Apple is Tightening the Rules on 'What's New' Changelogs in App Store

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Apple this week informed members of its Developer Program that it will be enforcing stricter rules for "What's New in This Version," the section on the App Store in which developers can list changes they made to their apps.


Starting in April, developers will only be able to edit the "What's New" text when submitting a new version of their app. In other words, any changes to the text will now be subject to Apple's standard App Store review process.

The requirement will extend to editing an app's support URL or marketing URL, according to Apple's announcement posted in iTunes Connect.

While this is a minor change, Apple evidently felt the need to have a little more control over information passing through the App Store without its approval. It's possible that a few developers were taking advantage of the flexibility for bad reasons, such as pointing support or marketing URLs to malicious websites.

Top Rated Comments

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30 months ago
Good, because I really hate that "We update our apps regularly..." spiel that a lot of developers have as their update notes.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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30 months ago
Looking at you Facebook...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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30 months ago
Hope this means developers have to write real release notes. Pretty tired of seeing novels in there.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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30 months ago
Apple should get really strict on this. If developers don't say what they've actually changed or fixed on every update then the app shouldn't be allowed on the app store until they do.

It's not hard to provide release notes. Facebook is a big culprit, don't think they've listed actual change logs in many years.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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30 months ago

Good, because I really hate that "We update our apps regularly..." spiel that a lot of developers have as their update notes.

I don't think this policy change will fix that. I may be reading the article wrong, but it appears this only prevents updates to the "what's new" text and the "help" URL listed in the App description between actual app updates. There is nothing I see where more detailed notes are going to be required, only whatever text and URLs that are submitted with the version update cannot be changed by the developer until they submit another new version for review.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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30 months ago
!!!!!!! YES!

I'm Effing sick of lazy-developers making monumental changes to their applications with the note "Bug Fixes" and I've had jerk-off developers reply to my 1-star reviews indicating their change-log didn't include any changes with "no one reads them" or "what would you have us do differently?" How about instead of replying to every app store review, you actually write what changed.

Here's my recent issue with Fuelly - http://adamchandler.me/blog/2018/01/09/technology-rants-developers-need-to-stop-lying-in-their-changelogs-on-the-app-store/

They closed down the app and went paid-model and their change-log indicated nothing that after I updated it'd tell me to uninstall the app and switch to their monthly subscription model. I never would have updated if I knew this going into it.

I honestly don't care if the general public doesn't understand ChangeLog but a lot of us do and want to know what to expect when we optionally update our applications.


.....and to that, Apple itself has gotten lazy. Looking at their recent OSX updates versus the old ones, they used to write 50 lines of what changed in a point update. Now it's just 3-4 main features. It's lazy. I liked finding all of the small changes and reading release notes.

Here's the 10.3.4 Release notes: https://www.cnet.com/news/mac-os-x-10-3-6-special-report-release-notes/

Look at all of that amazing data geeks can read.

10.13.2:

This update:

- Improves compatibility with certain third-party USB audio devices
- Improves VoiceOver navigation when viewing PDF documents in Preview
- Improves compatibility of Braille displays with Mail
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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