A new version is available

The surest sign that I’m getting old and cynical is that I still haven’t upgraded to the new version of OS X.

I have no excuse really, other than general apathy.

These days it feels like I’m constantly bombarded by messages like this:

A new version is available

It would be interesting to know what proportion of their time a typical user spends just downloading and installing new versions of the software they are using.

What could be done to make this better?

For a start there are some basic usability improvements that could easily be made.

The message above is typical in that it contains no information at all about the new version or any indication as to why I should upgrade.

And it’s timing is terrible – popping up and interrupting just as I start to use the software, rather than waiting until I’m finished and asking me then if I want to be distracted by downloading and installing a new version at that point.

I would much prefer if it could just download the new version and install itself at a convenient time, and not interrupt me at all with a pointless choice. Provided the changes are incremental and I could easily roll-back to the previous version if I ran into problems I’d be quite happy.

Or is that asking too much?

Of course, the ease with which a new version of the software can be released is a big advantage of web-based software.

Google has never once asked me if I want to upgrade to the latest version of their search engine, yet they make changes to it all the time.

Unfortunately it’s not that simple with software which is installed on the client operating system. But, there is hope …

If you’re a Mac user AppFresh is a neat little piece of software which can scan your entire system, identify any software which is not the latest version and automatically download and install the new versions for you.

On my system it found 87 apps and was able to recognise more than half. And it found updates for 12 of them.


Although, ironically, it doesn’t appear to work on Panther Leopard yet, so offers me another reason to procrastinate on that one. :-)

UPDATE (12-Nov): Oops – I had the wrong big cat. Leopard, I’m reliably informed, is the code name of the new version of OS X.

2 thoughts on “A new version is available”

  1. if you have to ask why you should upgrade (whether to Leopard or iTunes) then clearly your mac fanboy status is under threat. Get thee to macrumours and myapplemenu.

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