Why Is Updating My Phone Important?
It seems like every month there's a new pop-up on my phone telling me "There is an update available for your device." It's really easy during a hectic day to see that little warning and completely forget about it till the next update comes out and I get another warning. I always make sure to get the major updates, like iOS 8 and Android 5.0 Lollipop, but without all those flashy new features, why be in such a hurry if there's nothing really new?
The fact is that no piece of software has come out of the factory flawless. No matter how good the programmer, there are always tiny little bugs and glitches that won't rear their ugly heads until the intense use that comes with a widely disseminated product. While it can be annoying to go through the whole downloading and rebooting process if you're in the middle of something (and when updates rear their head you typically are,) these seemingly insignificant updates can make a ton of difference in the long run. We've listed some of the things that users will want to do to prepare for these incremental updates, and some of the things they do while seeming to not do a ton.
Before you upgrade:
Most of the time, you can just hit update and everything will go smoothly. With official updates most people will never experience a boot loop (when the phone repeatedly attempts to boot and is unable to) or the worst case, a hardware failure. However, to be sure that these disasters never befall your device you should always do the following when attempting to update.
- Make sure you have your phone connected to a power source. Losing battery during an update means that critical system files can be corrupted, leading to an inevitable reinstall of the operating system which takes time and technical expertise you may not have.
- Make sure to do a backup, for iPhone this can be done through iTunes, and for Android it depends on the model and manufacturer. A backup ensures that if anything goes wrong you'll be able to restore your apps and settings as well as your contacts pain free.
What these updates do:
While these incremental updates (like the recently released iOS 8.1.2 and Android 5.0.2) don't typically herald new design changes, they are essential for fixing all the tiny annoying bugs that crop up. Some of them may fix Wi-Fi dropping out, or certain apps crashing, but the most important thing they do is close security loopholes. Over time, hackers and scammers find holes in the phones operating systems they can use to make it run malicious code that can leave you vulnerable to identity theft, typically each update for your phone will patch the known vulnerabilities, the bad guys will find more, and the cycle goes on. However, if you don't update your phone, you'll be at risk more and more as time goes on and every loophole that was patched is still wide open on your phone.
Why should I care?
With the internet becoming more and more deeply ingrained in our lives with each passing day, your phone is becoming your personalized hub to the world. Electronic payment, online shopping and banking, and communications all run through the same device. It's easy to take the viewpoint of "It could never happen to me, I'm too careful." Those words have been shown time and time again to be foolhardy, from people losing their savings, to this year's celebrity nude leak, it has been made obvious that those who refuse to take care of their phones and provide the proper precautions to keep their data safe end up regretting it. Besides, if someone told you your door had to be updated to keep you safe, would you put your family at risk by procrastinating?