April 11, 2014 Last Updated 8:37 am

Friday’s app updates produce some, awkward moments: Dropbox, Twitter, Yelp

The recent batch of app updates are boring enough to simply ignore, except that a pattern has certainly emerged: there are bugs to be fixed, but few new features to add. For the past six months the emphasis has been solidly on issuing bug fixes to compensate for Apple’s decision to place bad esthetics before solid software development. The result has been a flood of app updates trying to stop crashes, losses of data, and to stop users from thinking every developer is an idiot.

Dropbox-icon-featureWhat is missing are those updates that used to occur occasionally that added new features. Remember those? A move to Newsstand, push notifications, air print, etc.

That may be why, when a company like Dropbox updates its app to fix a few bugs, the real news is less about the app and the service than the rather odd decision to appoint Condoleezza Rice to the board. The tech community is up in arms because Rice is seen as a cold warrior/Iraq War supporter, who authorized eavesdropping on UN Security Council members. I think there is a greater chance that Rice was named to the board because someone at Dropbox wants tickets to Stanford football games than any desire to have Rice globe trot around for the company.

But the move could spur a run on high profile board appointments. Will Go Daddy rush to add Dick Chaney to their board in response?

Yelp is one of those companies that likes to have fun in its app descriptions for its updates. Most often their humor is lost on me – its a damn update, after all.

But sometimes it might be best to just say “bug fix” and leave it be. But Yelp can’t help itself, it seems.

The latest update says “You don’t need to exploit a heartbleed vulnerability for us to leak this awesome update to you!” Yeah, that’s a good one.

Other companies are taking Heartbleed more seriously. Yesterday, Mag+ sent an email explaining the actions they were taking to deal with the vulnerability, and this morning CoverPage sent an email to users saying they can expect their servers to occasionally be down as they work to fix issues related to Heartbleed.

Twitter, which issues updates every two weeks as a marketing strategy, has issued its 9th update of the year. Again, all the app description says is “Various bug fixes.” But one really has to doubt that there is anything new in this latest update: Twitter issues updates every two weeks as a marketing strategy, have you heard?

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