Samsung and Apple software updates blow up: fire or brick – you decide

Apple and Samsung are playing a game of “no, WE’RE more hilarious” with a fumbled set of over-the-air updates creating more problems than they solve.

Plenty of fun has been had over Samsung’s melting/exploding/nuclear Note 7, or whatever you want to call it. As a result, Samsung has been desperately trying to find solutions for stopping the phone from going into meltdown, including advising people to not use it, issuing a recall, finding a new battery partner and, when all else failed, again insisting customers just stop using the damn thing.

This time Samsung has confirmed it will issue an over the air (OTA) software update which will cap the battery’s charging capacity to 60%. It reckons the only time the problem sparks into life is when users charge it to full capacity. The OTA update is supposed to help stop phones melting in the hands of users who still somehow haven’t gotten the memo that this thing’s dangerous.

Hopefully this solution will be a bit more successful than its predecessors.

Meanwhile, Apple’s capitalised on the momentum generated by the iPhone 7 launch by releasing the latest edition of iOS. That, too, hasn’t exactly gone to plan.

Keen users being the first to download iOS 10 have seen their iPhones brick. If you’ve not come across the term “brick” before, it’s exactly what it sounds like – the phone shuts down completely with no signs of life. Perhaps that’s punishment for being too much of a fanboy.

Hardly a PR win for Apple, as well-respected tech hack Geoffrey Fowler said his colleagues at the WSJ all had their phones brick on them. This appeared to put the willies up Apple, which promptly addressed the issue with a tweak to the update and a statement.

“We experienced a brief issue with the software update process, affecting a small number of users during the first hour of availability,” Apple said. “The problem was quickly resolved and we apologize to those customers. Anyone who was affected should connect to iTunes to complete the update or contact AppleCare for help.”

While iOS 10 may brick your prohibitively expensive new phone, at least it doesn’t blow your jeep up.

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