Fighting Talk: Why can’t they get software updates right first time?

by Gary Cutlack on November 23, 2014

Fighting Talk: Why can't they get software updates right first time?

You spend days, weeks, months, and in the case of some Android models, years, waiting for the latest software update to hit your digital thing, then what happens?

It breaks something. And you wish you had your old version back. But you can’t, not without reading forums and downloading tools that may well break it completely. So you’re stuck with your broken phone or tablet and life is pretty much ruined.

The long awaited Android Lollipop release hit Nexus devices recently, and what happened? It slowed some machines to a crunch, stopped some apps from working altogether and made many machines generally unstable.

None of this was known before launch, of course, when commenters only saw all the pretty new design stuff and wanted it on their phones and tablets as soon as possible.

Hardcore users have found ways to make the Android 5.0 Nexus release work a little better on afflicted machines by editing settings and deleting apps, but in a device aimed at attracting mainstream users, that’s no help at all.

Your dad’s not going to attempt deactivating Google Now and changing page transition effects to see if it fixes anything on his newly clunky Nexus 7. He’ll put it in a cupboard or buy an iPad.

Not that Apple’s managed a better job of it.

iOS 8 was riddled with bugs that required hasty patching, a process that’s still ongoing.

The latest PS4 software update also broke things. Some users couldn’t take their machines out of standby mode after applying the update, ruining the point of it all once again.

Leave it alone

Update notifications used to be exciting, bringing the promise of new things to try and have, and something to show off about. Now they’re massive warning signs that your expensive gadget might about to be broken, wiped or rendered as clunky as a budget model by an inept software upgrade.

At least we can install bug fixes, though!

Our devices make themselves useless for 20 minutes again while they download and install a version of the software that tries to fix the previous breakages and, if we’re unlucky, may introduce a few new ones.

What’s the problem with getting things right first time? Is it because we’re all such moaners we’re forcing the tech companies to release updates before they’re really ready?

Would another fortnight of fiddling with the Android 5.0 release have resulted in an update that didn’t break quite so many devices?

Would another two weeks of Google being badmouthed on the internet for being too slow be worth delaying it for and avoiding the subsequent post-release badmouthing?

Trust fund blown

This sort of ongoing ineptitude breeds a mistrust of the entire process.

Once your mum’s had her phone rendered useless through a firmware update gone bad, she’s unlikely to hit any of the update notifications in the future.

So when there’s a massive security hole discovered in her Galaxy M for Mum it’ll stay there until she upgrades it in six years time, because last time she did an update the Wi-Fi stopped working for three months so she’s not trying THAT again.

Tech history is so littered with examples of updates making things worse it’s almost as if the hardware makers have some sort of vested interest in making sure we buy new models when they balls up the old ones.

Originally Posted By TechRadar: All latest World of tech news feeds

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A8 Chip in iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Capable of Playing 4K Video

by Juli Clover on November 22, 2014

The dual-core A8 chip powering Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus appears to be capable of handling 4K video playback, despite the fact that the two iPhones have native resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 pixels, respectively.

4K video playback on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was first discovered by the developers behind WALTR, a Mac app that’s designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone for native playback, and reported by TUAW.

a8chip

The discovery was made by the developers of WALTR, a great Mac app that allows users to quickly upload video files to their iPhone which aren’t supported by iTunes, such as FLAC and MKV files. While testing the app developers found it is possible to playback 4K videos on the iPhone 6. Even if Apple hasn’t announced it, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are ready to play 4K videos.

With resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus won’t be able to reproduce the detail in a 3840 x 2160 4K video, but the A8’s ability to play 4K content means 4K videos side-loaded onto one of Apple’s two devices will still be watchable.

It’s highly unlikely many users will load 4K videos on their iPhones due to the massive file size of 4K content and the fact that there’s little practical use for it, but it has the potential to be a somewhat useful feature for some users who want to play 4K video recorded on their devices as there are apps available that advertise 4K video recording on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Originally Posted By MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors - All Stories

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