The Tendency Towards Web Dependency

One thing I’ve happened to notice all too painfully clearly over the last couple weeks is that, as more tools bring the web to our desktops (AIR, Google Apps, etc.), we, at a probably inversely proportionate rate, rely even more on the web.

Let me paint a quick background picture to illustrate what the heck I’m talking about. In my current situation, due to circumstances beyond my control, I mainly rely on two computers. One has an internet connection, but does not allow me the necessary permissions to install software or modify it in any way. The other is my personal laptop with which I am free to do anything I want – except connect to the internet. So, should I want to install any apps, widgets, software, fonts, toys, etc. on my laptop, I must download it from computer A., save it to a thumb drive, transfer it to laptop B. and install away. Now 8 out of 10 times while this may be mildly annoying it works perfectly well. However, a week or so ago, my Ipod up and died on me. A nuisance, but not unexpected – these things happen. In the good old days, this just meant I would have to download the most recent Ipod Updater file and run a restore and problem solved. Those golden days are no more though. In this modern age, in order to restore an Ipod you have to go through Itunes – and even with the most brand spanking new and up-to-date version of Itunes installed, if you try to restore your Ipod without being connected to the internet you’ll get a big fat error box telling you you’re demanding the impossible. So, what does that mean for someone with no install privileges on their internet accessible computer? No stinking Ipod for me for the next couple months is what it means to me. Thanks, Apple. I appreciate your progress.

Along the same lines, over the past month or so, I’ve run across a few very nifty looking AIR applications that I really wanted to try out for myself. Unfortunately, the only method of installation that was offered for these great looking products was Adobe’s “badge install” which “allows” a user to install an AIR app straight from the web. So, what does that mean for someone with no install privileges on their internet accessible computer? No nifty new AIR applications for me to play with is what it means to me.

So, what does this mean overall? I’m not sure, really. Aside from my ever increasing annoyance, most probably nothing. I’m just commenting on a noticeable new trend is all, not trying to interpret it. If anyone else has been affected by this new trend, though, post a reply – I’d be interested in knowing if I was the only one or not. Oh, and if anyone knows how to restore/update a 4th gen Ipod sans Itunes, please please post a reply.

One thing that I have learned from all this – while online updates and installs may be a great convenience for most, I, personally, will always make sure to offer a direct download as well. I just wish others would do so.