en ru de
Victor Kropp

Software updates: pro et contra

Garmin smartwatch downloading new firmware

Garmin smartwatch downloading new firmware

Pro

I love software updates. I always have latest OS version on my computer, use newest releases of all applications. I use the latest Android version on my smartphone (this was the main reason for choosing Nexus among the wide range of Android phones). I have up-to-date firmware on all my sports gadgets (including bike pedals, yay!).

I love updates because they often bring new exciting features, improve user experience and simplify my life. Regular maintenance updates keep my computer, phone, and gadgets secure. I value privacy a lot, so this is crucial.

I love how modern devices install updates. They find new releases automatically, usually download them in the background and require a single click to install them all. No additional actions required. Or even better, many systems have an option to install updates in the background too. All you need is to have good internet connection, and everything else is magically done behind the scenes.

Sounds perfect. Heaven on Earth. Well, when it works. When it does not, it is more like hell.

Contra

I hate software updates. With new features they also bring bugs. Sometimes added features are irrelevant to me, but bugs break functionality I use often and which has been working flawlessly since years.

My sports watch has skiing mode in which it can automatically detect ski and lift rides. I’ve been using it happily previous years, but when I first time went to the mountains this year, the watch started to reboot every time I took a lift. Soon after many upset watch owners reported the bug (me too), they fixed the bug. But that skiing day was lost.

I hate software updates because sometimes they are postponed or don’t come at all even when promised. This is frustrating. You wait for a fix and never get it. Blah!

It is usual in the Android universe, that manufacturers release new firmware months or even a year later after the announcement. But sometimes Google delay Nexus updates too: compared to other Nexus phones, my Nexus 6 got Android 7.0 almost two months later.

I hate software updates that arrive in the most inconvenient time. Or require a reboot when you are focused on your work (yes, Windows, I’m talking about you).

It took me around twenty minutes before the ride to update all the gadgets, even though I had manually initiated a check for updates the day before and there were none.

I hate software updates because one can’t simply install them all at once. How often does it happen to you, when you install a bunch of updates, and new update arrives shortly after?

Have you ever tried to update Windows on a computer you haven’t touched several years? It is impossible to update to Windows 10 directly from Windows 8. First you need to install all updates, then Windows 8.1 through Windows Store, another set of critical updates, Windows 10 using special tool and another bunch of fixes. I can’t estimate how much time I have spent on it.

Updated your laptop? Don’t forget other computers in your household.

Updated operating system? Don’t forget to reboot.

Updated your favorite tool? Don’t forget to update its plugins.

Updated mapping software? Don’t forget to download new maps.

And because of all this, many people say if it works, don’t touch it and resist updating.

So what?

I love and hate software updates. Only one thing can be even worse than updating. It is to support users with an outdated version of your software. But aren’t we, software developers, guilty of this?

updates

Subscribe to all blog posts via RSS, follow me @kropp and join my Telegram channel.