Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

We Need Detailed App Release Notes

Every time I open the App Store, I see a sea of updates with the generic “bug fixes and performance improvements” note, or some variation thereof. David Chartier has noticed the same, but for him, it isn’t merely irritating:

Developers, I know you have an internal list of these changes for each release. Withholding them from customers is wrong, lazy, and misleading, and it erodes trust with your users.

Please give us an accurate list of what’s new in each update so we can make an informed decision about whether to update.

What Chartier says is logical, but I doubt that most people look at app release notes before updating. In fact, I doubt most people look at them at all, because automatic updates are on by default. That’s a great convenience for most people, but a really crappy way to avoid being stuck with an update you don’t want.

I’d like to think most developers would be considerate to users and any escalation of permissions or the use of that information would be better documented than, say, a patch for a small feature not behaving correctly. But I want to know exactly what’s being changed with every update; I want to know what bugs are being fixed, so I can test my bug reports against updates with more knowledge. Far too many apps have joined the Facebook school of vague change logs.

Thanks to Ben Zigterman for surfacing this link for me after I forgot who wrote it.