26-11-2018 10:39 - edited 05-12-2018 13:37
We frequently see threads and comments from customers on the Community asking questions such as ‘where’s firmware z’, ‘why does network B have update x and you don’t’, etc. It’s not always an easy or straight forward answer, but in most instances any issues or delays don’t sit with O2. So, let us help fill you in and put you in the know .
Q. How do software updates work at O2?
Q. Why would you decline an update?
1) We found a general bug that we believe impacts the customer experience to a point we’re not comfortable approving it. For example, a battery drain bug, device crashing, slow performance.
2) We found a bug that impacts our network. For example, it sends more network requests than usual which could impact our network performance, or we found a bug that impacts the customer experience of sending a text or making a call etc.
If it means the software is delayed to resolve customer experience issues, this is something we are 100% behind – we want our customers to have a reliable and positive experience and hope our customers understand and agree with this ethos.
Q. Do you add bloatware?
A. We don’t. When we approve a software update, we generally apply what’s called a customisation script. In most instances this will change some settings (such as the correct APN, voicemail, MMS settings, automatic connecting to Wifi Extra, Wifi calling). In addition we also include a package of apps for you to download as part of your device setup. This, in most cases, puts an 'O2 Recommends' folder on your device. If you bought your phone from O2, this folder will contain a range of apps from O2 and selected 3rd parties. If you bought your phone from someone else, then you may only see My O2, plus O2 Priority on some devices.
During device setup you can select which apps to download, with the exception of My O2 and O2 Priority. We include these automatically due to the nature of the services they provide. My O2 is your account management app, and O2 Priority provides exclusive offers for you as an O2 customer.
Q. Does your customisation script add or change software features, such as camera settings?
Q. How quickly do you approve updates?
Q. Why did ‘Network Z’ get this update on *insert date* and I’m still waiting?
A) We find a bug/issue that impacts us and not others (or it doesn’t bother others as much as us)
B) Network Z may have had a different agreement with the vendor to get the update sooner
C) Unforeseeable issue on the vendor side, where they release the update for Network Z, but not others – in these circumstances we’ll notify the vendor as soon as we become aware, and work with them to try and ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Q. Why is Android so fragmented, and only a small percentage of devices are on Android Pie?
It may also be down to the vendor and if they see the value or need to create a version of it for their devices, especially older generation ones. Unless a vendor provides us with the update, it’s not something we can release… To be clear – just because Android Pie is ‘out’, we as a network cannot provide this update for your device unless the vendor specifically makes a version of it available to us for that device.
Q. Why is ‘Update or build number XYZ’ available in other countries, but not the UK?
Q. I’ve heard there’s a new update out. I want it for the new features – but what’s in it?
1) An Android security patch that only looks to address security concerns with the Android operating system.
2) A software update that more often than not will only fix bugs or issues (and more often than not, very minor ones that most customers won’t notice or need) – but does sometime add various features, settings or options.
Q. Update X is available on Network X that I want and you don’t have yet. Can I get this manually?
See this question for why the update may not be available on O2 – there’s a good chance this is a minor update intended for a specific network, that you’d see no benefit from installing.
We know there’s a lot of questions here, but we wanted to create a comprehensive thread around Android updates that we hope helps answer most of the common questions we receive. If there’s something you feel we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll see if it’s something we should add.
on 26-11-2018 10:54
26-11-2018 13:06 - edited 26-11-2018 13:06
Got one question would o2 actually be doing away with having to wait for them to approve as now your phone's come unlocked so if that the case what would be the point in having the o2 firmware
You're correct in that the majority of devices purchased from O2 now arrive unlocked to be able to use any SIM card (and you can unlock free at any time on Pay Monthly or Pay As You Go - more info here), but as the majority of these devices will still be used by O2 customers on the O2 network, we're obliged to ensure the software updates our customers receive work as expected and without issues or faults that would impact the user experience - whether with the phone itself, or via our network.
For instance, if we bypassed our approval process and Vendor A released Update X which completely broke Wifi Calling and sent 100x more network requests than usual, this would provide the customer a poor experience in which they believe O2 is at fault, and also potentially impact our network. Our approvals process should in theory spot such issues and ensure this sort of thing never becomes a problem in the first place.
PS. I can't mention which device or network, but a few months ago I saw an instance where a network released an update that we hadn't (as we were still testing and working with the vendor), which had multiple reports of causing boot-loop issues. Our approval and testing process ensured our customers didn't receive this update, but instead a few weeks later received a version which didn't have this issue.
on 26-11-2018 16:55
on 26-11-2018 17:07
@Chris_KSo if security updates are purely android based & not network related, I can slip in another network SIM card and receive the update. Then bung my O2 SIM back in with little risk?
Not to sure i understand that? If it isn't network related then in theory it should not matter which SIM is inserted. Try it and see if that disproves the O2 vision of events.
on 26-11-2018 18:33