The Horrible User Experience That Is The Apple App Store On The iPad

My wife was out of town for a few days so I decided to make sure her iPad was up to date for her return. I went into the AppStore (which by the way indicated that there were no updates) and then the updates section. It then indicated that there were 47 updates available. Wow, I guess it has been a while. I then selected Update All – and the fun began. The iPad churned for a bit then spat out the utterly useless popup ‘Application not compatible with your iPad’. Huh? Not which app or which version or how to fix it or find out more, just ‘not compatible’.

I guessed that it was something to do with the recent iOS 5 update so I plugged the iPad into iTunes and away it went with the iOS update. About two hours later it was finally done updating to iOS 5. I go back to the AppStore app and I now have 37 updates to install (what happened to the other 10 is a mystery). I select update all and AppStore obnoxiously throws me out to some random screen while it begins the update. I let it spin for a while then tried to determine what it had installed and what it hadn’t – not an easy task on an iPad.

You see, if you return to the AppStore, it doesn’t tell you what has been installed and what is pending, it just crashes. I guess I am used to Android, where the notification screen tells you exactly what is going on with installs and even shows you the status of the current install, all on one screen. Apple engineers decided that if you wanted to know about installs you had to swipe all over to find which apps still had a hollow bar on them, and then swipe around to find the currently updating app and guess how far along it is. Yep, that is a fantastic user experience, Apple.

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