The seemingly endless wait for updates

The seemingly endless wait for updates

Summary: It's a good thing I love gadgets considering I cover them for a living, but it does have its downside, like the endless waiting for system updates. There is no time that moves as slowly as that spent waiting for updates.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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I am addicted to technology, especially that of the mobile variety. If it's small and can go mobile I am all over it. That's a good thing considering I cover it for a living, but it does have its downside. Like the endless waiting for system updates for gadgets. There is no time that moves as slowly as that spent waiting for updates.

In the old days a device maker would tell you that an update would be released on a given date, at which time you would go to the support site and download the update. Once it was safely on your hard drive you would connect your gadget to the computer and apply the update. Providing it didn't brick your device, in just a few minutes you would have the equivalent of a brand new gadget compliments of new system software. The new system might just squash bugs that made it to customers, or sometimes include new features. Those were the good old days.

I am currently waiting (and waiting) for updates on the two newest devices in my possession. The Nexus S 4G smartphone is a great device, but it has some issues that have affected some owners. Sprint has prepared an update to address those issues, and also upgrade the Android system to the latest version of Gingerbread. This is a fairly minor upgrade, but it's the latest and greatest. The update began rolling out a couple of days ago to customers, but it hasn't hit my phone yet.

The modern system of over-the-air (OTA) updates is as convenient as can be, but it has its drawbacks. These updates are often rolled out in tiers to prevent overloading the carrier's servers dishing out the update. That means only a small number of customers get the update at a time, which means that those far down the list might not get it for days or even weeks. The period of time covering an update's release to when it actually hits your device is the slowest movement of time known to man. Between manually (and constantly) checking to see if the update is available for your particular gadget, and the wondering if the update has been cancelled by the issuer for some reason, time seems to stand still.

I am also anxiously waiting a major update from HP for the TouchPad. The initial reviews of the TouchPad consistently complained about its stability and performance. I am finding my TouchPad has settled down pretty well, but I want this update to optimize my experience with the tablet. HP has stated it would be pushed out to owners this month, and as the month is nearly over I am getting increasingly anxious to get it. It's like being told something is coming but you can't have it yet, and that is frustrating to those addicted to this stuff.

I just checked the clock again for the hundredth time today, then picked up each gadget to check if the update was there yet. If there is anything worse than waiting for a device update, I don't know what it is. Oh yes I do, waiting for updates on two devices. Sigh.

Image credit: Flickr user cacophonyx

Topic: Mobility

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18 comments
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  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    Same with Samsung galaxy tab 10.1. The wait is debilitating.
    Epsilon_Delta
  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    Are there any stories circulating about an upgrade of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Wifi 7" device firmware. It was released with Froyo 2.2.1.
    jmb codewriter
    • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

      @brayj@... Haven't heard yet. My Sprint Tab was updated to Gingerbread a few weeks ago.
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

        @JamesKendrick - have followed your blog for a long time. if anyone has heard/will hear and posts the news, it will be you. thanks for your quick response. look forward to your next bit of info. thanks
        jmb codewriter
      • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

        @JamesKendrick
        Yes, I got my Sprint Tab upgraded to Gingerbread few weeks back. I agree with jmb codewriter about your responsiveness and bringing news.
        Ram U
  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    +100. Very good article. How is Touchpad working out? I returned mine, but will get once the AT&T version comes out.
    Ram U
    • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

      @Rama.NET It is filling my needs fine, hopefully even better after the update. YMMV.
      JamesKendrick
  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    Good luck with those updates on your devices James! Took my TouchPad back the other day - no update is going to fix broken text editing ability for me...
    lgpOnTheMove
  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    For some TouchPad owners part of the building anxiety is that the 30 day cut off for returning the launch day purchases is creeping up...
    scotty1024
    • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

      @scotty1024
      Return it, buy another one, restart the clock.
      bruzr
  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    Why do we by computing devices with the promise they will be better with the NEXT update? Do we buy a car this way, it will be faster and mor economical with the release 1.2.34. If a company, I am looking at you HP, Motorola, RIM, etc., can not on initital release provide a stable product, I will not be waiting for an upgrade. I will spend my money elsewhere.
    davidmpaul
    • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

      @davidmpaul Which is why I decided to get a netbook and forget Android. Windows 7 Starter dual booted with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS covers all my needs. The only reason I would get a tablet now is if it was a reasonably price Win7 and I can add Ubu LTS.

      Paul
      pfyearwood
  • Funny

    I think people just like to complain. I hear complaints from Playbook users who are getting updates almost weekly and then there are these others who are anxiously waiting updates because they have been waiting for one.
    Ray (Canada)
  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    Seems like the problem is OTA bandwidth. Maybe a sync cord would help.
    dickdavies
  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    This is a problem with all mobile device vendors -- except one. The world would be a much better place if the carriers would get out of the update business. It's not their forte, obviously, and only creates artificial delays for anxious customers. Apple is the only vendor on the planet that has the right update process. Adding OTA delivery in iOS5 will round out the overall process to where all devices should aspire to reach.
    lecube
  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    You need to get a life......!!
    ucdailoi@...
  • Carrier handset contracts

    Australian carriers love the '24 month plan' for a free or cheap handset. Indeed it's the only way to get a handset unless you buy it outright. I just wish they'd get into line & realise that 2 years is way too long to lock you in to one handset, considering how frequently this technology is being replaced. Understand it's a bigger monthly cost, but would make more sense to spread handset repayments over 12 months, so at least next year you can replace yours with the newest phone. And if it sounds like I'm impatient, I still have an HTC Touch Pro with Windows 6.1. It was still on contract when the first iPhones came out now it's off contract I didn't want to lock in another 2 years with an iPhone 3 knowing that the 4 & 5 were just around the corner.
    LeandaC
  • RE: The seemingly endless wait for updates

    [i]In the old days a device maker would tell you that an update would be released on a given date, at which time you would go to the support site and download the update. Once it was safely on your hard drive you would connect your gadget to the computer and apply the update. Providing it didn?t brick your device, in just a few minutes you would have the equivalent of a brand new gadget compliments of new system software. The new system might just squash bugs that made it to customers, or sometimes include new features. Those were the good old days.[/i]

    Funny, isn't that exactly how Apple has updated iOS devices all along yet they are constantly bashed for this process. I am not posting this to bash other devices or to say that Apple is the best but find it funny that so many bash Apple for what they kept from the "good old days".
    non-biased