BLOG: Should I Update My Mobile Device?

March 19, 2014 - 09:47
Author Name: 
Russ Harrison
Mobile device updates can be frustrating! As an Android phone and Apple iPad user, it seems that I am prompted to update something on one of my devices every day. Sure, I could set the device to auto-update, but the updates can’t all be necessary, can they? Let’s take a closer look to see what is commonly included in Operating System (OS) or application updates.

Security Updates

These are crucial updates that patch major security holes that could be exploited in order to gain access to sensitive materials on your device. These updates are essential and should be done immediately.

e.g. A few weeks ago Apple released an emergency update, iOS 7.06, to plug a major security hole which could allow an attacker on the same wifi network to capture data that should have been secured.

Should I update? Definitely! Do it now!

Bug Updates

Bug fixes repair functionality issues and optimize performance. Bugs are glitches in the program that are annoying but do not cause security concerns.

e.g. The recently released Apple iOS 7.1 fixed an annoying bug that caused apps like email and web browser to crash and erase any progress.

Some updates are device specific; if your device is not listed, the update might not be necessary.

Should I update? Sure, especially if the bug is affecting your device.

Feature Updates

These updates add or remove features or aesthetics to the application.  

e.g. iOS 7.1 updated the user experience with refinements to the look and feel. A Month view was also added to the Calendar, and tweaks were made to Siri and Camera.

Sometimes features require an update to permissions or agreement to new Terms of Service. Are you OK with the application accessing your contact list or posting updates on your behalf?

Should I update? While new features are nice, it is best to wait a little while. New features can also  bring new bugs.

Most updates are a combination of security patches, bug fixes and feature additions. It is important to identify which are critical. Remember, with any software upgrade there is always a chance of something going awry so make sure to back up your device before any update.

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