AAAAGH! Updates!

Oh, the computer and phone updates, how we hate thee. Especially when we learn about you from a support person on the phone, and we can't believe that it's us that is causing the problem with their stupid application, and not them.

Me - "Your stupid thing doesn't stupid work!"

Them - "You need to update your phone for the app to work."

Me - Appalled. "How dare you! I just bought this phone!"

Them - "I understand, sir, but is it notifying you that you have an update that needs to be installed?"

Me - "Yes. But the app was working yesterday! What's so different today?"

Them - "To enhance use of our app and to increase security we have released a new version that is designed to work with the new operating system that was just released for your device. We wait one month to integrate the new version to give everyone a chance to update to the new operating system. Have you been getting these notifications for about a month?"

Me - "Yes."

Them - "You must do the update in order for our app to work."

Me - "So it's not you? It's me?"

Them - "Yes, sir."

A version of this really happened to me. I called some company (I can't remember what app it was) hell-bent on giving them a piece of my mind, and they had to teach me how updates work.

Do we have to install updates?

Yes. The simple, short answer is yes. If you use a computer or phone that is connected to any type of network, you must install updates to your apps and your operating system. It's just how things work.

The first issue is security. The second is compatibility.

Security is explained below, and isn't that difficult to figure out.

Compatibility issues come as a result of the design of the app or program being created to work with a certain type of operating system. If the operating system was tweaked, sometimes the app needs to be tweaked to be able to work with it. Or, the app's design is improved and will only work with a current operating system. When you download a new app on an old operating system, it won't work.

So, if you have apps that aren't working, or your device is just acting strange, it could easily be the updates.

Microsoft has this to say about 'forgetting' to install an update.

Your computer might be at risk or you might experience unnecessary problems with Windows or your programs. Malicious software is being released all the time which uses vulnerabilities in Windows or other programs to damage or gain access to your data or computer. Windows updates and other software updates correct these vulnerabilities soon after they are discovered. If you delay or don't apply updates, your computer can become vulnerable to these threats.

In one forum a person chimed in with this well put reply.

One massive and certain problem with not updating is that software always contains security vulnerabilities. So once they're discovered, it's easy for a malicious hacker to exploit them.

... Security updates for *known* exploits are included in every new version. Updating is therefore really quite important.

There are two major kind of updates: updates to apps and updates to the operating system.

App updates generally take less time, come more often and don't change things too dramatically each time they are installed.

Operating system updates can be a little more involved, and can change the look on the screen altogether. These are often the ones that make us want to pull our hair out.

However, there is really no way around them. Updates are a price we have to pay for having the world at our fingertips.