Chris Wiegman Chris Wiegman

Apple OS Updates are Boring – and That is Good

I spent yesterday evening updating both my personal Mac and my iPad to the newest OS versions (Ventura for the Mac, iPadOS 16 for the iPad). For the most part it was an easy update and that is a very good thing

One thing that I did with each device that differs from what many folks will do is I wiped both devices to do the update. This freed up about 100GB on my Mac and about 80GB on my iPad, both without changing any data. I know a lot of y’all will say I don’t need to do it that way but I’ve learned time and time again that complete cleanouts of any device will help performance and I’ve stuck with that over the years. With Mac, in particular, it tends to make a huge difference and keeps the machine feeling faster for much longer as updates otherwise seem to build and eventually slow things down.

For a long time I used to look to major OS updates as something exciting as it brings new features to old devices. To some extent I think I still do (I love that my Mac and iPad now have a proper Weather app, for example) but it is the “boring” part of the updates to me that are really magical.

Today my devices are tools I need to do my job on a daily basis. While I use them for some entertainment as well that isn’t their primary focus and, as such, I need them to be reliable above all else. “Boring” OS and hardware updates make sure that I can trust them and that I don’t have to shell out $ every year for something new.

Oh how I wish more applications were like this. I think some, like Visual Studio Code and similar have gotten better at it over the years I still cringe a bit every time I see “update available” for just about anything as, traditionally, things just didn’t work so smoothly. New features are neat but we never need them. I would go so far as to argue that most of us could do our jobs just fine on an old Windows 95 box if pressed to do so (note I’m not talking about the apps that have grown over the decades but the core functions of our jobs) and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

So enjoy the stability in your devices and remember you did fine without whatever is new. Anything that does make your life easier on top of that is just icing on the cake.