Five Reasons to Read Release Notes

Total Score:  28.5

Update jpegBack in the day (a year ago?) you had to go into the app store and purposefully update any apps.  That gave you the opportunity to read the release notes and see what was new.   It wasn’t exactly a burden, but Apple improved iOS and made those updates automatic.  Now, you have to go to the App Store, tap updates, and then read.   It’s a couple of steps, but should you do it?  I think so, read on if you want to know why.


  1. Privacy Settings – apps can change these (Hello Facebook) without a lot of notice.   Checking the updates occasionally helps keep you up on changes.
  2. Major Improvements –  Did you test an app and stopped using it because it didn’t have the features you wanted?  Sure, we’ve all done that.  If you delete the app, then you can follow the updates to see if the change you wanted happened.
  3. Reviews – If you went in the iTunes store and commented on an app, you should check for the updates to see if the developer acted on your suggestion.  They do read these comments, and often make note of consumer suggestions in the release notes.
  4. Warnings – Occasionally, there will be warnings in the notes to indicate you will lose data during this update if you don’t do something, or have a certain iOS level.
  5. Language/Locations– release notes will let you know when new languages have been added to the app.  Or, perhaps, like in the case of Yelp, availability in new areas – yesterday they added Yelp in Chile.

I don’t check daily, but usually once a week I go into updates, scroll down the list and start looking at the notes.  It is not uncommon for me to open up the app from here. Especially if I am excited about new functionality in a favorite app.

For any developers out there, try to avoid the use of the words, “bug fixes.”  Be a specific as you can.  We want to know when things are fixed and appreciate the effort it takes to do them.  A note that says “bug fixes” seems a little lazy.

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