on 27-03-2019 16:53 - last edited on 18-04-2019 12:26 by Marjo
- This thread is to highlight some main reasons why you should always update to the latest software available for your device.
- For a full and in-depth Q&A around software updates, and why 'update x' may not be available to you, check out this thread.
I want to take another opportunity to discuss the reasons and benefits of updating to the latest available software for your device. As of this post, here are the latest versions of Android and iOS (which may or may not be available for your device - see Q&A thread above for more info).
- The latest version of Android is 9.0 (Pie)
- The latest version of iOS is 12.2
Click the spoiler tag below for a reminder on iOS & Android availability, and when these updates typically become available. More info in the Q&A above.
With iOS devices, the latest iOS is typically available on all supported devices at the same time. The full list of iOS 12 supported devices can be found at the bottom of this page, which also includes MANY fantastic benefits and improvements of iOS 12 over iOS 11 or older updates.
That being said, when iOS 12.2 became available, it was available to all supported devices at the same time.
With Android devices, there is an issue of 'fragmentation' in that, unlike Apple who control their software updates directly, Android updates are tweaked, tested and changed by the vendors who use it.
As an example, Samsung modify Android to include their own tweaks and features, as well as their 'One UI' launcher. Huawei on the other hand, may have different tweaks and features, as well as implementing their 'EMUI 9' launcher. That being said, most vendors who use Android will have their own release schedule, so just because Android 9 is available on 'Device X' from Samsung, doesn't mean it's available for 'Device Z' from Huawei. 🐣
Why should you update to the latest software?
Many of our O2 Community members reading this will be well versed in ensuring they're on the latest software available, but I've also seen instances where customers are not just on an older version, but even an older platform (eg, iOS 11 when iOS 12 is available to them, or Android 8 when 9 is available to them), so here's some of my top reason why you should always update to the latest software available to you. In no particular order:
- More true for large updates (iOS 11 to iOS 12 / Android 8 to Android 9), but also incremental ones, you often get access to new features and functionality
- Example 1: The iOS 12.2 update provides support for Apple News+, adds the ability for Siri to play videos from your iOS device to Apple TV, and includes four new Animoji
- Example 2: OnePlus' OxygenOS 9.0.12 update added optimisations for the screen display, as well as deep integration with Google Duo
- Software updates often include general and/or important or urgent bug fixes. Generally, vendors don't disclose what these bugs are for security reasons, but updating to a software that irons out some bugs will likely provide a smoother user experience for you.
- Some software updates are built around enhancing your security, or even patching security bugs or issues. For this one reason alone, it's always a good idea to install the latest update to ensure your device is as safe and secure as possible.
- Example: iOS 12.2 resolved over 50 security vulnerabilities according to this article.
- Updates often bring with them performance tweaks and improvements, sometimes in the form of ensuring the OS sips a little less battery, optimising how the chipset runs during certain tasks, making some 'bundled' apps a little lighter - and more.
Isn't there a risk updating my software?
Hundreds upon hundreds of hours goes into vendors testing their software before releasing it to customers, and many of them undergo an additional layer of testing by O2 to ensure the device performs network related tasks correctly and as expected, so there's often an extremely minimal risk associated with updating your device.
It is however good practice to update or backup the contents of your phone on the very small off-chance something does go wrong; that way, you can restore your backup or data easily. If you're unsure how to backup your data, create a new thread on the O2 Community and one of our resident O2 Community expert members will likely know exactly how to help you.
What if the new update has bugs?
This is a trade off only you can make a decision on. It is entirely possible that an update could introduce new bugs or issues while resolving others, but in the majority of cases these are minor, don't impact your experience, and for many people, they'll probably never experience such issues. Some users do prefer to hold off for a few days to ensure there's no issues, but if the old software you're on for example has unpatched security exploits, is it worth holding off for a few days to check for any issues? That's one for you to decide, but if you do hold off, it's important you update to the latest version as soon as you're comfortable it poses no issues that'd affect your usage of the device - if not sooner.