Mac users with non-Mac App Store apps may have to wander around their third party app collection to see what needs an update, but MacUpdater can fix that. The rest of us just sit back and enjoy because Apple is the king of tech gadget upgrades and updates.
By this time next year about 60-percent of all Mac users will have upgraded to the upcoming macOS Catalina. This year, nearly 90-percent of iPhone and iPad users will have already tasted the benefits of iOS 12 before digging into the upgraded delights found in iOS 13.
Apple is the kind of gadget upgrades and updates and nobody is even a close second place. Not Windows PCs. Not Android OS.
It will take a few years before Android smartphone users get to use the latest version of Android OS. Most will miss it entirely, hold onto their old smartphones a few more years, then get the new version when it comes with a new phone. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone and iPad customers get multiple updates throughout the year, then, each year, on schedule, the latest iOS update actually makes their devices work better than they did when they were new.
What about Windows 10 and PCs?
Nathan and I work in a large private school administering many hundreds of computers; Windows PCs, Macs, iPads, Chromebooks; and we help out staff, faculty, and students with their iPhone issues, too.
Guess which devices are easier to administer? Tech writer Ed Bott knows what we know and asked the question he already answered:
Has Microsoft cleaned up its update mess?
Windows upgrades have become so bad that Bott included the answer to the question– with apologies to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines– within the headline itself.
Think about OS updates. Apple has iOS for iPhone (and, soon, a version exclusively for iPads), macOS for Mac, and a version for Apple TV and Apple Watch.
Microsoft has Windows for PCs and the number of versions is mind numbing.
Microsoft is no longer supplying updates on separate channels for consumers and business customers. Instead, the initial public release goes to the Semi-Annual Channel, with no more Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) option. (And even those names represented changes from the original November 2015 designation of Current Branch and Current Branch for Business.)
It won’t matter because by this time next year Microsoft will change it again. Microsoft blocks some PCs from receiving updates while allow it on others.
Just how bad is it?
The ever-changing rules governing Windows Update for Business sometimes feel like a game of Calvinball, from Bill Watterson’s classic “Calvin & Hobbes” comic strip. In Calvinball, you make up the rules as you go. And it doesn’t matter if you start with an organized sport. “Sooner or later,” says Calvin, “all our games turn into Calvinball.”
The single most important rule for Apple, Microsoft, Android, Chrome, Linux or any update required for hardware is simple.
For most of us who have been long time Apple customers, even if we date our tech lives back to the last century, back to where disks prevailed and we needed to stand in line for the next Mac OS upgrade– for a price– Apple sets the standard.
As administrators we deal with a variety of hardware, each on its own update or upgrade schedule. The one we worry about most is Microsoft’s Windows. God only knows what will happen with each upgrade. The one we worry about the least is Apple’s. Which ones? All of them. Whatever problems are caused by an Apple-based upgrade or update can be fixed easily and quickly.
Not so with Windows.
Android smartphones fall in the middle of the group; mostly because they receive so few updates or upgrades over the life of a product anyway. I suspect your experience mirrors ours with hundreds of devices. Apple gear problems? Not so much. Everything else is problematic.