Mobile phone apps – just get ’em right the first time!


This article first appeared in the Herald Sun

NEARLY every time I turn on or pick up an electronic anything, I’m sick of being told that it needs to be shut down and restarted, since something else urgently needs to be updated.

Why can’t whoever is being paid to make this stuff just get it right the first time?

At school, if I failed a test, I never got to submit updated answers.

After another disastrous first date, there’s never the option to do it all again with funnier anecdotes, less alcohol and in jeans instead of shorts and thongs.

Or if I again blow my pay on the Gloucester Park harness races, never once have I been permitted to update my bets.


Consider for a moment how annoying it would be if “updating” happened in the real world as frequently as it does in the virtual one.

Shopping centres shutting for an hour, only to reopen with a slightly different colour scheme? Restaurants closing to add one additional topping? Whole highways shutting down to add nothing, apart from more invasive adverts?

I do understand why software needs to be updated.

Mostly it’s security, because despite what each of us might claim, there are apparently very few of us who can resist clicking on links that promise sexy singles in our area, urgent and unpaid legal bills and all kinds of miracle enhancements.


On a side note, we have to stop being asked to fill out, and promise we’ve read, legal forms that none of us, apart from the most lonely and obsessive compulsive, examine for more than a moment.

If you want me to read it, step one is to make it readable.

The only thing these boxes and forms do is teach everyone that it’s okay to lie on official forms. And I’m sure that will have zero ramifications, especially when it comes to our children and their respect for authority.

Speaking of families, I expect the people in my life to nag me. That is because I believe you can always fit more into the trash, that everything in the bathroom can go another week before being cleaned and keeping my clothes on the floor cuts out the middleman others call a wardrobe.


Basically, I have many flaws, and expect to be called out on them until I finally, reluctantly, change or go mad — what’s commonly known as nagging.

It’s not, however, something I ever expected from my electronic devices.

I bought them to make my life easier, not create more things to feel guilty about for avoiding, forgetting, and never doing.

Also, the amount of phone calls I miss or that interrupt updates, which then need to be restarted, seems to be the same as the number of phone calls I get — in total.

Having updates while I’m sleeping isn’t an option, since I seldom leave everything on and all that buzzing and beeping always wakes up someone.

Also, I have an irrational fear that one of the updates will lead to artificial intelligence and if my phone suddenly tries to attack, I want to at least be awake to defend myself, or to witness the end of days.

Maybe the solution is to restrict updates to one day a month and link them to our calendars, so they never happen when we’re using the thing. If only that were an option.

This article first appeared in the Herald Sun

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.

His second comedy memoir ‘Going Out of My Mined’ is available now.

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