One Stupid Trick To Writing Better Release Notes Than Half the App Store

Terrible Release Notes

Sarah Perez at TechCrunch authored a great piece 3 years ago titled “App Release Notes Are Getting Stupid” that highlighted the terrible state of release notes in 2015… Things don’t look good today either.

Over 55% of the top apps have terrible release notes.

I pulled the release notes for 280 of the top free, paid, and highest grossing apps in the iOS App Store and painstakingly read and categorized them all. Luckily for me, over half of the release notes did not describe what was in the update and were thus short and quick to read – Less than 17 words on average.

Unfortunately for users and app developers, these types of release notes are more or less useless and fail to promote their brand or build a relationship between them and their customers.

What qualified as a terrible release note?

Let’s see some examples…

General fixes and stability improvements.

Bug fixes and improvements!

A few minor updates to make the app even better.

bug fix

Anything that doesn’t even attempt to describe the changes that a user could expect to see in an update fell into this bucket.

List Your Changes!

That’s all. That’s the one stupid trick.

If you list your changes instead of writing a copout release note like “bug fix,” you will be in the top half of the app store!

Stay Tuned…

Maybe you want to be in the top 10% of release notes in the app store?

Keep following this blog for:

  • Examples of the best release notes
  • Analysis on what goes into a good release note
  • Practical tips on upping your release note game
  • Tools to make writing your change logs easier

Also, check out my startup Appnouncements for a simple, small SDK that enables you and your whole team to embed beautiful release notes directly into your native iOS and Android apps.