by Joel Saltzman
Have you ever heard the old adage... "If it ain't broken, don't fix it"? Ever since the second iPhone, Dr Wireless has cautioned against doing software upgrades just because the device manufacturer, carrier or App developer suggested it. I have found this out the hard way on more than one occasion.
It's easier to understand why this might not be a great idea once you see the reasons why software updates are done. There are probably a dozen reasons that doing a software upgrade could be a bad idea. There are only several good reasons to do an upgrade. Those include patching a security vulnerability or when cool new features or functionality are added.
Here are some of the reasons why you would not want to do an "Automatic Software Upgrade".
1) Often times, these new upgrades have adverse effects not noticed during beta testing. The most common issues are noticeable battery drain, and/or connectivity issues, usually involving cellular or wifi connection.
2) This is also the opportunity that many companies take to change their terms and contract fineprint. I had an application about a decade ago that gave me free calling to Mexico. I found out after the fact that upgrading to the new version stripped my FREE Mexico calling plan capabilities.
3) With millions of applications out there, it's virtually impossible to beta test new software and expect everything to work. It would not be so bad if you could go back to your previous version but APPLE makes that impossible now in most cases.
4) Very often, these software patches that are created to fix problems create bigger problems. That's why I have always set up our clients iPhones changing the default software automatic upgrade feature from on to off. That way, you can wait about a week and then google "Problems with iOS13 and see what comes up. If there are no major issues, do it manually.
The reality is if Apple came out with a security patch to fix a vulnerability with Apple Pay, it only makes sense to download if you actually use Apple Pay. If you don't why take the chance. It's kind of like having a medical operation if you don't need one. There is always the risk of complications, infections, etc...
by Joel Saltzman
Like clockwork, Apple announces their new models rollout the first week of September. Pre-orders usually begin immediately and the products begin shipping the third week of September. The new devices always have bigger, faster processors, better cameras, and other new bells and whistles. Sometimes, as in this case, the battery capacity is greater but the devices are heavier than previously.
It's tempting to be the first guy on the block to get the latest and greatest iPhone. For over 20 years, I was the dude doing the testing and product evaluations for Dr Wireless. In the old days RIM used to give me BlackBerry devices gratis, for this. Palm, Motorola, Apple, Samsung, NOKIA, and LG made us pay for the devices. In most cases, it's not a lot of fun being the guinea pig test pilot. Yeah, it's kind of exciting but often times the new devices don't interface as predicted with 3rd party applications. During beta testing, not every problem is immediately discovered and rectified. With the exception of battery problems, it's often the new iOS (operating system) that caused all the problems. After all, there are literally millions of 3rd party applications that can't possibly remain 100% compatible when APPLE is doing major upgrades.
That means that it might be a good idea to sit this one out for a while and let the dust settle. Not only is APPLE bringing out new devices, they are also introducing iOS13. Unless you have been living on Gilligan's island, you are aware that APPLE has had several software upgrades in the last several months which made their devices vulnerable to hackers. Often times, the initial software iOS has battery depletion or connectivity issues. For this reason, unlike many experts, I suggest our clients turn off the automatic software update feature and do this manually. This way, you can prepare your device by backing everything up, It's also a great idea to monitor the chat rooms for "Problems with iOS13".
Even without the traditional hardware and software glitches, there are a couple of good reasons to not jump on these new devices. First of all, do you really need a better camera? The below grasshopper picture was takes with my iPhone 6s+, a four year old device. Not too shabby.
I'm quite fine with the camera on my current 2 year old iPhone X. My processor is fast enough and is more limited by my carriers bandwidth than the devices actual processor.
The real deal breaker for me is the fact that these new devices go for well over $1,000 for the premium models and they lack one very important feature that will make these phones all but obsolete in 6 months... 5G technology! The carriers are currently beta testing it and 1GB speeds are going to make 100MB look snail slow. I'm telling you now before these new phones are even shipped that they will likely bring out a new 5G model in May. Sit on your current device and get a big discount of these new devices in May when they have to drop pricing to sell, or better yet, buy a 5G model!
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.