Why i-Installer.app when Apple ships an installer, Installer.app?
This info is old and its current applicability is unchecked.
Having said that, Installer.app is a great program and it also has several advantages over i-Installer, of which simplicity is an important one.
- Apple's Installer.app uses pax as it's internal storage program, and it therefore comes with risks that come with pax. Especially, that is the risk that certain types of existing files (unix symbolic links) are not handled transparantly by pax and therefore installing Apple format .pkg packages have an added risk of damaging your system. This is of course generally not the case for Apple's own packages (if you haven't added symbolic links inside Apple's own area of Mac OS X, that is). But other packages have been known to really damage systems. i-Installer uses gnutar, which does not have that limitation.This used to be the case when I started with i-Installer, but it might have been fixed in the meantime. I have not checked.
- You cannot easily inspect the contents of Installer.app packages. i-Installer has extended inspection capabilities, which are good from a security perspective, especially since Installer.app and i-installer.app packages may contain scripts that are executed during the installation process, and they may even run with administrator privileges.
- Apple's Installer.app packages are only interactive in a limited way and they do not lend themselves to basic interactive configuration at install time (after unarchiving).
- Apple's Installer.app packages can not be updated. You must download a whole new package. i-Packages can be updated from remote locations (hence the i in i-Installer.app's name)