Today, we’d like you to update your phone. Or, if you’re savvy enough to already be on top of updating your phone, spread the knowledge and update a friend or family member’s phone.
The goal of this is to spread industry awareness about consumer interest in maintaining phone software. Having to purchase new hardware just to keep pace with software updates is a costly, wasteful, and needless process. Update Your Phone Day was created by PhoneNews.com… to send the industry a message that consumers do want their phones updated.
Please sound off in the comments with your success (or failure) in getting your phone updated. Even if users update online, carriers and manufacturers do take note of the surge in traffic (both in-store and over the web), so good luck!
Getting your phone updated is the second half of the battle. The first half is to find out if an update is available for your phone. To do this, you start hunting and asking around.
The first place you can go to check your phone’s software is our Firmware Tracker, part of the Phone Encyclopedia. We have the most comprehensive list of phone software updates in the industry. Just compare that software version to the one inside your phone’s info menu.
If we don’t have your phone listed, here are some tips to find out if an update is available.
When you do, be sure to post back on the Firmware Tracker (since it is wiki-powered) with the latest version, and help us make the Firmware Tracker even stronger.
First, is to call your wireless provider. Verizon, Sprint, and Alltel all offer in-store software updating. Calling your local store will often be the fastest way to check to see if they have an update for your phone.
If you don’t have one of the above carriers, you’ll have to contact the phone’s manufacturer. This is often a mixed bag; many manufacturers don’t provide their support staff with the latest software/firmware versions.
Thankfully, there are software utilities for your computer that work around this. Sony Ericsson offers their Update Service, Nokia offers Nokia Update, and Motorola offers Motorola Software Update. These utilities work by allowing you to connect your phone to your Windows PC using a USB cable. The phone’s information is then uploaded to the internet and checked to see if an update is available.
Keep in mind though that these tools do not support every device… an update may be available for your phone even if these tools say that no update is currently available. You should still contact your carrier and then manufacturer to verify if an update is available, if these tools do not list an update for your phone.
Finally, some phones are trickling out with Firmware Over The Air (FOTA), this is a process where phones update themselves. However, many providers are not pushing updates using this apparatus (despite it being in the phone itself). The menu option for this is not standard, and unfortunately… almost none of the devices are set to seek out updates automatically. Consult your phone’s menus to see if it has an over-the-air updating option.