Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No New Software to Install

It's a bit ironic that the first product I discuss here is an Apple product because Apple probably has more of a brand reputation than anyone else for products that "just work". In fact, one could say this reputation for elegance is the reason there are so many loyal Mac enthusiasts. One could also say that what launched the iPhone revolution in smartphones was the first phone browser and general smartphone UI that actually worked well enough for regular people to use on a regular basis.

That said, Apple doesn't get everything right. As any of you who have iTunes or QuickTime installed on your computer know (I own an iPod so I have iTunes), every one in a while, you get a pop-up on your computer saying that Apple has a new version of iTunes or QuickTime or both to install. No problem, if the download won't bother your usage at the time, you hit OK and let it go.

After giving your permission to proceed, it then downloads the new version and installs it. Then, here's where the wackiness shows itself. Right when it has finished installing the newly updated software, it again checks to see if there's new software to install, reports that there is no new software to install and sits there on screen with a prompt telling you so.

So, duh didn't you just find that new software was available, ask me to install it, receive my consent and then install the new software? Why in the world would you then check for new software availability again and make me respond to the result of that request which (on my computer) has never, ever found anything more to do.

The design just looks broken to me. Auto-installers like this should be designed to be minimally invasive in your computing life. You should be able to control them so they don't go doing things you don't want them to do, but once you send them off on a task, they should ask you any questions they need to ask up front and then after that, they should just go do it without bothering you any more.

So, once I say go, do the install, have some non-interrupting way of showing me when it's done (like a bubble out of the windows task bar), but don't make me respond to any more prompts and don't do any more work than required. Why check for new software after just updating me to the only new software that was available last time it checked?

If a Windows upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, went through all it steps to upgrade to Windows 7 and then when it finished, it proceeded to analyze your computer to see if it needs an upgrade to Windows 7, you'd think that installer was laughable. That's what is seems that the Apple upgrader is doing.

Is this issue a big deal? No. But, it would be really easy to make it "just work" the way you expect. Fix it Apple.

No comments:

Post a Comment