It’s All in the NamePosted: February 24, 2011
Apple also made a small, but very meaningful change to their iOS app store, namely the shift to a button labeled “Install.”
While this may appear on the surface to be merely cosmetic, looking deeper reveals a lot of information in light of all the movement Apple has been making recently in building out the data center and rolling out the tall ladders for cloud (or pseudo-cloud) computing. AppleInsider discusses the physical processes that are beginning to facilitate this, but here is the first
What we see here is a blurring of the lines between local and cloud storage. If a button is labeled “Install,” it implies that the app is close at hand, just a tap away in order to be in front of us and usable.
Consider the language Apple uses when downloading and installing apps from the App Store. While the app is being downloaded, the user sees “Loading…” below the app, creating the impression that the app is not being fetched from some far-away place, but that the app is being unwrapped, that it’s simply starting up for the first time. As the process continues, “Loading…” changes to “Installing…,” which further increases the similarity to a locally-stored app. Shortly thereafter, the app is ready, and the user can go to town.
Displaying “Install” in the app store, instead of the app’s price, puts the user at ease that they already own this piece of software, that Apple is keeping track and taking care of all of their software for them, and that they have their own personal software vault from which any app they own is accessible to them at any time.
Think about that change in the juxtaposition to the old way of computing, when installing a program meant loading a physical disc into a tray and transferring the data onto a computer. Think about the programs that actually required that the disc be in the tray. This is a distinct and marked shift away from that type of application and media, a shift toward user-friendliness, toward ease-of-use.
Once again, this is good technology. The computer gets out of the way, and we are able to engage our information more quickly, without a break in thought, without losing ourselves to the process. We are able to focus, explore, create. We are able to be more human.