I’ve just upgraded WordPress to its latest version, and can say without any doubts that its upgrade process is by far the best I’ve seen for any Web-based tools.
Why I think it’s great? Because you have to perform 2 mouse clicks and wait a couple of seconds, and you can continue working on your WordPress (upgraded) blog without any other hassles.
Looking at that made me think about the update process of mobile applications.
In many cases, applications are simply not aware of the availability of updated versions, and so users are supposed to manually check (e.g.: going on the publisher website) for updates. What does this mean? Simple: terrible User Experience (if even we can say that), and in most cases old (and possibly bugged) versions of your applications running everywhere.
For this reasons, developers started to implement their own “updates-availability-check” systems, letting their applications check for updates and prompt the user about the availability of those. Anyway, this approach has 2 important drawbacks:
- users must open the application in order to have it check for updates
- the very same logic (checking for updates, downloading and installing the updated application) is replicated in each application
Luckily enough, mobile platforms are fast moving toward an integrated approach, based on the concept that updates have to be pushed to the user. Examples of this are iPhone and Maemo, both notifying the user in case of available updates.
While this is currently the best approach from a UX point of view, the same makes me wonder if a better approach (maybe totally transparent to the user?) could ever be possible, considering all the technology and security concerns of such an approach when talking about mobile devices.