Periodically upgrading the firmware is the best care you can provide to your device, it not only helps improve performance, at times it adds functionality that previously did not exist. I am certain most of our readers are power users like myself, who probably upgrade device to the latest version within days if not hours of its coming out. But what about the not so savvy users? Do they ever upgrade? Chances are pretty bleak. So what can be done?
But before we get to that I was looking for a bit of perspective on firmware updates. Have anyone of you ever updated a friend’s or a relative’s phone’s firmware? Have you ever told them that there exists such a thing? Personally speaking, I try and let that everyone I meet know about this basic concept, for quite a few I even do it myself, if its a new device I do it then and there via OTA. But clearly a handful of users trying to spread the word isn’t helping too much.
Considering the fact that one of Nokia’s strongest plus points is the support they provide to the handset even months after the purchase in the form of firmwares that keep coming out. When the N97 came out, I was confident that Nokia will do justice to it, sooner or later and the v20 firmware promises to do that. What about the experience of the person who will never update the firmware himself?
WHAT NOKIA DOES:
- Over the last few months Nokia has started to emphasize the importance of new FW’s via service like My Nokia, even informing people when new firmwares come out.
- They also have included a ‘check for updates’ application to help in the process.
- User data preservation and over the air updates have become the standard in all new devices.
WHAT NOKIA SHOULD DO:
- Enable automatic updates. The device should be able to automatically update without the user having to press a key. But if they were to do this a lot of people will cry foul, at least the power users will. Therefore, the work around to this is:
— During the initial setup ask people if they are happy with automatic updates. Most people will be, the powers can shut them off there.
— Then, when the phone detects the presence of a new FW, it should prompt the user telling him that the firmware update is downloading and if he does nothing, it will be installed automatically at a particular time or the next time they connect the phone to the charger. The power users if required, can shut it off here.
— Then 15 minutes before the firmware installs, inform the user via a popup that the install is scheduled to commence in the next 15 minutes. This will give users a chance to cancel if they have something important planned for the next few minutes.
- There will still be a few users who will not be able to update because of a lack of data connection or a few other reasons. Educate them about FW’s. Put a small poster in the retail packaging of the device telling users about firmwares, their benefits and how to update. This should be separate from the user manual.
- Release a detailed change-log at the same time as the firmware. The OTA update should also become available simultaneously with the NSU client.
- Make the Nokia Care Center firmware update experience better. The turnaround time should be within a maximum of two hours, preferably less.
- Make the Nokia Software Updater compatible with the Mac OS.
If this is done, I think it will go a long way in improving overall customer satisfaction. Nokia is already working towards improving their notification system and I hope that this step is only the tip of the icerberg. Do you have any other suggestions?