Do you think CT scanners in hospitals pop up messages in the middle of a brain scan telling the operator that there is a software update available? When was the last time your car stopped and flashed up a message saying software update needed? What about your TV? Or your satellite receiver? Probably never.
What about your computer? It seems like I get a message several times a week telling me that something needs an update. If it’s not the operating system, it’s the office software or the virus checking software or maybe a plug-in for my browser. It drives me nuts!
I have a laptop at home and a machine at work. Between them, I probably update some piece of software every day. On one day last week, my laptop needed an update as did the office software running on it and the flash player in the browser oh, and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Not only that, but my iPhone joined in the party and decided that what I really needed was an inferior maps application, so along came iOS6.
It’s a mess. All the time you spend updating all these software components compromises your productivity. Not only that, but all this change is risky. Software vendors seem to have improved at testing their updates, but even so, you always feel like you are taking a gamble when applying all these updates. At the end of the process – will you end up with a working machine or a nice looking brick.
And why does the software update process have to be so damned invasive? OK – so Acrobat may need an update – but do you think that I really want to know about it when I’ve just opened a document? Some update mechanisms allow you to specify options such as how often to check for updates and how to apply them – which is an improvement, but why do I have to do it separately for every application on the system.
I like the update system for apps on the iPhone and iPad. No painful pop up messages when you are trying to do something, just a little number hovering over the corner of the app store. If you are curious, you can go and see what the updates are and what they do. You can choose when to apply them – like when you plug your phone in for the night to charge. All in all, a very elegant system.
When can we have it in OSX and Windows? A single central source of software updates for the entire machine. No piece of software would be allowed to apply software updates any other way. Simple, elegant and non-invasive. Perfect.
- No installation time, no software to update, no set-up charge, no hassle! (privacydatasystems.wordpress.com)
- Speed Up Ur Acrobat Reader (almost Like Notepad) (onestep91.wordpress.com)
- turning off software updates (discussions.apple.com)
- Update Software to Keep Computer and Information Safe (esbjournal.com)
- Adobe patches critical Flash, Reader and Acrobat vulnerabilities (zdnet.com)
- iOS and Android update process compared (zdnet.com)