Updates are available

posted by Jeff | Friday, December 21, 2012, 12:33 PM | comments: 0

I know that I've expressed my distaste for the apptasticness that has permeated mobile devices. For a lot of situations, I'd guess 90% of the apps on my phone and tablets that I never use anyway, could have just as well been Web-based apps that would work just as well. And by being Web-based, they would be available on every platform, including my desktop and laptop computers. It's a whole lot less work for the developers, too, to target one, universal platform.

But there's another side effect that I had not thought about as much, and it's the most annoying one to the user. I'm talking about updates. It used to be just my phone, and it was infrequent that some app had an update. Now it's the phone, the tablets, and even Windows 8 and OS X. There's always a nag badge or live tile reminding me that something has to be updated. Worse, sometimes an app says, "Sorry dude, I won't work until you update me." It's completely annoying.

You know what happens from a user perspective when a Web app needs to be updated? Nothing. It might look different, and have new features, but getting the new version took no effort on my part. "Updates available" is a step backward for the Internet.


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