Why You Should Update Your Mobile's Firmware

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I was involved in a Twitter conversation in which someone mentioned that he ran into 5 or 6 Nokia N8 users with their devices still on PR1 or 1.2 firmware. I also mentioned that the average BlackBerry user here in Nigeria does not install any apps besides those that come with the phone, update apps, not to mention update their devices’ firmware. Evidence before me says the same is true for most iOS and Android users.


In my opinion, device manufacturers and OS developers should make app and firmware update notifications more intrusive or in-your-face. And it should be totally OTA. No-one should ever have to connect a mobile to PC in order to update it in this day and age.

So, why should you ever bother about updating your mobile? No long stories.

One, some of the complaints you have about your mobile have been taken care of through newer firmware. Update, and the problems go away.


Two, some new features and functionality may be available through newer firmware. Update to enjoy those features.

Three, newer firmware may bring cool, fancy, tricks to your phone. We geeks call it eye-candy. In other words, everything looks better. Upgrade and you may fall in love afresh with how your mobile’s user interface looks.

Examples
I carry three phones around with me these days – Nokias N8 and N9, and a BlackBerry 9300 Curve 3G.

I updated my N8 to enjoy the new benefits of Anna, and also flashed it unofficially to enjoy the benefits of Symbian Belle (which will be officially released soon). Belle is a totally different beast and as a result, my N8 is a different device entirely from what it was.

The N8 is so different that I can’t leave it at home while I have the N9 with me, so I carry both.

I also updated the firmware of the Curve 3G from BlackBerry OS5 to OS6, and the improvements are superb. Thank God for firmware updates.



How To
Install your device’s PC software on your system, connect your device and click through the menu to check for any available updates. If one is available and you have a fast Internet connection, you should be done in some minutes (except you are updating an iOS device, in which case, go watch a movie while the update is downloaded).


Have you updated your mobile? Is your device any better after the update? If you haven’t, go get it done now.

READER COMMENTS

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22 comments

  1. I’ve updated my nokia C5-00 firmware 3times since i started using it november 1 last year. When i check the phones of peeps around me with outdated firmware i just *shake my head*

  2. @Yomi
    my E5 which is my ‘Blue Berry’ has been updated to version 071.003 since july this year and since then any time I check for update, the fone says up to date. does any one know if there is a new update to this nokia E5?
    my second fone(which I worship) is N8 and has been updated to anna, but for christ sake, oga Yomi when will those of us could not or scared to flash our N8 enjoy what you are enjoying?

  3. Updated my bold 9700 to OS 6 days after I bought it, and I always update the bb apps whenever an update alert appears (even if I don’t use the app eg google talk, Yahoo messenger, etc)

    my N8 has never spent more than a day without the latest official firmware. About unofficial firmware, I’ve flashed it 4 times so far.

    @Andy – flashing is really not for the faint hearted. The 3rd time I was flashing my N8, it died on me. Had to take it to Nokia care to be fixed. Just be patient and wait til next month for Belle.


  4. A lot of Nigerian really don’t know what all these updates are about as stated. I think those of us that are in the know should try educating them so they can utilise their expensive devices fully. Some times these updates can add such huge functions that can help save money. Check for example updating from android 2.1 to 2.2 on galaxy s, it added the wifi hotspot functionality. With such update you don’t need buying Internet modem for your laptop. Just create the hotspot from your phone and connect uo to 5 devices.

    Same thing goes for apps. All these updates gives us better experience on our devices. I have never waited for official updates before. I just flash away once the. Leak is available and stable enough. The miui rom I use in my sgs gets updated every week with new improvements. I don’t flash every week though, but do once I either get tired of the present rom or there is an added function/improvement in the update that i really dig.

  5. It is generally always great to go for the newest of things. Presumably (usually), they are better than the older versions.

    But my take is – always exercise some caution (unless you can bear the possible consequence of always rushing to grab new things – firmware inclusive).

    Some new firmwares may introduce new bugs not present in an older version (while eliminating the ones in the older!).

    The average nongeeky Joe may be well advised to shun / delay firmware updates UNLESS they have problems/deficiencies in the current one, or they have specific features present in the new firmware – that they desire.

    As an example of ‘new is not always better’, i use an app called zdclock – for symbian. AS usual, i am always looking for the latest version of everything. I have found bugs in recent versions That are not present in the old. This is a common occurrence.

    Unless there are easy ways to reverse firmware updates, i would recommend caution- for the non-geeks…

    Newer is not ALWAYS better. (www.oldversion.com)

  6. how do i upgrade from Gingerbread 2.3.3 to 2.3.5 on samsung galaxy s2 or is it adviceable to just wait for the Android 4.0 ice cream sandwich


  7. @eyebeekay

    ”Some new firmwares may introduce new bugs not present in an older version (while eliminating the ones in the older!).”

    i agree wit you on that eyebeekay…some newer firmwares solve problems but bring along other problems of their own..i never really mind anyway. If there’s a new update. I check the web for the changeLog and update .

  8. Updates… Cool stuff. I’ve had a couple of gud experiences with it, even on S40 phones. My Nokia 3110 charged up faster after a firmware update & an update on Nokia 2730 fixed issues with typing to search within gallery files. A recent update on my C5 introduced new apps including tips on how to maximise its functionality, its quite nosy though.
    Belle has made Mr. Mobility stuck with the N8 n many more others i think.

    But I’ll agree with Eye.Bee.Kay that newer is not always better. Sometimes back, a new firmware update for the Nokia E71 n its siblings disabled the mail application on the phone. Today, the nokia email 3.21(0) update has issues with parsing html code in messages which workd perfectly wit 3.13. The new Operamini 6.5 J2ME has been reported to freeze while using it, i haven’t experienced this though. Even on this site, the comment box acts kind of funny, i have to type my comments in d note app then paste it in.

    While i love new stuff, i always check the change log to know if the update is worth it.

    Mr Mobility, is there a way i can update a Nokia E71/ E63 manually, pls?


  9. I use samsung i8910hd very good old phone, can somebody tell me if there is available firmware for this phone, ive tried but douldnt find any,….also can I get information on Faenils pit unofficial firmware if it can help and if it can be updated OTA. Thanks.

  10. My Nokia E51 runs the latest firmware for it.
    My Nokia N8-00 is equally up to date. In fact I flashed it with Belle shortly before Anna became available, but I had to revert to Anna because there were bugs in the Belle, such as the touch screen freezing, quick Office not working, etc. But I love Symbian Belle. I can’t wait to have it working on my N8.

  11. I had flashed my Nokia N8 thrice to the leaked Symbian Belle from daily mobile forum, but like I wrote in an earlier post above, I had to revert to Anna.
    Recently, I flashed with a CFW of Belle and the phone died on me. However, I was able to revive it after I did more search online and learnt new tricks. I flashed it again with the same firmware and it got bricked again. So I revived it again and updated to latest Anna. I have decided to wait for official release of Belle except I see a more reliable CFW before then.


  12. Talking about new not always better than old what happened to the log of data usage in the calls log of Symbian Anna. The total data used is shown, but the individual data usage logs are no longer shown, as they used to be shown in PR 1 to 1.2.

    About people bothering to update their phone or not, the truth is that majority of smart phone users are just using the phone as”status symbol”. They do not know or care about the functions of the phone. The only thing they use the phone for is making and receiving calls, and probably sending text messages. How do you expect such a person to bother about phone firmware.
    Then there is the issue of plugging to a PC in order to update. It would be much easier and more people would embrace it if it is done OTA.

  13. @Austine, abi nau its just status rubbish. I’ve seen someone use a N8 just for calls n sometimes pictures, not to think of sms… I for snatch the phone if i had the chance.

    @Eye.Bee.Kay, thanks but i’m actually looking for a way to circumvent the sofware updater, just as Yomi pointed out in a related article: http://mobility.com.ng/2011/10/28/how-to-manually-update-your-blackberry-firmware/ . I wanna bump the phone straight up from v100.07.81 to v500.21.009 skipping abt six firmware updates.

  14. I have a ”if it ain’t broke don’t fix policy”, If my phone works with the current firmware, I wouldn’t consider upgrading it. The changelog determines if I’d upgrade. I’d upgrade from Anna to Belle, or say iOS4 to 5 but a v25 upgrade with no new features is a no no


  15. @fortespy
    I updated mine about 5 days back using Samsung kies.
    Just go http://www.samsung.com and download Kies and install it on your pc, launch it and connect your SGSII and it will indicate the new firmware. You can then proceed for firmware update.

  16. I don’t like dwelling in the past. Anything new, i always will update.

    @martinkem I like your policy but come on, it’s good to see some new changes on your smartphone once in a while (it’s cool). Updated my C7 months ago to Anna and patiently waiting for Belle update.

    Any updates, always try to have a feel of it, then you can decide for yourself to revert your update later or stick with the new one


  17. It wii be really great to be able to easily reverse a firmware upgrade.

    Arranging to solve a battery drain issue introduces eother problems…
    Apple’s iPhone 4SBattery TroublesNow Joined By New Problems

    See… bit.ly/uD0wdz

  18. Any updates, always tryto have a feel of it, then you can decide foryourself to revert your update later or stick with the new one
    }

    Is that always possible? Easily possible?

  19. @jikong1
    pls i have challenges updating my firmware like u adviced. i downloaded the kies package,installed it and connected my phone via usb to d laptop using wifi.. i still could not update.. its slow in downloading and gets to about 60%-80% and stops.. i spent over 6hours.. pls does it have a file.. u can be kind enough to send it to me…. fortespy@gmail.com..

    i need this update badly


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