If you ask a tech nerd, it is always time to update your devices. They never met a new gadget they didn’t want to buy or an update to an old gadget they didn’t want to have.
Then, there is the kind who never wants to update for fear of breaking the perfect setup they have crafted over several years. New updates introduce new bugs and new challenges. Why improve on perfection?
These two camps are so adamant that it is hard to tell which to trust, or where the middle ground is. There are undeniably good reasons to update your hardware and software on occasion. And there are absolutely some bad hardware and software updates.
But in general, it is better to err on the side of more frequent updates, even if it disrupts that perfect workflow of yours from time to time. Here’s why:
New Tech Can Solve Old Problems
If it has been a while since you used something like the AT&T store locator to find a retailer with all the latest mobile gear, you should probably correct that as soon as you can. The reason is that there is new tech available for solving your old problems.
Good engineering is about solving problems that current solutions can’t quite reach. The tech of today is designed to solve the problems of last year. Whatever you were struggling with, your local retailer now offers solutions in the forms of first-party devices and third-party accessories.
The same is true of software updates. If you are not paying attention, you can miss critical updates that fix problems you thought were permanent. A recent example is the 2018 MacBook Pro line that shipped with a thermal issue cause throttling and poor performance at the high-end of the range. Apple pushed an update within days that corrected the issue.
If you never update, you are never going to get those fixes. If you have lingering problems, look for fixes in new updates.
Updates Keep You More Secure
There is a game of cat and mouse going on. And you are the mouse. Updates are the only things keeping you one step ahead of the cat. Stop updating, and you become cat food.
Hackers are actively trying to do you harm right this moment. It is not paranoia when they really are out to get you. The #1 tool the bad actors use to perform their foul deeds is a non-updated system.
In the case of smartphones, Androids don’t get a lot of updates. That is why they are bigger and better targets for hackers. Old PCs have old network cards which cannot be protected against newer exploits. And they generally run older versions of the OS which cannot be fully patched.
The less you pay for a device, the less likely it ever will or can be updated. To be safe, you have to buy new devices more frequently than someone who spent more on the device. The more expensive devices can usually be updated for several years while maintaining a reasonably safe profile. A non-updated system is like an unlocked door to thieves.
Regular Updates Provide a Gentle Learning Curve
If you skip hardware and software updates on a regular basis, you will feel like you have been left behind by the time you are forced to update. In general, user experience doesn’t change much from one update to another. But skip thee or four of them, and things are not going to be familiar after the update.
Incremental updates don’t always seem worth the effort because the changes can sometimes be too small. However, those small changes add up over time. Before too long, there is a feature addition or improvement, then another, then another. Even the companies that build these products don’t always know which features will catch on and which won’t ultimately matter.
There is a new version of iOS set to hit in September. That is no excuse to wait. Apple is still updating the current version of the OS. New accessories are coming out every day. Mac Notebooks just got a refreshed. And many PC makers just announced new devices as well.
It is time to update because the new updates solve old problems. Updates make your computing experience safer whether desktop of pocketable. And updating new makes the learning curve smoother.