Bad Release Notes
• Bug fixes and performance improvements
Dedicated to shaming apps for their bad release notes.
Submissions are welcome by email or Twitter.
Bad News
March 18, 2019.

In short, I'm immediately suspending updates to Bad Release Notes, and I'll probably discontinue the site permanently.

I'd like to thank everyone who has read Bad Release Notes, and also apologize to them. Unfortunately, Bad Release Notes just hasn't caught on like I hoped. There are only 45 Twitter followers, many of whom I already know. On Friday there were fewer than 200 visitors to the web site. I'd like to thank Michael Tsai for the link, but that's the only site which gave coverage to Bad Release Notes. There's been no mention on Reddit, and the Hacker News item had only 3 points. The tech media haven't noticed at all.

I know that it seems very premature to give up after one week, but I'm not optimistic about future readership growth, and in the meantime it's a lot of work to keep the site updated. I tried to minimize the amount of work required to keep the site running, but it's still a non-trivial amount of manual labor for me. I don't think there's enough interest in the site to justify the effort. Sorry!

So long, and thanks for all the bug fixes and performance improvements.

Apple Support 3.0.2
Shamed on March 15, 2019.

Thanks for the "Support", Apple.

Apple Support 3.0.2
ACC Sports 8.0.3
Shamed on March 15, 2019.

I've never seen anyone in my life so excited about push notifications.

( PS CHECK YOUR WHITESPACE!)

ACC Sports 8.0.3
Bird 4.26.1
Shamed on March 15, 2019.

Unfortunately they did not support more Birds.

Bird 4.26.1
Trello 4.11.1 for iOS
Shamed on March 15, 2019.

WTF is this? I couldn't even fit the release notes in one screenshot. You have to follow the link to read them all — if you have a few hours to spare.

And they felt it necessary to include the 4.11.0 release notes twice, because if you're going to indulge in excess, why not go Caligula.

Trello 4.11.1 for iOS
WhatsApp Desktop 0.3.2277
Shamed on March 14, 2019.

Did someone order bug fixes and performance improvements? Who had the bug fixes and performance improvements?

WhatsApp Desktop 0.3.2277
Evernote 7.9 for macOS
Shamed on March 14, 2019.

My parents taught me that release notes are not a joke, and don't trust software updates from companies who use release notes as an excuse to plague users with sophomoric, self-indulgent attempts at humor. Thanks mom and dad!

Evernote 7.9 for macOS
Lyft 5.69.31
Shamed on March 14, 2019.

Every update of our Lyft app includes improvements in speed and reliability? Lyft launched in 2012, so wow, it must have been incredibly slow and unreliable. Keep up the "good" work!

How about highlighting new features for us in the release notes, which is the whole point of release notes?

Lyft 5.69.31
Yelp 12.31.0
Shamed on March 13, 2019.

Here's a hobby suggestion: writing release notes!

Yelp 12.31.0
Duolingo 6.9.0
Shamed on March 13, 2019.

Hoo hoo hooooo wrote these terrible release notes?

Duolingo 6.9.0
OpenTable 12.12.0
Shamed on March 13, 2019.

How about cooking up some release notes?

OpenTable 12.12.0
Netflix 11.24.2
Shamed on March 13, 2019.

I haven't lived with my dad since I was a kid, and my grandmothers have passed away, so maybe just stick to the facts and tell us what changed?

Netflix 11.24.2
YouTube 14.09
Shamed on March 13, 2019.

YouTube get off my lawn!

Then you can go back in time and fix it so that we have release notes.

YouTube 14.09
Spark 2.2.0
Shamed on March 12, 2019.

Are these release notes for iOS or macOS?

Spark 2.2.0

It turns out, both! The screenshot is from the Mac App Store, but Spark 2.2.0 has identical release notes in the iOS App Store.

Unfortunately, we may see even more of this in the future after Apple allows third party developers to port iOS apps to macOS with "Marzipan".

macOS 10.14.3
Shamed on March 12, 2019.

On Mojave, system software updates have moved from the Mac App Store to System Preferences. This new design is not without flaw. For example, the links in these release notes are neither clickable nor selectable.

macOS 10.14.3

In addition, the linked support documents do not seem, shall we say, comprehensive?

What's new in the updates for macOS Mojave
macOS 10.14.4 Beta 5
Shamed on March 12, 2019.

The release notes for macOS 10.14.4 Beta 5 are too long to screenshot here, but if you open the link and read them, they appear informative at first glance.

Looks can be deceiving, though. Experienced Apple developers know better. I retrieved a cached copy of the Beta 4 release notes from Google Search, copied and pasted both versions of the release notes into faithful BBEdit (an app whose release notes don't suck), and used the command "Compare Two Front Windows".

Differences between Beta 4 and 5

There were only three differences between the release notes for Beta 4 and Beta 5. One difference was that the Beta 4 notes were cached. The other two differences were simply "4" replaced with "5". Besides that, the two documents are identical.

Google's cache
Line14
Line 21

So what are we supposed to test in Beta 5? "Everything", it appears.

This is Apple's standard practice with beta versions, iOS as well as macOS. Beta testers are not given informative release notes from one beta version to the next, making it very difficult to know what changed.

Keynote 8.3 for macOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

We start with the keynote. Namely, Apple Keynote. Apple is ultimately responsible for "curating" the release notes in their App Stores, so let's see whether the company sets a good example for third party developers.

SPOILER ALERT: Nope.

Keynote 8.3 for macOS
Numbers 5.3 for macOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

At least Apple's release notes are stable.

Numbers 5.3 for macOS
GarageBand 10.3.2 for macOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

Stability improvements and bug fixes?
Apparently instability is not a bug.

GarageBand 10.3.2 for macOS
Texture 5.11.8 for iOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

Apple recently acquired the Texture magazine app.
As always, we want your release notes.

Texture 5.11.8 for iOS
Tumblr 12.8 for iOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

12.8 doesn't come bearing the gift of release notes.
Ahhh, sweet, sweet hokum.

Tumblr 12.8 for iOS
Google Maps 5.12 for iOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

Help me discover new release notes and navigate to them.

Google Maps 5.12 for iOS
Facebook 210.0 for iOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

We update the app regularly so we can make it better for you.
At version 210, it must be the best app ever made amirite.

Facebook 210.0 for iOS
Instagram 83.0 for iOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

Another Facebook property.
Another lack of release notes.

Instagram 83.0 for iOS
United Airlines 3.0.2 for iOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

Bug fixes are the new enhancements.
Fly the release note free skies!

United Airlines 3.0.2 for iOS
Twitter 7.43 for iOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

Imagine there's no release notes. It's easy if you try.

Twitter 7.43 for iOS
Tweetbot 3.2.1 for macOS
Shamed on March 11, 2019.

Tweetbot 3.2 was released on November 7, 2018. If Tweetbot 3.2.1 had followed a week or two later, it would have been fine to include the previous version's release notes. But four months later?? At least the old notes were informative. The new note is… not.

Tweetbot 3.2.1 for macOS