Now CLI can be installed via a few ways: Firstly, Now Desktop provides the simplest way to install and even keep it up-to-date. If you have npm installed, you can alternatively install our package or even download and install the binary manually.
Today I'm glad to introduce many improvements to all these installation mechanisms to ensure you have control, flexibility and your device is always up-to-date.
By default, Now Desktop will keep the Now CLI instance on your device updated automatically.
For those of you who want to customize this behaviour, we now provide an option in Now Desktop that lets you disable auto-updates for Now CLI easily. Next to the "Canary Releases" setting (which we announced recently), you can now find "Auto-Update Now CLI":

By unchecking this option, you're disabling auto-updates.

This option is enabled by default. When disabled, Now Desktop will immediately stop updating Now CLI. In addition, a new property will be set in your global configuration file:
"desktop": {
  "updateCLI": false
}
If you want, you can also set this option manually. Especially if you're synchronising your configuration files across multiple devices, this will be very handy.
In the case that you've decided to disable auto-updates for Now CLI in Now Desktop as described above (or decided to install it from a different source), you're responsible for keeping it up-to-date. However, we've made even this process easier:
If an update for your instance of Now CLI is available, you'll see a highlighted (but non-disturbing) message in your terminal:
UPDATE AVAILABLE The latest version of Now CLI is 8.4.0
Because the information about the latest release is fetched asynchronously, it's not affecting the performance of the command line interface in any noticeable way. As a matter of course, it also supports canary releases!
Previously, Now Desktop would attempt to detect whether Now CLI had been installed using npm or by putting the binaries into place manually and avoid overwriting it. As of the latest update, if the "Auto-Update Now CLI" setting is enabled, you'll always get the latest version reliably.
We're also working with the community on making this process even smarter by making Now Desktop automatically place Now CLI on your device, without you having to manually hit a button (you will still be able to opt-out, of course).
Make sure to join the conversation if you're interested in contributing valuable feedback!
As you're expecting it, both projects are — of course — open source! This means that we're welcoming anyone to contribute valuable feedback (or even code) to Now Desktop and Now CLI.
If you'd like to talk to me personally about one of those projects, you can reach me as @leo on our public Slack workspace.