Android Market Tweak Aims to Make Changelogs More Consistent



While many developers have been entering a changelog into the description text for the Android Market as a courtesy to users, Google is hoping to make the practice more consistent across applications and developers with a recent tweak to the market backend. A “Recent Changes” form has been added for developers to list out what’s new in the latest version of their app. The text entered is appended to the standard description, the result looking no different than what has become normal for many developers already.

With any luck we can expect to start seeing a changelog included with every application, but we get the feeling some developers will still neglect to provide this information.

[via AndroidCommunity]

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  1. I’m curious if this changelog section is part of the maximum description length or extra text. I feel like most developers neglect to show a changelog because it eats into their app’s description space.

  2. This is a great addition. The character limit on the fields was very limiting so it was tough to provide a good change log without sacrificing too much descriptive text about the app.

  3. @Derek: It’s extra space, 325+325. Just added changelogs to my apps :)

  4. Can wait to see this. I’ve been struggling to put the description and the changelog in the tiny space allow for description…

  5. I started using the version name to enter changes, which allowed me to maximize my description space for description. I’m actually liking putting my changes into the version name because the text stayed in the app source code and I display it to the user within the app so no need for double entering my changes into separate spaces. I’ll probably just stick with that, but I’m glad Google added this changelog space.

  6. @RubenGM: That’s great! This is one of the many changes that the market desperately needs.

  7. Kind of funny; the image used for this article is a perfect example of one of my biggest pet peeves: the description gives me absolutely no clue what the app actually does!

    Hopefully this feature will ensure that devs will always enter at least a basic description of the app, since now they have another field for update info.

  8. Edit: Ok, I just figured out that the screenshot was mis-leadingly scrolled down to show ONLY the update part; this app’s description in the market does actually give a description of the app. BUT my point still stands; there are some who either do not, or only give a very brief description of the app, so brief as to be pretty much useless.

  9. As a developer myself, I LOVE this feature. I’ve always neglected, for the most part, any kind of change-log simply because as it was I was cramped for space in my description. Now, with this, I can finally let my customers know what the newest features are, without having to hack into my description! :-) Thanks google… you ROCK! :-D

  10. What is still missing is the date on which the latest version of the app was released. It helps establish if the various users’ comments were for the latest version or an earlier one.

  11. UGH. Who cares? I’ve been waiting for paypal! Why waste everyone’s time with changelogs for apps most of the world can’t buy?

  12. I care. This is awesome. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.

    I couldn’t care less about PayPal. I use google checkout.

  13. Alex: I started doing that too, and actually am fairly happy with that solution. It also means that if you go to one of those aggregate sites (like AppBrain) you can see your entire change history, as they tend to list all the revision names. Like at the bottom of the page here:

  14. “We get the feeling some developers will stil neglect to provide this information.” Particularly some devs that could be named who put out updates that aren’t just to keep their trash apps in the “newest” catagory.

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