The Role of User Reviews in App Updates: A Preliminary Investigation on App Release Notes

by   Chong Wang, et al.

Release planning for mobile apps has recently become an area of active research. Prior research in this area concentrated on the analysis of release notes and on tracking user reviews to support app evolution with issue trackers. However, little is known about the impact of user reviews on the evolution of mobile apps. Our work explores the role of user reviews in app updates based on release notes. For this purpose, we collected user reviews and release notes of Spotify, the 'number one' app in the 'Music' category in Apple App Store, as the research data. Then, we manually removed non-informative parts of each release note, and manually determined the relevance of the app reviews with respect to the release notes. We did this by using Word2Vec calculation techniques based on the top 80 app release notes with the highest similarities. Our empirical results show that more than 60 reviews are actually irrelevant to the corresponding release notes. When zooming in at these relevant user reviews, we found that around half of them were posted before the new release and referred to requests, suggestions, and complaints. Whereas, the other half of the relevant user reviews were posted after updating the apps and concentrated more on bug reports and praise.


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