You may have noticed recently that some of the programmes on your computer are being updated a lot more frequently than they used to.  From web browsers to software, the latest programming trend involves releasing smaller updates more often.

Although “time release” updates started a couple of years ago, over the last year they’ve really gained popularity. Time release updates are scheduled improvements that are smaller but more frequent than “feature-based” updates. While in the past new versions were held back until there were major changes to introduce, time releases now give users whatever changes have been made between each scheduled release.  These updates are being used by major brands, including WordPress, Joomla, Adobe, Firefox and Chrome.

Time release updates also improve functionality slowly but reliably.  The trend evolved as a way of preventing compatibility issues for users of older systems. Smaller, more frequent updates allow people to keep up with the latest version of programmes without worrying about their system being too outdated to handle it. This helps people to keep their computers up-to-date for as long as possible.

Think of it this way—imagine that your computer is a ladder and each step is an improvement made to its programmes.  Every three months a time release update is made, and with each update you move up the ladder slowly but with ease and the foundation to move on to the next step.  So within a year you’ve moved halfway up the ladder.  While your computer may eventually become too outdated to accept a new update, time releases allow you to gain as many benefits as possible with the system you do have.

Now, imagine the same ladder but using feature-based releases.  The release may not come out for eleven months, but it would immediately take you to the fourth step, however because your computer does not have all the system requirements, you cannot update that programme, leaving you unable to move up the ladder and get any of the improvements available.

Time releases are gaining popularity and will most likely become the industry standard way of making programme improvements available.  At Cite we strive to maintain the most up-to-date technology possible for our clients so we’re big fans of the new trend. Let us know your thoughts.