Software updates can bring fantastic new features to our tech. But we’re seeing more and more times when devices lose functionality or even become completely unusable after a supposed improvement.
The advent of smart TVs has also brought software updates to your living room. These updates can improve various aspects of your smart TV experience, but we’re also discovering potential consequences.
Samsung’s H6400 range of smart TVs has proved popular in 2014, but we’ve received a steady stream of complaints from owners. Frustratingly, programmes played through the built-in Freeview HD tuner have been suffering from a lip sync problem. With a mismatch between the picture and sound, it was a bit like watching a badly dubbed film.
We contacted Samsung and discovered that this was caused by a software update released after the TV launched (and after we’d tested it, too). Selected TVs were affected so badly that some buyers thought their TV was faulty and took it back.
A speedy response from Samsung
Samsung released new firmware in August to fix the problem, and we have independently-verified on our H6400 TVs that it does appear to work. You can download it over the internet directly to your TV (in the settings menu).
We discussed the problem update with Samsung. A spokesperson told us:
‘A firmware update was successfully released in August 2014, which resolved an issue affecting a small number of H6400 models. Samsung is aware of a limited number of unresolved cases, which we are investigating as a priority.’
Frustrated by Apple’s iOS 8 update
Rich Parris: Despite my iPhone 4 having more computing power than the first manned spacecraft, somehow it’s ‘too old’ to run Apple’s latest iOS 8 software update. And that means before long I’m expected to reach for my wallet and get a whole new phone. But perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones.
I visited my parents the week after Apple made iOS 8 available, and my mum had an iPad, updated to iOS 8, and an iPhone 4 of her own which couldn’t update. Snuck into the update was Apple’s change from regular old iCloud to new-look iCloud Drive – which my mum’s phone couldn’t access, but her updated iPad could. The result? Every single work file she’d saved to iCloud was no longer in sync.
All of the docs on her iPhone were boxed in there, and her updated iPad hadn’t ported a single one over. What followed was an hour of me helplessly searching for a fix and a further hour of me manually sending each file across.
There have been countless complaints about miserable experiences on iOS 8. But updating an operating system should make life easier, not harder. These days a software upgrade is also used as a shorthand way for manufacturers to say, ‘if your old device can’t run our latest software, then it’s time to spend again’.
Have you been affected by a botched update? Or been left behind as your device isn’t compatible with the latest software?