Developers, Please Update Your Release Notes (Talking to You Google)

This past weekend I experienced one of my pet peeves about the Google Play Store so you get to listen to me vent.  Google, you in particular need to pay attention to me on this one.

Developers, for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, update your Release Notes.  I can’t tell you how many times I or another site has found something new in an update to an app and yet the release notes provided in the Play Store say absolutely nothing about it.  If you want people to know about that thing you added to your app, you may want to let people know about it?

This weekend however, pretty much took the cake for this month.  It was Google and Chrome for Android.  It literally made me utter harsh language and have a catharsis moment of writing this post.

The update was for Chrome 64.  I posted about it being released last week and on Saturday, it made its way to my account on the Play Store.  As I normally do with any update (I don’t do auto updating of apps so I can see what’s new each time and hopefully tell you about it), I read the release notes prior to installing the update on my Pixel XL.  Here is the screenshot:

Chrome 64 Update for Android with Chrome 63 Release Notes
Chrome 64 Update for Android with Chrome 63 Release Notes

Because I knew that Chrome 64 was rolling out, I immediately assumed that the release notes had not been updated.  I pressed the update button, opened up Chrome and went to Settings in the app to check the version.  Well whadaya know?  It’s Chrome 64.

Chrome 64 for Android Installed
Chrome 64 for Android Installed

So I get that developers sometimes simply release bug fixes and no new features or, frankly, anything worth mentioning.  I totally get that because the last two updates to the ClintonFitch.com app have pretty much been bug fix updates.  But Chrome 64 was a major update and there is simply no excuse for Google not to have updated the release notes for the update.  None.

As one who likes to inform you, readers of this site, about app updates for Android, this behavior is beyond frustrating.  Google overall is one of the worst offenders while Microsoft, as an example, is one of the best.  It should be consistent across the board.

The problem is Google doesn’t full on insist developers to update the release notes.  In fact, in the publication process of apps to the Play Store, you can simply copy and paste your previous release notes to the new build with a single click.  That’s not encouraging developers to let users know what’s new in their apps.  If anything, it promotes laziness.

What Google should do is what Apple does which is require a new release note field with every upload into the App Store.  It’s just not that hard.

So devs, do me a solid.  Update your release notes.  If I can find out what changed quickly in your app, I am way more likely to post about it here on the site.  If I can’t, not so much.

And Google, dude, seriously.  Get this straightened out and require release notes for new app updates.  Starting with yourself.