent to GoPro. The Hero camera line has evolved over time, but it’s the user experience after you shoot the video that has been the company’s biggest challenge. The next frontier isn’t more megapixels, it’s making it effortless to convert photos and videos into something you want to share. And Fusion, GoPro’s all-in-one VR camera, might actually be the company’s best chance at cracking that nut.
Before we get to why, we’ll take a look at a more immediate how. Fusion might have been the main reason for the Vail gathering this week, but a new feature for all GoPro users — called QuikStories — is actually a good hint at where the company is focusing its efforts. QuikStories aims to instantly create a shareable video from your most recent clips with little to no effort on the user’s part (think: Google’s Photo Assistant). If GoPro can transplant this mechanism to Fusion, and there’s every indication it will, maybe the company can — gasp! — make 360/VR video more mainstream.
Before we get to Fusion, though, QuikStories is also an attempt to revitalize its existing camera line. Basically, this is GoPro throwing its hat into the “stories” game — you know, the game that Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and seemingly everyone is playing these days. In GoPro’s case, it’s really just about using technology the company already has (i.e.g, the Quik mobile editing app), and removing all the steps that involve a human.
The idea is simple: shoot several clips in a day, connect your camera to your phone, open the GoPro app and, voila, you’ll have an instant, shareable, edited video. We tried it quickly here in Vail, and it looks promising. In fact, the app was already sifting through my videos and compiling a video the moment I connected a phone to the camera.
Why does a “stories” feature matter to 360/VR video? Because who even knows what to do with a 360 video? I don’t. Unless you’re shooting a bi-plane wing-walk, or other such obviously interesting feat, 360 video doesn’t always make sense. Here is the connection with Quik, or at least GoPro’s future of smart editing apps. If GoPro can translate the simplicity of Quik, and QuikStories to Fusion’s 360 video output, it would achieve mass appeal in a way other players (everyone from Nikon to Samsung) hasn’t been able to.
To illustrate this, GoPro showed reporters this week a “regular” video edit taken from its Fusion (spherical) promo video, and it cleverly turned the usual quirks of 360 video — warping, curved lines — into an editing transition feature.””Punching” a regular video out of a 360 clip isn’t exclusive to GoPro. Plenty of others offer something similar, but there’s not one app or camera that combines to do both well. If — and it’s a big if — GoPro can nail this pairing of hardware and software, 360 video has a chance of making sense for everyday users.
Tor Browser 7.0 works harder to protect your anonymity on its own
The latest update for privacy-minded folks’ favorite way to surf the web should make others’ attempts at tracking what they do even more difficult. The Tor browser’s 7. 0 version introduces a sandbox feature that, according to an interview on the Tor blog, should “make life a lot harder” for people using a Firefox exploit to discern the identities of a user. “It’s like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave,” Tor developer Yawning Angel said. “The only reality Tor Browser knows is inside of the sandbox (cave). We prevent it from interacting with the rest of your computer (the outside world), except via the Tor Network (shadows on the wall).”
The college philosophy class you barely remember aside, what the sandbox does is hides your files, your real IP address and your MAC address from the browser. Therefore, “the amount of information Tor Browser will learn about your computer, and thereby you, will be limited,” Angel said.
At the time of that interview last October, the sandbox was still unstable and very much in testing, but the recent update has brought the digital safe-zone online for Linux and macOS, and by default. Next up? Sandbox protection for Windows users.
The update also imposes a few new requirements for users on Windows and macOS: Tor apparently won’t work on non-SSE2-capable Windows hardware and you need to be running OSX 10.9 or higher on Apple machines.
Considering that last year a federal judge said that the FBI no longer needs warrants to hack a computer connected to the internet, this is an important update. “Even an internet user who employs the Tor network in an attempt to mask his or her IP address lacks a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her IP address,” judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr commented at the time. For the full rundown of what’s changed with the browser, hit the source links below.
Source: Tor (1), (2)
Apple CEO Tim Cook Pokes Fun at Windows PCs in Commencement Address at MIT
Apple CEO Tim Cook today delivered the 2017 commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Cook first reflected on his inability to figure out what he wanted to do with his life, while poking fun at Windows PCs in the process.
I tried meditation. I sought guidance and religion. I read great philosophers and authors. In a moment of youthful indiscretion, I might even have experimented with a Windows PC. And obviously that didn’t work.
Cook’s search eventually led him to Apple in 1998, when the company was flirting with bankruptcy and struggling to survive.
Tim Cook appears around 7:00 mark
Working with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Cook said he eventually learned “life’s biggest and most important question” being “how can I serve humanity?”
It was in that moment, after 15 years of searching, that something clicked. I finally felt aligned with a company that brought together challenging, cutting edge work with a higher purpose. Aligned with a leader who believed that technology which didn’t exist yet could reinvent tomorrow’s world. Aligned with myself and my own deep need to serve something greater. Of course, at that moment I don’t know all of that. I was just grateful to have a psychological burden lifted. But with the help of hindsight, my breakthrough makes more sense. I was never going to find my purpose working some place without a clear sense of purpose of its own. Steve and Apple freed me to throw myself into the work and embrace their mission and make it my own. How can I serve humanity? This is life’s biggest and most important question.
Cook concluded his speech by saying he’s “optimistic” in the next generation’s own journey to serve humanity.
As you go forward today, use your minds and your hands and your hearts to build something bigger than yourselves. Always remember there is no idea bigger than this: as Dr. Martin Luther King said, we are all bound together in a single garment of destiny. If you keep that idea at the forefront of all that you do, if you choose to live your lives at that intersection between technology and the people it serves, if you strive to create the best, give the best, and do the best for everyone—not just for some—then today all of humanity has good cause for hope. Thank you very much.
Cook toured the MIT campus on Thursday. “So impressed by MIT students and faculty who are finding new ways to tackle the world’s biggest challenges,” he tweeted. “Thanks for sharing your work!”
Tag: Tim Cook
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iOS 11 Requires Developers to Use Apple’s New In-App Ratings API, Lets Users Turn Them Off Completely
Earlier this year, Apple announced a few App Store review policy changes, which included the reveal of an official API for in-app review and rating requests that developers had the option to put in their apps beginning with iOS 10.3 and macOS Sierra 10.12.4. Additionally, Apple limited how often app developers can push out such prompts to just three times each year.
Today, 9to5Mac spotted a new section in the App Store Review Guidelines, pointing towards the launch of the new policy changes coming to iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra this fall. Specifically, in section 1.1.7 of the App Store Review guidelines, Apple states that it will “disallow custom review prompts” in all apps on the App Store.
Image via 9to5Mac
The update also allows developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time.
1.1.7 App Store Reviews:
– App Store customer reviews can be an integral part of the app experience, so you should treat customers with respect when responding to their comments. Keep your responses targeted to the user’s comments and do not include personal information, spam, or marketing in your response.
– Use the provided API to prompt users to review your app; this functionality allows customers to provide an App Store rating and review without the inconvenience of leaving your app, and we will disallow custom review prompts.
The new user interface includes the App Store’s traditional 5-star rating system in a pop-up box, allowing users to enter their opinion of the app without needing to leave it and visit the App Store to submit a review, as was previously the case. In addition to Apple limiting these pop-up boxes to only appear three times per year, if a user actually submits a review for the app, the developer can never request an in-app pop-up review from that user again.
The new App Store in iOS 11
Adding to the strain on in-app review prompts, users can now also turn off these requests completely with a new “In-App Ratings & Reviews” toggle found in the iTunes and App Store section of Settings on iOS 11.
When the updates take full effect, it means that developers won’t be able to ask a user for another review of an app after the same user submits a rating using Apple’s in-app prompt, even if the app has recently received a huge update. On the plus side, star ratings can now carry over across updates — if the developer chooses — so that the App Store rating system is a true overall aggregate of an app and not just user opinions on the app’s current iteration.
Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: App Store
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