That may sound like a dumb headline, but software updates are good. Really good. For many people, including me, it’s hard to suppress a cackle when I fire up the App Store on my iPhone or iPad and hit the update button, revealing endless possibilities. The little round number that appears is a daily reminder that, even when I purchase a fully functional and awesome app, there are developers beavering away behind the scenes adding features and improvements to surprise and delight me.
The reason that I’m writing with this headline is because some of the lesser tech-oriented members of the family have bitched and bitched about having to download endless updates to Lion, to iOS 5 and to their apps. But these people, and others, need to smell the roses. Updates rule.
Devs tend to update apps for a couple of reasons; stability & bug fixes, or to add cool new features. Both of these make it a good idea to issue and update to an app. If there are bugs, the developer patch means that you’ll stop seeing a hang or a crash. If it’s for new features or functionality, then that, in itself, is like getting cool stuff for free. Seriously, how can either of these reasons elicit an adverse reaction to the need to download an update?
It’s notable that Apple has put delta update functionality in the latest version of iOS. Now, users won’t have to download complete versions of the OS in order to update their device. While this will at least go some way to stopping the prolonged collective groan that follows a large update, it’s worth keeping a little perspective. Isn’t a few minutes spent downloading worth those extra 30 levels? It’s not like anybody is asking you to perform physical exertion to get the update. It’s not like it’s depleting the operating life of your modem. It’s just an update.
So the next time you call your parents and they start grumbling about their 17 updates….do them a favor and set them straight. Perhaps point out that the reason they have 17 updates is because they have been a little lax in hitting that button. Maybe you want to illustrate that the devs aren’t updating for the good of their health and that they don’t issue 400 meg updates to piss anyone off. Maybe carefully explain that they do it because it makes their creations better and that they should be grateful they aren’t being charged for it.
Now…back to those 30 new levels