No updates available

by Volker Weber


When Microsoft issues a Windows update, you can get it, no matter who made your PC. That's what you also expect from your smartphone, a device much closer to heart than any PC ever was. However, that's not what you are getting.

You never did. Updates had to be certified by the carrier. That's why they were pretty rare. Apple changed this somewhat. When Apple issues an iOS update, your iPhone, iPad or iPod will install it (unless it's no longer supported). Everywhere in the world. Apple managed to become the dog instead of the tail.

When Microsoft releases an update to Windows Phone 7, it starts trickling down through your carriers. Currently all WP7 are alike. Same CPU, same chipset, same graphics. Updates could be swift like for the iPhone, but they are not.

When Google releases an update to Android, you are going to wait. A few weeks, if you have a Nexus. A few month if you have a phone with "added value" like HTC Sense or Motoblur. Or you are not getting it at all. No timely fixes for security holes, nada.

Nokia just dug itself a hole with Symbian^3. Instead of fixing the phones they already sold, they dumped two new devices on the market. Updates for existing customers were announced to be "in the next months", two of which already passed.

Customers learn quickly. I have seen people buying an Android because they damaged their iPhones and wanted to try something else. Most of them lasted a few weeks. At most until the next update they could not get.


You're so right. Maybe an iPhone does not have all the Gimmicks Android has. But it just works. Without any problems. Everything is fine: Installation, Updates, everything.

At the end the best smartphone for me isn't the one with the best features. It is the smartphone with the best concept. And at this moment, Apple still is the best.

Alper Iseri, 2011-06-15

But it just works

Unless you need Bluetooth to work without hiccups.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-15

A few weeks, if you have a Nexus.

Small correction: A few week, if you have a Nexus not issued by Vodafone.

Markus Thielmann, 2011-06-15

Vodafone has the inverse Midas touch. They turn everything they touch into junk.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-15

The techtards will always moan about being left behind, but the majority of phones running Android are bought by people who don't know what Android is, nor do they care about OS update schedules. Neither of the two Nexus phones that shipped with unlocked bootloaders were big sellers (perhaps by design, as they were not marketed).

My Samsung and Sony Ericsson devices have recieved multiple system updates outside of Android platform versions, so there IS a route to push out security updates from the Android trunk if an OEM chooses it.

... I should probably not mention some of the "value add" work I did under the Vodafone 360 brand last year in this forum :)

Jeff Gilfelt, 2011-06-15

@Volker: Was sind Deine Probleme mit Bluetooth? Mein BT-905 funktioniert seit iOS 4.3.2 ohne Probleme.

Michael Klüsener, 2011-06-15

Kann ich gar nicht alle aufzählen. Verbindung tot, kein ausgehender Audiokanal mit dem Calisto, ... Und das ist alles on/off. Keine Ahnung wie viele Code-Varianten Apple hat.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-15

"But it just works"

how often did i read this on your site volker :)

yesterday my wife asked me to "configure" her iPad. Being new to the iEverything world I have to say that it is not as straight forward as one would think after reading "it just works" everywhere on the net.

Things the iFans probably know but were new to me. No FREE downloads without Credit Card. Using an old iTunes Account which has money on it but a US address is not possible if you don´t have a US Credit Card. Using an iPad without having access to a PC or Mac is not possible. Not complaining here. Love your site and your recommendations. The device has no possibility to connect to NAS without a third party app. Found File browser which does a good job.

The most important she is happy with the pad and when she lets me I will of course also use it to control the Sonos which is magical and was purchased on the great recommendation of your magic flying circus.

Thanks Volker!!!!

Andre Hausberger, 2011-06-15

back to the topic... got a unbranded N8 purchased from Amazon US and I will have to wait a month longer then the Europeans to get my update. Why...? absolutely no idea but it sucks...

Andre Hausberger, 2011-06-15

@Andre, you *can* use the appstore without a credit card, it's hard and hidden but it can be done:

Giuseppe Grasso, 2011-06-15

Great find thanks Giuseppe.
Whilst the Link is VERY helpful it does not prove that "it just works" ;)

We meanwhile found a way to use the US iTunes account with a Chilean Credit Card. We deleted the Zip Code and added the Credit Card. Weird but it worked with the Chilean Address, blank post code but Country set to US as this was unchangeable

Andre Hausberger, 2011-06-15

you can get gift certificates for the iTunes store, and can create an account with that and voilà - an iTunes US account.
In addition vowe had an article several months back on how to get free apps, plus the URL is above. Myself I like the US iTunes account, easier access to what I am looking for. Just saying...

Alexander Koch, 2011-06-15

The niggle with iPhones is the "supported" bit vs. carrier contract length. The two don't necessarily mesh. I'm currently using a 3G while finishing out a three year term with Rogers. Meanwhile Apple decided months ago to stop pushing out security updates for the 3G. Which means I'm no better than users stuck on a contract with an outdated version of Android. Not good enough in my view.

I understand fully that the 3G isn't powerful enough hardware for all the new features and apps that Apple pushes out in iOS updates. That shouldn't preclude all security fixes though.

Simply put, Apple should be releasing iOS security updates--Safari in particular--for a longer period. The only way to get patches for the 3G last fall was to jump to iOS4. Those patches have dried up already.

Of course Rogers will let me upgrade to a new iPhone4 before the term is up...and the cycle would start again (new contract)...with no guarantee the iPhone4 would be supported by Apple for the term of the new contract.

Rod Stauffer, 2011-06-15

Interesting. There are no 3 year contracts in this part of the world. 2 years is the norm. I recommend to buy the unlocked phone without subsidiaries folded into the contract. Monthly payments are lower and you can sell the old one and buy a new one whenever you feel like it.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-15

Re: Nokia updates - back when I was still using Nokia phones on a regular basis, I updated by changing the product code and chose one (via google) that already supports the update. The stuff you do (jeopardizing your phone's warranty) just to fix that nasty bug. Dunno if this is still possible with the N8 or E7?

A big mistake was the purchase of a "country specific" version via Amazon (that's the regular retail version, btw) which was the last version to receive updates while all carriers had already provided updates, even OTA.

So I agree - updates are important and just the recent moaning of HTC Desire on mashable & co about HTC's update policy should be proof enough that this should instead be turned into a marketing instrument: "look, when there's an update available, we'll give it to you no matter where you are atm".

It's these small things (see Volker's experience with his sound system at home) that make a happy customer. I wish companies would openly embrace this attitude and serve their customers in an ideal way.

If {Apple}, then {you can do anything}.
Else {try harder}.

Juergen Eichholz, 2011-06-16

Oder sobald Du vCards per Bluetooth empfangen willst.

It is not possible (not as easy as it was) with S^3 Handsets (C6, C7, E6, E7, N8). Unfortunately...

Hubert Stettner, 2011-06-16

Updates an meinem Androiden (Samsung Galaxy) sind sehr frustrierend. Man weiß, dass es neue Funktionen da draußen gibt, man weiß nicht, ob man in den Genuß kommt und wenn dann ein Update von der Windows Software mit dem Namen "Kies" angemahnt wird, dann bricht das Ding nach Stunden ab und nix wars.

Ich finde das Gerät klasse, aber die Updates sind bei meinem iPad deutlich besser und komfortabler. Und die Vorschläge, man könnte das Gerät doch selber aufbohren, sind ....

Naja, in nur 23 Monaten bekomme ich ja schon ein neues Gerät :-((((

Joachim Haydecker, 2011-06-16

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