Android beta apps changelog tracker by TestingCatalog
"Now you can receive a daily changelogs summary email from TestengCatalog for your favorited apps."
Table of Content
- Google Play: 47 pending updates... pfff... Update All
- Why Google or Facebook doesn't update changelogs?
- TestingCatalog changelogs emails
- How does it work?
- How to manage favorite apps list
- How to disable changelogs notifications
Google Play: 47 pending updates... pfff... Update All
"What was changed in this update?" Every beta tester was asking this question to himself at least once. Some apps have detailed changelogs, some apps don't update changelogs at all and some rolling changes gradually and you will have no idea what to expect and when.
My favorite changelog is "Fixed some bugs, introduced a couple of new bugs to fix them later" :D I don't remember where it from but I like it a lot.
The simplest solution is hitting "Update All" and hoping to discover something cool later on. I am trying to be aware of important changes for apps I am using but even in this case I am hitting "Update All" too often without checking the content.
For the average user, it is probably a good solution. But I am not a part of this group, I am a beta tester and I care about changelogs a lot more than other. Why?
- As a beta tester, I want to bring valuable feedback. Smaller scope requires a lower amount of time to verify a test case. Clear changelog limits testing scope. Basically, the detailed and focused question leads to the detailed and focused answer.
- Bugs are living together. Architecture complexity is one of the reasons for bug existence. Solving small issues without fixing a root cause may introduce new bugs in close areas. By knowing what was exactly fixed I can verify if nearby areas were affected.
- Changelogs could be treated as short test cases for regression testing.
Why Google or Facebook doesn't update changelogs?
A huge part of this is under developers responsibility and it is always good to see them communicating recent changes to the community. However, in some case, it might be tricky. Some companies have a huge user base and they are rolling their changes by stages or regions. In this case, it just doesn't make sense to write them b/c those changes will become visible to everyone even if the user doesn't have them.
As I mentioned before, some apps don't have proper changelogs. But there are a lot of other apps who have them and this is what I've done.
TestingCatalog changelogs emails.
I added an experimental functionality which sends an email with beta apps changelogs for your favorited apps automatically.
Why would I need it?
- Some apps have Google Plus communities where they are publishing extra changelogs or announcements. It is quite hard to track G+ posts if you have a lot of subscriptions.
- Some apps are too critical because you are using them frequently and you don't want them to break. But at the same time, you are interested in trying new features. You can simply have a stable release app installed and keep track on beta updates by checking changelogs.
- You have tried a couple of beta apps and you liked them but they were buggy or didn't have necessary functionality. You may want to try them once again if developers will something.
- You have a lot of beta apps on your phone and you just want to have a clear summary of all changes at one place.
How does it work?
TestingCatalog contains information about more then 500 beta apps and more than 200 beta testing communities.
For each app, I am capturing What's New section on google play.
And a pinned post from Google Plus community if it exists.
This data comes to the database for moderation. After the moderation step, it becomes visible on the website in updates list section Beta Apps Changelogs and in the project updates sections.
Usually, I am running this at mornings CET time and sharing those updates during the day in Beta Updates Google Plus collection Beta Updates
Also, it will become available in the TestingCatalog Android app "What's New" section very soon.
Since this week I also started to send daily emails in case if the app was updated and the user marked it as a favorite. It is still an experimental feature and it might be changed in future. I want to check how useful it is before moving forward. This is an example of such email.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition beta https://www.testingcatalog.com/project/356
What's new in 1.2.8:Various bug fixes
What's new in version 1.2.7?
Celebrate the 12 days of Minecraft! From December 21 through January 1, visit the Minecraft marketplace to snag a daily free gift and explore the rest of the new holiday content. But hurry – each free gift is only available for 24 hours!
My long-term plan is to add push notifications and favoriting functionality to the Android app (Favoriting is only available on the website now).
How to manage your Favourites.
This is doable on the website (will be released on the Android app next year)
- Login to the TestingCatalog
- Search for your favorite app by name
- Open Project details page of your favorite app
- Click on the "Heart" icon in the top-left corner of the details card
- Open Favorites List from the side navigation menu to check the list of your favorited apps
Each time the app from your favorite list updates, you will receive a changelogs summary email (only once a day).
How to disable email notifications.
You can always disable this functionality by turning "Updates Subscription" in your User Settings
Please let me know what do you think about this feature and how would you improve it? Do you have a use case for it?