What are software release notes?

Release notes tell customers what changed between, say, App 1.0 and App 2.0. At minimum, software release notes should have the following:

  • A list of new features and the value they add to the app.
  • Known issues (bugs) and workarounds.
  • If for App 2.0, give a status on the known issues listed in App 1.0’s release notes. Were they fixed or do they still exist? If they still exist, are there any new workarounds?

Release notes should not include future features or promises that a bug will be fixed in the next release. How can a customer use a future feature, and what if the bug doesn’t get fixed in the next release?

Think of release notes like the ingredients list on a box of Cheerios: you won’t find ingredients they plan to add next year.