I wish Android’s app update list included changelogs

App updates come out every week, and in some cases everyday. When you have multiple devices across multiple OSes, that’s even more true. The difference in how these updates are presented however is something that is not in Android’s favor.

On the iPad, app updates are presented like you see in the left image above. You have basic info about the app, and then you have the changelog. This makes it very easy to see what’s changed, and since you basically need one of these logs to keep up with new features in apps, there isn’t much point in blindly updating them without reading the changelog.

The same core principle is true on Android, but whoever designed the update list doesn’t seem to have gotten that. You have your basic app info, sure, but a changelog? Nope. To find out what’s new in an app, you actually have to click your way through to it. And by “it” I mean the full description page, not just a quick changelog. The info is then hidden under the “What’s new” section, often shorted even when you click your way through from the update list. This is the same for both tablets and phones, unlike iOS where the iPad gets the changelog in the list. Pair that with the lack of an approval process, making it easier for developers to release small updates quickly on Android, and you find yourself with update after update in which it takes forever to find the changelog.

This might sound like a minor annoyance, and if you update apps rarely or have few apps, it might be. When you have several devices and tons of (often different) apps on each, it becomes annoying very quickly. Android is becoming infamous for not utilizing the screen real estate on tablets properly, and Google isn’t exactly leading by example. Perhaps that’s also why the iPad seem to have a stronger position relative to Android tablets than the iPhone does to Android phones.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.