When was the last time you updated your device? Was it a voluntary update or an automatic update? What changes did it bring about in your phone? System and application updates always seem to pop up at regular intervals, usually at times when you use your phone the most, and truth be told most of us postpone them without giving it a second thought for days, weeks or even months.
Updating your device is crucial to the health of your phone and is something that goes unnoticed. It isn’t just about updates UI that gives you the feeling for a new toy, bringing back nostalgic feelings from childhood. Every new gadget has the ability to stir those feelings. But a software update is more than just that.
With the passage of time every device tends to lose its initial lustre and the excitement tends to fade. But all of this is just on the surface. When your device begins to get outdated you will see a ton of problems cropping up. Some common issues faced by users appear in the form of poor battery life, appearance of strange never-seen-before characters on the screen, or the inability to connect to Wi-Fi or bluetooth devices.
The common solution to all such problems is usually a software patch. Installing an updated software patch is sometimes all you need to get your phone back to running in optimal condition.
What Are The Risks Of Running Your Device On An Outdated OS?
Let’s put it this way. No code in perfect. Often times, developers will find a ton of bugs and loopholes in an OS’s security patch and will issue an update after having fixed those issues. Such security holes are very common and companies issue complete statements on why they felt the need to conduct an update & why you must install said update on your phone.
There is always a chance that your device or any device with an outdated OS is being targeted by cybercriminals with malicious intents. Such cybercriminals are always on the lookout for loopholes in software security and application vulnerabilities and once companies announce software updates they switch their efforts into high gear and actively look for outdated devices to exploit.
Such criminals are quick to move and will leave no stones unturned in conducting complete system takeovers in which your personal and sensitive data can be stolen such as your social media and other page login credentials, bank details, social security number and more. All of these data can help criminals carry out identity theft and commit a range of financial and other types of frauds without you even realising it.
Upon doing so, smartphone companies will not be held responsible since they had already done their part in fixing the security issues and informing users of the same. At the end of the day, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that your devices and the information therein are safe and secure.
What Are The Major Kinds Of Updates?
Essentially there are 2 kinds of software updates that you will receive on your phone.
1. Security Update – As the name suggests, Security updates are only concerned with updating the security features on your phone. They are also known as security patches and work to fix bugs in your current OS. This is done to prevent any sort of cyber attacks and secure your phone’s data. Included in this are smaller updates that usually come in packs and work to fix and particular issue. Such updates are no major in nature and only work to address particular bug fixes outside of security concerns. They are called Incremental updates.
2. Operating System Update – OS updates are heavier in terms of file size, update run time and brand value for the companies. Such updates are usually released annually and bring major changes to the operating systems in the form of UI changes, new apps, settings, and more.
Currently Android is running Android 11 with 12 in the works to be released in September and Apple is running iOS 14.5.
Steps to take before and after updating your OS
Before you start an OS update, follow these steps to help avoid problems:
Charge your Phone – Avoid having your phone power down during an update by making sure the device has at least a 70% charge. This will ensure your phone doesn’t die put mid update since updates can suck up a lot of battery.
Back-up Files – OS upgrades and updates should not affect the data stored on your smartphone, but as a safe measure back up all your files just in case.
Ensure Compatibility – A new OS may not be designed for all older devices so before you go running an update make sure your device is compatible with the new OS because otherwise you will end up with issues you can’t fix yourself.
Delete Redundant Data – A new OS may use up a significant amount of storage on your device’s memory. In order to help it run smoothly clear out any and all apps that are just taking up space and you know you haven’t used them in the longest time. This will not only ensure your phone pairs well with the new updates but will also prevent the OS from lagging.
After You Update Your OS
Sometimes the new OS will have different pre-installed settings than the ones you have chosen, and will default to the new settings over your old ones. After you install the new OS, check these settings to ensure your phone is not running functions or sharing data in ways you may not want.
Wi-Fi Settings – Most smartphones include a function that automatically switches to your data plan when Wi-Fi connectivity is weak. If left on, this may cause data usage when you do not expect it. Decide if you want that function switched on or off and change it accordingly.
Check For Automatic App Updates – If you turn this function off, apps can only be updated using a Wi-Fi connection. This can help prevent excess data drainage, particularly for apps that you do not use often or ever.
Privacy Settings and Network Connections – Make sure your location services, Bluetooth sharing, ad tracking and social media settings are set to the preferences you want. Most updates tend to change these settings to enable data sharing in order to provide you customized content on your phone.
Check for OS compatibility for your most important apps – A new OS sometimes may be incompatible with one or more of your existing apps until a new patch is issued. Check for upgrades for any apps that aren’t functioning properly or uninstall them completely otherwise they may interfere with the way your UI functions.
There are times when even upon updating your OS you may not be satisfied with the way your phone looks and feels. In such cases you may want to dispose of it and get a new phone altogether. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered.
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