No-one should ever have to flash their device in order to receive a software update

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Ice Cream Sandwich


Just yesterday, someone made a complaint about not yet receiving the Android ICS update on his Samsung Galaxy S2 despite the fact that the update had been pushed out to users across the world. Naturally, a few well-meaning geeks stepped in to address his problem. It was the direction that the solution took that got me amused.

Flashing
At the end of the day, the solution pushed to him was that he could get Ice Cream Sandwich on his Galaxy S2 by flashing it. That solution may work out for geeks, but it is a tall order for the mainstream consumer. It is no mistake that every flashing tutorial comes with a disclaimer that you are on your own should you go ahead to flash your device. Flashing a device may seem straightforward to the geeky/techie person, but make no mistake about it, it is far from straightforward to the average person.

Manufacturers need to ensure that software updates are pushed out so everyone gets it (and in a timely matter) and no-one should ever have to go the flashing route to get it.


Hate Apple all you like (if you are such a person who is capable of that), but truth be told, they are the only mobile manufacturer who have gotten this software update thing close to a fine art. Consider that unless you had to jailbreak your iPhone (in which case you are most likely a geek/techie again), even the old iPhone 3GS will be getting iOS6. That is amazing support. No other manufacturer pulls it off like that.

I understand that other manufacturers often have multiple devices in their lineup, but the Galaxy S2 was a flagship device. While Samsung has made an update available for it, it shouldn’t be happening that months after an update was issued, a device should not have received it yet. I remember that some Nokia E7 users experienced something similar with the Belle update when it was pushed out some time ago. An official update is useless to a user if it doesn’t get to him.


No-one should ever have to be pushed to flash their device in order to receive a software update. No-one.

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  1. My problem with the way this article is written is that it reads like the end user is getting the update straight from the source. Not so.

    The update gets to the end consumer in a roundabout way: it goes from Google to the manufacturers to (in most cases) the network operator. At each stage it gets messed with. Same with BlackBerry; the update you get Is dependent on which one the network chooses to push out.

    The version of so-called ICS I have on my phone doesn’t correspond with what the Sony website says it should be. For an open source OS, the reality is that there are a lot of restrictions for us users, so I can understand why people flash their phones. But that isn’t a road many of us want to take.

    The question you have to ask is what is holding up the roll out of ICS for the SGS2 in Nigeria? If it’s not Samsung Nigeria then you need to look at the network operators. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was a combination of both.

  2. Yes, talk of supporting old devices in terms of updates, Apple has got it, but even prisons in the developed world sometimes do receive a facelift which does not change the status of the inmates. What’s the use of updates that still leaves the device under the close control of the manufacturer and with features taken for granted in other platforms for ages still absent.

    I will rather stick with an Android device with a 2.2 version than buy any iOS device with the hope of updates for the next five releases that makes things even more restrictive. How do one send an email that has pictures, Excel sheet and word documents without sending them separately?

    I say no to such updates that are only for bragging rights on how Apple care for its customers while also frowning at the lack of updates or delayed updates from the Android manufacturers but the truth remains that I bought my phone for the features present at the point of purchase and of course the hope of extending those features through third party softwares and not for the features that would be added through updates and any such would have been welcomed and serve more as a bonus. I bought the phone so that it would truly be mine first and foremost.

  3. Yes; updates should be timely and easy to get unto devices.

    That way, even some of us leery of some of these “unnecessary” updates are encouraged to “update”

    “Convenience” is the keyword here. By the way, the incremental update introduced on Google Play is worthy of emulation by all. Saves time, data and money.

    Still running Android 2.3.4 (GingerBread) on the Sony Xperia Pro, despite the availability of ICS 4.0.3 /4.0.4 for it.
    .
    Addressing OS weaknesses via third party apps, which usb reply reversible (unlike most Firmware updates)


  4. Addressing OS weaknesses
    via third party apps, which
    usb reply reversible (unlike
    most Firmware updates)

    meant to say…

    Addressing OS weaknesses
    via third party apps, which
    is easily reversible (unlike
    most Firmware updates)

  5. As for me I prefer to have the uptodate os now than have it later.
    I have upgrade to window 8,loverly
    the new belle update have been installed on my nokia E6(317mb)
    my Samsung y pro dous have been rooted and installed with different rom..
    even if i get Samsung gs2 am rooting it right away….

  6. I agree, updates should be made easy and delivered on time. This is one area I have to give thumbs up to Apple. They deliver. But that is because they control everything. If Google does same for all androids I bet updates will be as easy. However, this is not the case.

    We don’t all have to be geeks. But there are basic steps that everyone should be able to do flawlessly once you can read and understand. The s2 already has ICS updates prompting on devices here in Nigeria. But it’s not on every device I guess. In such case, one should seek an alternative route. The alternative is to flash through the use odin. It’s almost risk proof. So easy all one needs to do is to press just a button and it does the rest all by itself. Almost like updating using kies.

    I will continue to update my devices as long as it brings improvements. ICS is way ahead of gingerbread. It’s faster and allows the installation of apps like the chrome which I can’t do without right now. When jellybean is available for my device I will flash it one time. Who doesn’t want the buttery smooth OS?


  7. My galaxy tab shipped with ICS out of the box and in the last two months, I have received two incremental updates and my tab is wifi only.

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