Monday brought in a long list of updates from Apple for macOS Sierra, iOS 10, tvOS, and, watchOS. In one day Apple provided operating system updates available for about 1-billion customers and their devices.
Who else does that?
Not Android. The last Android update from a year ago has yet to crack 10-percent penetration of Android devices. Not Windows. Microsoft’s newest, Windows 10, has about 500-million users and that took years to implement with free and forced upgrades.
Generally speaking, Apple’s somewhat frequent upgrades to new versions of the company’s operating systems seems to go mostly painless for hundreds of millions of customers. Near the end of of the summer of 2016 Apple introduced iOS 10 at about the time 90-percent of all iPhone and iPad users had upgraded to iOS 9. This year, at WWDC in early June, Apple will announce iOS 11, and later in the summer or early fall, nearly 1-billion customers will begin the upgrade process.
Folks, this is no mean feat.
Upgrades to anything new have a long and tangled history. Remember when MacOS came on floppy disks? I do. Yes. I’m that old (but I started using Macs when I was younger). Then MacOS came on CDs/DVDs. Then we stood in line for the latest version of OS X at $129 (got a few free t-shirts that way). Here we are moving rapidly into the 21st century and if you want macOS Sierra on a DVD or a flash drive, you have to make it yourself.
Updates these days are mostly painless affairs.
Not that many years ago I would wipe my Mac clean before installing a new OS X upgrade. That stopped with OS X Lion and the App Store upgrades. Since then, I just upgrade when the newest version is available (within a day or so) and have yet to be burned for my youthful exuberance. For the most part, upgrades from old to new just work.
Always? No. Browse around the Mac support groups online within a week after a major or minor OS upgrade and you’ll see some users with problems, but for most of us, it just works. That said, I’m sufficiently old school that I make sure to backup everything before a new upgrade or update is installed. I’ll clone my Macs, and then backup iPhone and iPad to iTunes and iCloud before installing the latest and greatest.
That might be some fear on my part because I’ve never had to back out an upgrade, but I have had instances where an OS upgrade would render an application mostly worthless until the app developer did an upgrade, but even those days are few and far between.
Within short order early Monday I upgraded two Macs, an iPhone and an iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV (and began the same process for my parent’s devices). You can hate upgrades and updates when they go wrong or when they’re available at an inconvenient time or location, but Apple has the process down to the level of boring.