The start of the new year brings a host of new updates to established software and firmware. With the prevalence of downloadable content (DLC) it’s now par for the course that whatever you buy or use will continue to be updated for free, whether it’s for tablet, computer or smartphone. However some would argue that not all updates are actually an improvement – in fact, sometimes the developers are so eager to add new features and gimmicks that it actually slows down the program, causes other areas to not work or simply makes an absolutely pointless addition. One infamous example is the iOS7, and although it has been largely fixed now, at the time it led many to complain about reduced functions and increased crashes. Many who didn’t update immediately soon found themselves holding off until initial bugs were fixed.
So how do you know if it’s worth updating your software or not? The easiest way is to simply wait a few days and let other people do the testing for you. In most cases software and firmware updates are a one-way street; once they’ve been updated, it can be difficult or even impossible to revert to an earlier version without completely erasing and reinstalling. However any major issues will rapidly become apparent, so it’s simply a matter of waiting for the blogosphere to post their findings.
However doing this can sometimes prove how updates can be a mixed bag – a new version might add a new feature you really want, but also decrease loading time and overall usability. In these cases it’s up to you whether or not you want to make the compromise. It can also be worth waiting to skip an update – browsers such as Firefox and Chrome update very frequently, so it won’t be long before a new version is out.
Although most of the time you’ll be asked whether you want to upgrade to the latest version or not, one thing to be wary of is automatic updates. Chrome is one example of software that simply updates itself whenever a new version becomes available, and while this is handy in most cases, there have been some versions that cause issues with the Youtube player. If you want full control over your updates, simply turn off the automatic service in the preferences.
Most of the time updates will improve the functionality and efficiency of your software, but there are also cases where it does just the opposite. If in doubt, do research before making a major upgrade.