Software updates are essential inconveniences that are part of every gadget's life cycle. Newer versions of firmware bring new features, important security patches, bug fixes and even emergency services that can save your life.
Is it a double-edged sword, though? Do these automatic software updates impact our gadgets in ways that may degrade their optimum performance? You probably remember how the Windows 10 Anniversary update crashed or froze a significant number of PCs and even rendered millions of webcams unusable.
Now aside from software crashes, consumer watchdog Which? claims that some of these updates do impact performance by taking up precious storage space and can even affect battery life.
Lost storage found
On the storage side, Which? found out that a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet that ran Windows 8.1 lost about 30GB of storage space after upgrading to Windows 10. A Samsung Galaxy S2 tablet likewise lost 3GB after updating from Android Lollipop to Marshmallow.
On other tests, the battery range of an iPhone 6 decreased by 38 minutes after updating to iOS 10 from iOS 8. Meanwhile a Nexus 6P Android phone's battery life decreased by a whopping three hours after upgrading from Marshmallow to Nougat.
It's not all bad news, though.
Some updates do have positive effects on storage and battery life.
For example, a Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet's latest update increased its battery life by 4.5 hours and a Moto X Force gained 2.5GB of storage after applying its latest firmware update. An iPad Air 2 also improved its battery life by as much as two hours after updating to iOS 10 from iOS 8.
With these findings, Which? wants manufacturers to warn users more about the negative effects of future updates and allow users an easy way to revert back to an older version.
"Our latest research shows that, while upgrades are meant to boost the performance of our phones and tablets, the opposite can actually prove to be true," said Richard Headland, editor of Which?. "Given how much we rely on mobile devices, companies should do more to tell us about the possible downsides of updates, as well as the benefits."
Don't be the first one. You can usually postpone major software updates until all the bugs are worked out. We always let you know when that is here on Komando.com.
Things are different when it comes to important security updates.
With the increases in cybercrime and attacks, get security updates as soon you can. You might lose a few ticks of your battery life or some of your storage, but it's a small price to pay for the overall safety of your gadget and your personal data.
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