I haven’t had a lot of interface with Apple’s App Store.  While I do have a good, high-speed Internet connection and have downloaded a few apps with ease, I still find the whole idea of only supplying software via an Internet connection kind of suspicious.  I had one of those suspicions…“when is this going to cause me some kind of problem?”…validated recently when I updated my Macs with iPhoto 9.2.3. Once the update became available from the Apple Downloads site, I did what I often do when I become aware an update is being distributed, i.e., I downloaded the file to my Mac Pro’s desktop so I could copy it to a network drive where I could then use the single download to update all our machines.  I have three Macs and my wife has one.  This way I can save some Internet bandwidth that both me and other people can use for something else.

The newest of my machines is a 15 inch MacBook Pro I bought from MicroCenter just after Christmas and then updated to Lion.  You may know that Apple is moving much of its Software Update distribution duties to the App Store (to ensure you get hooked into it).  What you may not know is that if you buy an app from the App Store, the only way you can update it is if the update file comes from the App Store…even if a copy of the update file is sitting on your desktop.  Stupid!

It’s one thing to inflict a lack of choice on your consumer; it’s another to force the consumer to use extra and unnecessary Internet bandwidth.

You’re making me walk a mile too far, Apple.

Now, I’m sure Apple will make some claim about ensuring security by allowing only downloads from the App Store to update apps from the app store; but you would think Apple would have enough confidence to allow you to reapply patches of its own OS or application software.  I routinely burn large OS and application updates to optical disk to avoid downloading them again in the event of a crash and reinstallation, but this kind of restriction from Apple will quickly defeat those good intentions.  In the end, when I have to spend tens of extra hours downloading software to recover from some kind of hardware failure (which do occur despite the quality of Apple products) and that loss of time is totally avoidable, does Apple really think making me run everything from the App Store is going to endear me to them? No, it’s not.

Come on, Apple, allow folks to run their software updates from the App Store if they wish but put those smart programmers to work so that users can also run updates from the desktop if that’s what they wish to do, too.  There may be one good reason why you don’t want to do that, but it’s just poor policy and bad Internet citizenry.