In general, is it good to update the firmware whenever a new one is available?

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By petercohen, Senior Member on 4th September 2014, 11:56 PM
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Hello, few hours ago I received another notification about availability of new firmware upgrade. I recall that this is the 2nd time a new firmware is available since I bought the PRO 12.2 LTE. Just like the first time, I cannot tell what kind of changes the firmware made both before and after I updated the firmwares. In general, it is advisable to update whenever it is available? As you know, for some devices, updating caused more troubles.
5th September 2014, 03:17 AM |#2  
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One would hope that the manufacturer would QC their build prior to rollout so the odds of having issues should be low, but sometimes there are issues that creep up such as unforeseen incompatibilities with particular pieces of 3rd party software users may have installed on their devices. It's difficult to provide a definitive answer here in that regard.

Generally if you're not rooted and have no intention of ever rooting then the answer is yes, with the expectation that anything is possible when it comes to unforeseen incompatibilities.

If you are rooted or wish to root in the future and you're not technically inclined enough to recover from loss of root or restoring from backups then the answer is no, not until others with root have reported in on experience with retaining root or achieving root after updating. Quite often a firmware/system update will cause loss of root. In some cases root will be achieved quickly via applying prior root methods BUT this cannot be guaranteed since there is always a chance that a prior exploit used to gain root access was patched by that update.

I'm guessing root isn't something you're too concerned about but I just thought i'd mention it for the benefit of others.
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5th September 2014, 08:44 AM |#3  
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Thanks. For the time being, I have no intention to root. Maybe a year later.
5th September 2014, 10:13 AM |#4  
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When it comes to updates, I have a very simple policy: If it isn't broken, don't fix it.

Due to this method of waiting for other people to pick out the errors I've managed to avoid several serious problems on Android over the years.

This applies to app updates, which more often than not introduce problems, as well.

Not to mention every update, no matter how small, brings with it the risk that you need to go through the entire process of wiping the device. I rarely have the time for that. (Which is why I'm 2 updates behind on my Note 3)
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11th September 2014, 03:01 AM |#5  
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I concur with what's already said and just wanted to add my $0.02. There is an empirical finding that the best performance is achieved from the ROMs that are available about six months to a year after the release of any given device and here is the justification. The device is initially shipped with the Android version available at the time of the release. This initial version is invariably buggy because the fast design cycles of these things do not allow a comprehensive test drive by the vendor. So the consumers report the bugs, they get patched, and about 6 months later everything is wrapped into the next version of Android and pushed as an update. This second ROM release is much more stable than the first one but still lacking a few things here and there, which results in the next major ROM that will fix most everything.

By this time we are 6 months to a year into the life of the product and the market is now seeing other devices with higher processing power and better specs. The Android releases at any given point in time are tweaked towards the expected performance of the devices that are available at that time. So the next update for your now-more-than-a-year-old device will have nicer features but it is geared towards other devices that are faster and better than yours. So now you upgrade to the third release and you will find that while all the initial bugs are gone the device is laggy and the battery goes down faster than it used to. Most devices don't have a straightforward procedure to downgrade to an older version (at least for the common user) and therefore you will just write this off as your device being too old and slow and then you will be likely convinced by a salesperson to buy the next generation tablet and that is the end of that.

If you are into rooting and modding don't forget that every update makes it generally harder to root your system.
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