If you've spent as much time on the Google Play Store as I have, you begin to recognize a pattern: developers asking (and sometimes begging) users to email them directly with complaints or bugs, because they can't reply to that snarky review left in lieu of a bug report. After years and years of frustration for devs who just want to make their apps better, Google has finally rolled out a direct reply feature. Developers, you can now reply to user reviews using your developer console.
This has been a long time coming. A number of developers had been included in the testing program for the better part of a year, and rumors of a wide rollout have been circulating for a while. (Previously the feature had been reserved for Top Developers.) But the testing phase is over, and thousands of developers can now communicate directly with their users and customers. Everybody please remember to keep it civil out there - developer responses, like user reviews, are subject to the Google Play posting guidelines.
When a developer replies to a regular user, the reply is visible to everyone, and an email alert is sent to that user specifically. Like the user reviews themselves, developer responses can be edited after posting, with the latest edit noted above the text. Hopefully this will foster both good will between devs and end users, and help stomp out bugs and implement new features.