Update Overload

Like me, you probably have a lot of software on your computer. If you own a smartphone such as an iPhone or an Android device, you may have heard of this thing called "updates".

It seems like every time I turn on my computer I am greeted with a notification that there are new updates for my system. I love and hate this. I love updates because it usually means a problem has been fixed in the software I am using or a new feature has been added. I hate it because I usually have to interact with this notification to actually install the update.

I can understand that users like the control of choosing what updates to apply and will defend their right to not update their system until the last breath. To all those people that complain that they don't like their system getting updated automatically let me ask you this: How often have you declined to install an update when asked?

I will bet that most people just agree to install the update. So why is that if this is the norm, users are still burdened by having to be involved in day to day updates. Users inherently trust the developers of the software they use to have tested the update before pushing it out, so why are we required to confirm we still trust them with every update.

Some software applications are starting to do this. Chrome is a good example. Google decided that it since users usually install all the updates anyway, why bother them with notifications and dialog boxes, Chrome just updates itself quietly in the background. Google also added this feature to the Android operating system for application that are downloaded from the Android Market. Users can allow an application to automatically update itself without user intervention.

I still think that there should be an option to turn off automatic update, but I think it's time to make updates opt-out instead of opt-in.