Apple Software Update - Oh No!

November 24, 2008 at 12:26 PMBen

I have three pieces of software from Apple installed on my computer.  iTunes, Quicktime and the Apple Software Update service.  Safari is installed on a virtual machine, but I digress.

Every few weeks, the Apple Software Update service pops open a window telling me updates for iTunes/Quicktime are available.  I like to keep my software up to date, but the updates for these programs are ridiculous.  The entire application needs to be downloaded for the update.  This amounts to around 80 MBs.  Then, because the entire program is being installed, the installation (er, I mean "update") takes an additional minute or two, and finally a system reboot is required for changes to take effect.

This entire process is wrong in so many ways.  The download should only be a delta / diff download consisting of what's actually changed.  Instead of an 80 megabyte download, it should be a few megs at the most.  It shouldn't take so long for the update to be applied, and a required system reboot doesn't make sense.  iTunes and Quicktime are just applications -- not system applications or DLLs that can't be updated while Windows is running.  Something is not designed correctly with this software if files cannot be updated while Windows is running.  Perhaps the system reboot requirement wouldn't be necessary if the update was just the changed bits and not the entire application.

These applications are mostly insignificant to me, so dealing with this update process is a pain when I need to close all my applications for the required reboot.

On a related note, the Apple Software Update service shows "Updates" and "New Software" in its UI window.  iTunes and Quicktime show up under "Updates".  Safari shows up under New Software since it's not installed on this computer.  No problem there, however, normally a checkmark next to Safari shows up by default.  I need to uncheck the box or else new software will be installed.  This, to me, is a somewhat dirty business practice.  Software update programs shouldn't be trying to slip new applications onto people's computers.  I recall seeing the Safari icon on the desktop of friend's computer recently.  He didn't know what the icon was and had never heard of Safari.  He does have iTunes installed on his computer though.  Hmm... I wonder if there's a connection there??

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