Posted by Martin R. 10 months ago

Changelogs: How Important Are They?


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Have you ever updated one of your Samsung devices or one of their apps?

You probably have, and you probably have stumbled upon the same question as we do: what have they changed? Samsung almost never offers a changelog, and even when it does, information in the changelog is so scant that you’re still left wondering as to what new features/changes the update brings.

Let’s take the example of Samsung’s Gear Manager app for the Galaxy Gear. The app gets updated quite often, but is never accompanied by any changelog. However, someone recently inquired on Facebook about an update to Gear Manager, and Samsung managed to cough up this changelog:

- Improved pedometer accuracy
- Add setting menu “Motions”
- Change motion menu for wake up gesture
- When connecting to device again (example: after powering on), send notification of    all unread messages
- Changed to send notification only for new message
- Fix to add popup message for BT connection without GM in setup wizard
- Implemented standalone alarm
- Add additional PIN lock
- Changed and improved notifications menu
- Implemented more notifications
- Gear shows the messages of the notification of quick panel displayed on the phone

(“Initially this was a changelog for the latest Gear Manager but as that one doesn’t sport these features, this could be a future changelog of an unreleased version”)

Now that’s what you call a good changelog, right? However, there is also a grey area when it comes to exactly how much information in a changelog is enough.
If bugs were fixed, do you want to know which bugs were fixed, or is “bug fixes” enough info? Does “stability improvements” sound like a good change, or do you want to know how exactly the stability has been improved? Where do you draw the line for how much information is enough in an update’s changelog?

Of course, those questions are unimportant as long as Samsung continues this practice of offering updates without changelogs, but what do you guys think? Are changelogs important for you, are they partially important, or do you really don’t care as long as your device/app gets an update?

Sound off in the comments below!

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9 comments on “Changelogs: How Important Are They?

  1. bunyospityu 10 months ago said:

    “Your Samsung account needs to be updated.”
    And then something of some size gets downloaded with god knows what speed, and hell knows what’s actually happening. It just needs to get updated. Like why?

    Just… what?

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  2. Rafal_0 10 months ago said:

    I would want to know about changes

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  3. w24ssy 10 months ago said:

    Detailed changelogs are very important to me when available. Ive had updates before hoping they’d cure specific issues and not touched it but created others or removed a feature that I wanted or added something i didn’t want. I think they should make a thorough list available through an expansion box or something.

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  4. rc1138 10 months ago said:

    It would be good to know beforehand if there are some major changes in the update instead of the usual gamble.

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  5. asaf666 10 months ago said:

    since i work as a QA engineer for the past 8 years i find myslef always looking at changelogs for every app and every firmware i use. it’s very important to know what’s changed mainly because of new features and for other stuff as well like battery improvements and stability and preformence. i wouldn’t need to know too much about technical info but just knowing a portion of the problem fixed is enough.

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  6. kevintomz 10 months ago said:

    changelogs are important for me…

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  7. zstef 10 months ago said:

    That’s the main gripe I have with Samsung. No changelogs whatsoever.
    Software is slowly improving but they still don’t follow many of the main rules of software development.
    Changelogs should be mandatory.
    A simple list of the main features and changes for an average user with an option to get the detailed list of features, changes and solved bugs for an advanced and more courious user.

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  8. vitias.ru 10 months ago said:

    Of course changelogs are important!
    Me personally would like to see what’s new in every update!
    For example, I have found a bug and reported for it to Samsung (I usually do). I would like to know whether it is fixed or not!
    Of course this isn’t the only reason, but I thought it would be a good example.

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  9. dar007 10 months ago said:

    very annoying that i need to install almost every update ,instead of knowing what the changes were,and i’ll decide if i’am interested in the update.

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