Android Public Service Announcement: Apps That Require 5 Star Ratings To Play – Don’t


Chances are, if you’ve downloaded your share of applications from the Android Market you’ve run into at least one situation where the the app will ask (sometimes require) the user to give it a 5 star rating in the Market before continuing. By clicking “yes,” a user will then be taken to the application in the Market where they can rate it.

Whether or not the app is deserving of a 5-star rating is one thing, but did you know that you don’t even have to rate it the app at all to continue? It’s true. Simply click “yes” to rating the app in the Market and you can immediately click the back button to continue as usual. There is no way for an app to track and see if you’ve actually rated it.

Now, if you’re downloading apps that are requiring you to rate before playing, not only should you be concerned (many apps containing malware will require this to bait more users) but you might want to warn other would-be downloaders by making this known in the Market. Keep in mind, many perfectly safe and deserving apps will ask or remind you to rate the app in the Market and you should. Android developers live and die by their app ratings and if you want to help make Android a better place, by all means — RATE.

Thanks, Marc!


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I’ve never encountered this, if an app required me to rate it 5 stars to play it, I would give it 1 star and delete it.

    1. This is my exact response to this issue.  

    2. this was what i was gonna comment and this is what everyone should be doing anyway. nice to see the jobs already done and several ppl liking this comment.

    3. Exactly this.  I’d like to know exactly what apps do this and I will go do it right now.

    4.  Exactly.

    5. I have done exactly that at least once. I figured that if they’re telling me to rate it 5-stars, it’s probably malware trying to attract more users.

      EDIT: and I’m pretty sure I installed lookout or something similar to scan just in case. (Then proceeded to uninstall it after the scan, because lookout bogs down my phone like crazy)

  2. Next week : Chris Chavez app: 4.5/5

    1. … meanwhile Chris Chavez Hair scores a suspiciously high 6/5.

      1. The only thing suspicious about that is that the hair score didn’t go all the way to 11! :P

        1. are you kidding me his hair is OVER 9000!

      2. LOL i hate his hair i think it’s way too loud but i’d still give ‘ol Chavez a 6 if i could haha

  3. Lol i’d give any apps that require any ratings at all an automatic 1 star just for requiring. Stupidest shit ever

    1. me too

  4. This can be that pervasive. I’ve never seen one of these apps.

  5. They will get one star ratings just like the apps that insist on notification bar ads.

    1. ?? There are apps that place ads in your notification bar? Please tell me you’re kidding. 

      1. I wish I was but unfortunately I’ve come across several in the past couple of months. Recently started using the Lookout Push Ad Detector, because I had a hard time figuring out which apps were the culprits.

  6. I’ve never seen this before, but certainly an app “requiring” you to rate it at all (much less 5 stars) before using it is obviously a big red flag.  Tell me there aren’t people out there stupid enough to rate such apps more than one start and then continue using the app.  Sometimes I think people should have to pass a test before getting their hands on anything more complicated than a cheap solar-powered calculator.

    1. A lot of them will give you in-app currency if you rate them 5 stars. People don’t realize that you don’t even have to give it 5 stars.
      What sucks is that even if they warn people in the comments, some people will just look at the stars before downloading. 
      But I’m sure some will argue that those people “deserved” whatever malware they got… =/

    2. It is true, but it will be confusing , if that happens – 90% people you will see with a solar powered calc in their hands. :D

  7. I’ve encountered this, but I thought it was common knowledge that the app can only know if you were sent to an external site (the android market) it has no way of knowing what you rated as it can’t read that external data and tie it to you. This is similar to how voting sites used to “require” you to vote for them, before you could proceed.

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