Thursday , April 19 2018

The down side to a connected smartwatch: Carrier Software testing.


If there’s something Ausdroid readers loathe it’s waiting for carrier approvals for software updates for your smartphone or tablet. Now there’s another device you can add to the list: Your smartwatch.

In their March 30th Software update blog last week, Vodafone has listed their usual list of software updates that are being tested on phones, tablets and in a first for us: the Huawei Watch 2. Yes, the update to Oreo which is currently rolling out to the Huawei Watch 2 requires carrier approval before it can be pushed to your wrist.

This won’t affect all of the Huawei Watch 2 watches sold, just the LTE enabled ones sold through Vodafone Australia. My unlocked LTE enabled Huawei Watch 2 received the Oreo update last week.

Much as we hate to admit it there’s actually good reasoning behind the carrier update approval process. In Australia, carriers test updates to ensure that they, well, for one thing that they actually work, and also ensure they comply with ACMA regulations for telecommunications devices such as being able to make calls to emergency call services. Vodafone has had to pull updates previously – yes, including even Nexus updates, so testing does actually have a purpose.

Vodafone has actually written quite a good guide on the process which is available on their software testing pages that’s definitely worth a read.

The update to the Huawei Watch 2 purchased through Vodafone is in testing and shouldn’t take longer than a few weeks if all goes well. The update is out in the wild, so there’s nothing terribly wrong with it, so all going smoothly you should see an update on your wrist soon.

Source: Vodafone.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

Join the Ausdroid Conversation

15 Comments on "The down side to a connected smartwatch: Carrier Software testing."

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Ausdroid Reader

My unbranded Nokia 8 still doesn’t have 8.1, I had to do some messing around with factory resetting, leaving the SIM card out, and a VPN to the Netherlands just to get the march security patch with 8.0. (Optus SIM, btw)

Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

Lol at Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0 4G still being listed on the update list. As if many people would still be using this tablet after Huawei and Vodafail abandoned it by never, ever updating it during the past two years. It is an excellent tablet but most people still actually using it will have forced Android 6 or better onto it by now so very few people will even get the security update for 5.1.1. Much too little, far too late in typical Vodafail/Huawei fashion.

Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So
Considering non-branded phones mostly work quite well on Australian carriers networks there is little to no reason for carriers to either gimp the phones with branded firmware in the first place or interfere in the update process. Just sell unbranded versions of the phones that support that network’s bands. Simple. Considering the badwill generated among those customers that care about timely updates and ungimped firmware plus the cost of “testing” software updates, it is unclear why carriers would insist on continuing down this annoying pathway. If there is a legal requirement that phones sold by carriers must meet emergency call… Read more »
Ausdroid Reader
“there’s actually good reasoning behind the carrier update approval process. In Australia, carriers test updates to ensure that they, well, for one thing that they actually work, and also ensure they comply with ACMA regulations for telecommunications devices such as being able to make calls to emergency call services.” Considering carriers currently have tens of thousands of non-carrier branded phones running generic firmware on their networks, and for the most part unbranded phones get generic firmware updates outside of the carrier testing, and these updates don’t tend to break emergency service dialling or the phone’s operation on that network (I’m… Read more »
Swetha Kodumoru
Valued Guest
Swetha Kodumoru

Not sure why the rule to test is not followed for apple watch and phones… Looks like a silly reason

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred

> there’s actually good reasoning behind the carrier update approval process. In Australia,

Australian carriers regularly seem to make a horrible mess of following standards and then seem to think it’s the rest of the world that’s at fault (where things work fine) rather than them.

Hey Telstra, if everyone else is fine and you have a problem in testing, then YOU have a problem ….

Ausdroid Reader

I’m so close to rebranding my Mate 9 to a generic APAC model so I can get updates faster.

Ausdroid Reader
Darren

Carriers can block updates to ALL devices running on their service.

Ausdroid Reader

Yep, my mother’s unbranded Nokia 5 is stuck on 7.1.2 January security patch as the only way to update the phone is OTA.
The phone got Oreo in late January and currently has 8.1 rolling out worldwide, we just don’t get it in Australia.

Ausdroid Reader
Darren

Every Australian Telco is blocking it? In the past, putting the SIM of another carrier that allows it usually fixes it. You don’t need to download it using their data allowance or anything, just needs to talk to a tower, then you get the update prompt.

Ausdroid Reader

I’ve tried Optus, an Optus MVNO and Telstra, I’ve tried over VPN and tried chatting with Nokia directly and cleared the cache Nokia told me to clear, other brands make it easy to update, Nokia make it hard.

Ausdroid Reader

I have no doubt this has happened but it’s certainly not universal – I’ve been on Optus, Telstra and Boost with (non-carrier) Samsung and Nexus phones and never had an Android update blocked. As you said, they can, and it’s more something to be aware of. You’re still usually better off with generic firmware over carrier-specific firmware.

Ausdroid Reader
Darren

Aaah yes, I remember well Telstra blocking updates to a phone bought from the Play Store. Luckily my wife was with a different provider so I just popped in her SIM and the update appeared instantly.

Check Also

Huawei’s P20 and P20 Pro have landed on amaysim’s tech store, from $975

Following Huawei’s launch of the P20 and P20 Pro late last month, we’ve been keenly …