Updates on the App Store

In the olden days, way back in September and before, a minor update to an application would put you back in the “new application” category of the App Store which would typically result in a short-term boost in sales. Apple fixed this a while back but one thing that hasn’t changed is the rate at which users take the update.

I got an email from Apple saying that version 1.0.3 of Yummy was available for sale just shy of midnight (GMT) on Tuesday 6th January. By Thursdays sales report I saw that nearly 50% of users had already downloaded it. I’m not sure exactly when the update hit iTunes nor the cut-off time for the report, but it was at most forty-eight hours and maybe as little as twenty-four.

I’ve not seen any platform where optional upgrades are accepted so quickly.

It’s tempting to say that it’s because on the iPhone it’s both easy and free, but how hard is it to take updates for the Macintosh, Windows Update or most Linux distributions? Automatic updates are typically enabled by default but many users actively refuse them, perhaps because they don’t know what they are or what benefit they would derive from them. Of maybe it’s the perceived quality? Most people have never had an update mess up their computer, but everyone knows someone who has had problems. An iPhone application is pretty low risk. At worst you’ve broken a single program.

The explanation I like most is that I have many enthusiastic users who are dying to get the next, exciting update as soon as possible. They read this blog, follow me on Twitter and sit in iTunes pressing the “Check for updates” button trying to get their latest hit.

If you know the truth, please try not to spoil my delusion.

One Response to Updates on the App Store

  1. google January 9, 2009 at 00:52 #

    I’m a developer myself and should know better, but I still expect something magical from every update for a couple dozen apps installed on my phone. Human nature, perhaps 🙂

    – Peter

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