I hate when an update breaks an app

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: April 10, 2014

Earlier this month, on April 2 to be exact, I wrote about how I was considering, or planning to, tone down being an early adopter. The whole thing just hasn't really been working out for me lately, and I don't need the heartache. A few days later I realized that I probably should have published that article a day before, so I could have said, "April Fool's Day!" when I eventually ignore my whole "don't buy things right away" down the road.

Buying new hardware is certainly one of my pain points for being one of those people who needs to have things right away, but it's not my only vice in the same category. Actually, what might be worse is my insatiable need to have new software on my phone. That used to be just focused on the newest version of whatever mobile operating system I happen to be using at the time, because I love updates and I love getting new features, but like the mobile industry as a whole those needs have evolved.

I don't have a lot of applications on my phone these days, because while I try a lot out, not many of them stick around. But, the apps that I do have? I want them on the newest version of whatever software they have. All the time. My devices automatically update apps when they can, and I feel like it has taken all the fun out of it. (Thankfully, now, our devices tell us which apps have been updated after the fact. So that's nice.) Do you remember when there used to be a notification for when your app needed to be updated? Ah, those were the days.

Basically, I love updates. New stuff makes me a happy camper. Until it breaks something.

Hey, it happens. There's a lot (a lot!) that goes into developing an app, even a small one, so when the developers issue an update that offers new features, tweaks settings, or otherwise alters the way the app works from a previous versions, it's perfectly possible that something breaks along the way. It's up to the users to announce that to the devs, so they can issue a fix (if it warrants one). I always hope for a quick turn-around in situations like that, but sometimes it's just not possible.

In April of 2012, I was having a back-and-forth situation between Spotify and Rdio. I couldn't choose. I kept going to one, using it, finding something I didn't like or something that didn't work the way I wanted it to, and then switching to the other and having the same situation there. (In my defense, I had been a staunch supporter for Zune and Zune Music, so using something else was just not okay with me.) I eventually settled on Spotify (after switching to/using just about every other music streaming service out there, sometimes more than once), and I was happy to see that on April 2, they released an updated version of their app.

This was a big update. It changes the way Spotify looks in a lot of impressive ways (it looks like a darker version of Rdio, so that's kind of funny, considering), and that's something that users have been clamoring for for quite some time. Along with that updated look, though, they changed a few key ways that the app works, like dropping the 'Stars' from the app, so that you can't favorite a song that you hear on the fly, to download it or whatever you want later. Now, you just save the song to your 'My Music' section and call it a day.

That 'My Music' section is part of the 'Collection View' that Spotify has been talking about for years now, it seems, so it's good to finally see it rolling out to users. The trouble is, Spotify rolled out the update to their mobile app and apparently decided to leave out the 'My Music' part of it altogether for the majority of users. So, I've got the update, and I know quite  a few others who have, too, but they're missing the 'Collection View' as well. Basically, we got, maybe, half an update.

That's not even the biggest issue for me, though. This latest update broke Spotify. I've gone through the reviews of the newest update for the app, and a lot of people are having the same issues I am. The app works great for a short period of time, but eventually it will start lagging, and sometimes it can takes several seconds to switch a song. Yesterday, I counted 20-seconds between the time I skipped a track and the app actually skipped to the next track. Even the notable audio tone took 20 seconds to sound off.

The app is now prone to freezing altogether and crashing completely. Perhaps worse of all, though, is Spotify's alteration of the Filter option, which previously allowed for me to filter a particular artist, an album, or even a specific track based on title. This allowed me to listen to a specific artist or album when I wanted, and after the filter was placed I could put Spotify in full-screen mode again and call it good. Not anymore. Now, after I apply the filter, the moment I put the app back into full-screen mode it kicks me back into the 'All Music' playlist I have set up, negating the filter altogether.

This wouldn't be an issue if I had the 'My Music' version of the update, though.

I can't help but find it ironic that on April 2, I wrote about not wanting to be an early adopter, and then Spotify releases an update to their app that I don't even hesitate on downloading and here I am again, regretting that decision.

April Foo-- I wish.

Products mentioned

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