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Revealed: the mobile updates that sap storage and battery life

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Updates to your mobile or tablet should enhance their performance but independent tests reveal some actually have an adverse effect.

Following Microsoft’s bungled Windows 10 update, campaign group Which? tested how some mobiles and tablets performed after operating system updates.

When Which? upgraded the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, the device lost 30GB of storage, enough space for an entire family photo album.

After uprading from Android 6.0 Marshmallow to 7.0 Nougat on the Google Nexus 6P, web browsing time decreased from 716 minutes to 535 minutes.

The Apple iPhone 6 saw its battery life decrease by 38 minutes from 702.5 minutes to 664.5 minutes when it was upgraded from iOS 8 to iOS 10.

And Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 lost 3GB of storage, down from 24.03GB to 20.98GB after updating from Android 5.0 Lollipop to Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Despite the potential risks when upgrading your device, Which? said there are usually enhancements, such as to security.

It recommends waiting a few weeks before updating to allow for teething problems to be resolved.

The campaign group also said companies should do more to explain the possible effects of updates and said they should explore ways of allowing customers to revert back to the previous software if they don’t like the new version.

Richard Headland, Which? magazine editor, said: “Our latest research shows that, while upgrades are meant to boost the performance of our phones and tablets, the opposite can actually prove to be true.

“Given how much we rely on mobile devices, companies should do more to tell us about the possible downsides of updates, as well as the benefits.”