Wednesday, September 28, 2016

To Update, or Not to Update...

Over the past few weeks, Apple has been busy issuing updates to both iOS (for iPhones and iPads) and macOS (Mac laptops and desktops). On a Mac, available updates are shown in the App Store app (Updates tab), while on iOS, available updates are shown on the Settings app (Settings > General > Software Update).

In the tech department, we often get the question, “Should I update?” when new updates are released. The simple answer is, “yes!” Updating is important to maintain security and consistency across the district. At the same time, flexibility is available on when to apply the update.

Early Adopter

If you are a user who loves to have new features the moment they are available, you are likely in the category where you will update immediately. Two downsides are apparent for the early adopters:
  1. While Apple tests updates extensively, often months before release, there is an occasional problem identified on the day an update is released. These issues are usually fixed immediately and a small number of users might be affected.
  2. You may find that a specific Barrington 220 system has a conflict with the new system. For example, an update last year caused our iPrint printing system to stop working.
When a significant district-level issue is identified, the tech department will issue a district email with the information as soon as we know about the problem.

Cautious Majority

The technology adoption life cycle model identifies both “early majority” and “late majority” as separate categories, but for the purpose of this discussion, the “majority” is more cautious than the early adopters. The issue becomes how much time to wait before updating.

Since issues are identified usually on the first day of an update, more cautious users should wait at least a day. However, since district issues may take a few days longer to identify, waiting one week is probably as cautious as is necessary. One week will likely allow the district to identify and solve any potential problems.

Please note that if a significant issue is discovered, the district tech department will send an initial email stating the issue with a recommendation to users, and if necessary, send a later email explaining next steps or the suggestion to upgrade.

Bottom Line

When an update notification appears, update your device(s). To avoid a potential problem, wait a week.

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