My MacBook Pro Experience - Day 21 - Applying Mac updates: Is it easier than Windows?

My MacBook Pro Experience - Day 21 - Applying Mac updates: Is it easier than Windows?

Summary: The other day Apple released some patches for the Mac OS - a good time to answer a question that I've been asked on numerous occasions since embarking on the MacBook Pro experience:Is it easier to apply patches and updates to the Mac OS than it is in Windows?Well, the process isn't difficult.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple
48

The other day Apple released some patches for the Mac OS - a good time to answer a question that I've been asked on numerous occasions since embarking on the MacBook Pro experience:

Is it easier to apply patches and updates to the Mac OS than it is in Windows?

Well, the process isn't difficult.  I'd had my MacBook connected to the net for several days before I manually applied the patches.  Mac OS X shows no signs of doing an automatic update so I thought that a manual one was in order.  I believe that the Mac OS checks weekly for updates but I didn't want to wait that long.

Here's how you manually update the Mac OS:

  • Click on the Apple icon followed by Software Update ...
    Mac OS update
  • This now initiates the process that looks for new updates.
    Mac OS update
  • A list of new updates will be displayed.  The Software Update windows also shows you which updates require a reboot.
    Mac OS update
  • You need to enter your password for the updates to be installed.
    Mac OS update
  • The updates will now be bought in and installed automatically.
    Mac OS update
  • The Software Update windows keeps you updated as to where you are in the update process.
    Mac OS update
  • Time to restart.
    Mac OS update

Job's done.

Is this any easier or harder than updating a Windows machine?  Not really.  The “Software Update ...” item on the main Apple menu is pretty obvious so I don't think users are going to miss it (I didn't at any rate).  The system only checks for updates once a week, which I guess is fine considering that Apple don't have a fixed release schedule for patches.  You might have to wait a few days for a patch, but since Mac vulnerabilities aren't exploited at anywhere near the same speed as Windows patches, there's no real urgency to get the patches.

Overall, a painless process.

Previous installments:

 

Topic: Apple

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

48 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Software Update

    Software Update is also a System Preferences panel. The panel allows you to choose
    checking for updates on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You can also select the
    option which allows auto downloading of important updates in the background (the
    system will notify you when they are ready to install).

    The Software Update panel also allows you to list all the update packages you've
    installed to date.
    Len Rooney
  • The updates will now be bought...

    Apparently updating OS/x is as easy as it is with Windows BUT with the MAC it's definately more expensive.

    MAC is for suckers and you keep paying for it $1.99 at a time.
    Oknarf
    • Yep, it makes so much more sense

      To shell out $499 in a single pop for XP service pack 3 (code named Vista).
      frgough
      • ummm, funny... but no where near factual.

        When the actual XP SP3 is available... it will be free.

        An OS upgrade to Vista, even ulitimate if you already own XP is $249.99

        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16832116141

        Most people who own XP at home would do well with the Home Premium upgrade at $153.99

        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16832116143

        Even if you own an Intel based Mac and for some strange reason wanted to install Vista, the full version of Home Premium is $226.99.

        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16832116142

        Even if you wanted to go all out and buy a full version of Vista Ultimate (though I doubt many would) it would cost $378.99.

        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16832116140
        Badgered
        • I love it

          Calling Vista XP SP3 is taken from a review of it on CNet, where the conclusion was
          basically just that.

          Yeah, you can get an upgrade for $250, but the word is, you can't do a clean
          install with that upgrade. BTW, I'll be able to get FIVE licenses of the FULL version
          of OS X 10.5 for $199. No previous version required, no authentication required.

          I always love it when Microsoft defenders start telling people that it's actually in
          their best interest to get a castrated version of the operating system, because,
          well, it costs less and you really don't need all that functionality, you're just a
          home user, after all... I mean, really, Home Premium doesn't come with Bit Locker,
          but you don't really need that, because according to Microsoft, you'll just lock
          yourself out of your hard drive anyway. (This is the actual explanation MS gives for
          not including Bit Locker in any Home version of Windows).

          Sheesh. And you people accuse Apple users of drinking kool-aid.
          frgough
          • OMGoodness can you possibly stretch the truth any more?

            "Yeah, you can get an upgrade for $250, but the word is, you can't do a clean install with that upgrade."

            That's why it's called an "Upgrade". Sheesh. BTW, I can do a clean install of that if I wished.

            "BTW, I'll be able to get FIVE licenses of the FULL version
            of OS X 10.5 for $199. No previous version required, no athentication required."

            Really, then let me install that on my home built system and see how far into the install I get. It is a FULL version, right? And the wonderful people at Apple Inc wouldn't deprive me of installing it on my hardware would they?

            Better yet, let me install that on my run of the mill DELL or HP hardware and see how far I get. Oh wait, I have to buy Apple's hardware to run it too? Darn, I guess my $199.00 price tag just went up. It's a good thing Apple doesn't lock me into anything like those mean people at Microsoft do!

            "I always love it when Microsoft defenders start telling people that it's actually in their best interest to get a castrated version of the operating system, because, well, it costs less and you really don't need all that functionality, you're just a
            home user, after all... I mean, really, Home Premium doesn't come with Bit Locker, but you don't really need that, because according to Microsoft, you'll just lock yourself out of your hard drive anyway. (This is the actual explanation MS gives for
            not including Bit Locker in any Home version of Windows)."

            You know when I buy a car, there are always some "available" options that I personally know I won't use. Therefore, I don't buy them. For those that do want or need them, they are available. But even then it doesn't cost the "$499" you stated it did. You like to stretch the truth to make Apple sound better than they are and MS sound worse than they are.

            I don't mind if you don't like MS, infact I don't care. I do care that you have to misrepresent almost every fact you present to try to prove a point. You can do that without lying, really, try it. It will make you much more believeable.

            "Sheesh. And you people accuse Apple users of drinking kool-aid."

            For obvious reasons.
            Badgered
          • Facts and spin

            "That's why it's called an "Upgrade". Sheesh. BTW, I can do a

            "$499" you stated it did."

            Talk about stretching the truth. I said $400. Not $499. MSRP for full version of Vista Ultimate is $399.95. I'm not the one stretching the truth.

            I didn't misrepresent a single thing. I pointed out that MS is ripping you off with Vista. Down deep you obviously agree or you wouldn't get so defensive about it. No one likes to admit they made a stupid decision.
            frgough
          • Hmm

            "Talk about stretching the truth. I said $400. Not $499. MSRP for full version of Vista Ultimate is $399.95. I'm not the one stretching the truth."

            Actually, you were. But I'll take your word that it was an editing mistake.
            Badgered
          • facts and spin, redux

            Previous post mangled by ZDNet.

            You're wrong on being able to do a clean install with Vista updgrades. MS requires you to do an install in place. Read Foley's article posted today on it. Fortunately for you, some hackers found out how to bypass that asinine requirement by doing a double install of Vista. Meanwhile, you continue to pay MORE for an upgrade than I do a full version. And you get Activation and tilt bits to boot. Aren't you special?

            So, you assembled a PC yourself. Big deal. No doubt you're patting yourself on the back about how much money you saved and how much freedom you have. Only don't do it too loudly or you'll look pretty stupid when you buy and install an over-priced, locked-down castrated operating system to put on that box. But, hey, MS is superior because it will lock itself to ANY PC (swap the motherboard after installing. Hope you like talking the the Indian support rep for your 26 character reactivation code). But Apple is evil, you know because it only installs on what is generally considered the best computer hardware on the market. Yep, us Mac users are pretty stupid. Everyone knows it's better to have an OS on your computer that dials home every few days to make sure your activation code hasn't wound up on a blacklist, and makes you re-authenticate whenever you make enough hardware changes to be a "new" PC, and does fun things like tilt bits to make sure you don't pirate that HD video you're watching. But it's awesome because it will lock you down on ANY PC you want. Yeah, rock on, dude!

            Give me a break.
            frgough
          • redux, redux

            "You're wrong on being able to do a clean install with Vista updgrades."

            I'm not wrong. I can do it. It wasn't intended to work that way, but it is possible.

            "So, you assembled a PC yourself. Big deal. No doubt you're patting yourself on the back about how much money you saved and how much freedom you have."

            Actually, I've built several. (patting myself on the back now).

            " But Apple is evil, you know because it only installs on what is generally considered the best computer hardware on the market. "

            By who? I've read many reports of hardware failure on Macs.

            "Yep, us Mac users are pretty stupid."

            Amusing, but you said it.. not me. I would never say that. Stupidity has nothing to do with what OS you run.

            The really assinine thing is I could not care less which PC or OS you run. I realize it's your personal goal in life to take jabs at MS, and defend with honor the Apple way of life. As I have said many times before, use whatever makes you happy. I just wish when you decide to deride MS about how Eeeeevil they are, be honest about the claims you make.

            "Give me a break."

            Ok, here's a few....

            http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/powermacg5/topic4026.html#feb17
            Badgered
          • Final Correction

            $499 was meant to be $399. Doesn't matter. Both are at least $200 too much.
            frgough
          • Correction

            It DOES matter.

            But yes, they are too much.
            Badgered
    • What's your opinion on...

      Something like OneCare, and the various Live services that Microsoft offers? Plus, you have your facts wrong; Apple was only charging the $1.99 for the 802.11N firmware update. I'll agree thats slightly inane; but its a far cry from charging for your AV and filewall like MS is attempting to do. (yes yes, XP does have a firewall, but it's a rather weak attempt; IMO Apple's implementation, though equally weak in terms of easy configuration supports both in and out packet filtering)
      mattofak
      • Just the Facts, please

        My facts are straight. Apple charged $1.99 for an update. If MS tried to do that they would be drawn and quartered by the likes of you guys. It was and is preposterous.

        And no, Vista is not an update. Microsoft has done a great job of copying Apple who copied Xerox PARC.

        As to OneCare it's actually a pretty good idea. For 19.95 for 3 computers for 1 year, if you beta tested 49.99 if not, it includes automated reminders for backup and cleanup/anti virus/spyware. It's a great tool for someone who isn't intelligent enough to do it manually themselves. And at least it's better than that Symantec crap. Sure you can download free stuff like Avast. But not everyone is that smart, eh?
        Oknarf
        • Facts??

          They did not charge 1.99 for a software update for the OS any any application. Its a firmware update. And its only needed if you want to use 802.11n, as it was disabled from the factory do to the fact that 802.11n was not finalized. MS does not sell computers, so therefore they do not have firmware downloads. And for the record, apple has released a lot of firmware updates for free over the years. They charged for this one do to the book keeping side of things. It was either charge a small fee, or redo all their books for last quarter, which had already been turned in to SEC.

          Apple didn't copy xerox, they purchased the system from them, they simply pushed the development of it.
          Stuka
          • you know

            I've downloaded firmware updates for motherboards, tape drives, DVD writers, and others... not once have I had to pay a dime to do it.

            I find that odd.
            Badgered
          • Did any of those

            Enable new functionality on the device?

            The issue here is simple and has been repeated over and over again to the point
            where ignorance can now be determined to be wilful propagandizing.

            The new accounting laws passed by Congress require Apple to either charge for
            firmware that ADDS FUNCTIONALITY TO PREVIOUSLY SOLD SYSTEMS or defer the
            revenue for such systems.

            Many accountants think Apple is being overly cautious, but since they are
            currently being raked over the coals by the SEC for doing PERFECTLY LEGAL option
            backdating, can you blame them?

            There. Now it's been said once again. You are left without excuse the next time
            this asinine argument comes up again.
            frgough
          • Just what is the new functionality exactly?

            It makes the wireless have hire throuput and perform in a manner consistent with it's original design. Any forensic accountant will tell you that Apple neither had to charge for this or restate their books. Furthermore Option Back Dating is not legal! That is why Apple is being investigated along with 100 other companies. You need to step back away from the Apple kool-aid long enough to get some oxygen to your brain.
            ShadeTree
          • re: Did any of those

            "Enable new functionality on the device?"

            Yes.

            "The issue here is simple and has been repeated over and over again to the point where ignorance can now be determined to be wilful propagandizing."

            If you say so.

            "The new accounting laws passed by Congress require Apple to either charge for firmware that ADDS FUNCTIONALITY TO PREVIOUSLY SOLD SYSTEMS or defer the revenue for such systems."

            BZZZZZZZZZZZT!!! Wrong buck-o. The law does not "require" Apple to charge for that firmware upgrade. Apple and a few others would like you to believe that, but it is not true.

            "Many accountants think Apple is being overly cautious"

            Which also means that it was not a "REQUIREMENT".


            "but since they are currently being raked over the coals by the SEC for doing PERFECTLY LEGAL option backdating, can you blame them?"

            Wha????? Back dating stock options is legal? Then why are they being invesigated? And why doesn't every company do it?

            "There. Now it's been said once again. You are left without excuse the next time this asinine argument comes up again."

            Um, considering that your arguments are ALL false.... this statement has no weight.
            Badgered
          • For more proof

            That you are on kool-aid....

            frgough said:
            "but since they are currently being raked over the coals by the SEC for doing PERFECTLY LEGAL option backdating, can you blame them?"

            You might want to put down the kool-aid and read this.

            http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9595_22-6155451.html

            Notice this section:

            "Even the Securities and Exchange Commission hasn't figured out the proper penalty for companies and executives embroiled in the scandal, according to recent reports. Some executives may have known they were doing something illegal, some might have known it was a murky area, and still others might have had no idea of the accounting mess they were in store for later on."

            Yeah... that sounds perfectly legal to me.

            And now "You are left without excuse the next time
            this asinine argument comes up again" moron.
            Badgered