Apple is the new Borg.
If you haven’t heard, Apple has decided to start forcing Safari down your throat if you use iTunes, Quicktime, or any of their other Windows software.
In response, lots of Apple fans have jumped to their defense. They say that users read the dialog before clicking “update.” They say users will welcome their new Apple overlords. They say it’s okay because “Microsoft is worse” – they make me reboot after installing updates!
Some nutjobs are even saying that Apple distributing new software through the updater is the “cost” of using their product – akin to ads in Messenger or fees for anti-virus software. I don’t remember signing up for that cost when I bought my iPhone. That same wacko makes a bunch of other outrageous claims about how it is a glorious achievement that Apple is assimilating your Windows machine without asking first. You should read it, if only for the comedic value.
I think the disconnect here is simple. It’s just like the disagreement that arose over Apple’s font rendering when they first released Safari to Windows. And that is:
People like the way things work on their Windows PCs. They don’t want one app to have different, blurrier font rendering. They don’t want Apple installing apps on their machines without consent.
Apple and their fans don’t understand this, because they believe they are partaking in some sort of “holy crusade” and “bringing the light of Apple to the underprivileged in Windows land.” It’s an absurd mindset, but that hasn’t stopped them having it. They just can’t understand why Windows user’s wouldn’t welcome Apple’s software and UI.
They’re like the borg, “Why wouldn’t you want to be assimilated – we bring perfection!”
Come on, are they really *forcing* it on you?
Maybe not, but close enough. Anything that leads to users unintentionally taking an action is a flawed UI. That could mean this is a design flaw – but Apple doesn’t make those =) Besides, the intent is obvious – to get more people to install Safari whether they want it or not. Rationalize it all you want, but you can’t deny the game they’re playing.Is it working?I’m a software developer, and probably one of the most generally computer savvy people I know. I got very used to clicking “Update” button on the Apple Software Update dialog so that it would keep iTunes and Quicktime up-to-date (along with the BootCamp software on my Macbook).I came very close to installing Safari by accident because of this, and would not at all be surprised to see lots of others clicking it without looking.
The right thing for Apple to do here would have been:
1) Don’t check it by default. You’ve gotten people trained to click “Update” since you don’t have an automatic update system, and now you’re abusing that.
2) The text in the dialog is inaccurate. It says “Select the items you want to update” – but Safari isn’t software on my computer, so how can I update it?
I had Safari installed on one of my machines to try it out when they released it. So it was normal for the updater to want to update it there. Then when it popped up in the list on a different machine I was confused, and thought I had mixed up which machine I’d installed it on months ago. But I had not. They were trying to trick me.
Oh sorry, they were trying to “show me the light.”
I just posted a follow-up to this entry.