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Word Of Warning About LG Update

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by startac4, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. startac4

    startac4 Member
    Thread Starter

    Yesterday, LG/T-mobile did an unrequested update on my phone. Ostensibly this update is to provide "video dialing" but it messed up other things. It put new "audio HD" and video camera symbols on the call screen, in addition to putting them in the contact information. If I have a number with more than the basic 10 digits (either foreign number or a dynamically stored number with "+1"), I can't see the whole number as the "audio HD" symbol overlays the number. The only way to see the number is to make the call and catch it before the call goes through.

    But worse is the audio of the person to whom I'm speaking. It went from a robust "normal" (for a phone call) sound to one that is "tinny", as if the person is speaking in a well. The treble is turned all the way up, making for an un-natural and un-comfortable call.

    I spoke to both T-Mobile and LG Support. Incredibly, they installed an update with no provision for backing it out if there are user problems. That's completely un-acceptable (which would not be done on computer systems). The only way to undo this is with brute force - a factory reset! Which would undo my customizations which I would have to re-do, (assuming I could remember everything I did). And installed programs - I have a few - would be erased and I'd have to re-install them again.

    When I asked about this not happening the next time there was an update, they each pointed to the other as to who is responsible for the timing, notification and downloading of updates.

    And after all of this, I wouldn't use the video dialing anyway, as it would eat up tons of high speed data allocation.
     


  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    It's worse than you think: a factory reset would not undo it.

    The term "factory reset" can be misleading, because people think it resets the software to the state it was in when it left the factory. This isn't true. What it does is remove all changes the user makes, but does nothing at all to the system. So after a system update, well, the system has been updated, and so a factory reset doesn't change that (a system update overwrites the previous system software: the phone does not keep a spare copy of the factory firmware that you could go back to - for a long time most phones didn't have enough storage for that to be an option in the first place). So any change to the system, whether an official system update or modifications made by the user (rooting, installing a custom recovery) is completely unaffected by a factory reset.

    A better term is "factory data reset", because what it actually does is wipe the /data and /cache partitions.

    The business of forced updates you cannot reject seems to be something that US carriers like to do. That type of control-freakery isn't found elsewhere.

    Pretty much all manufacturers block rolling back firmware. With some there are tricks, of differing levels of complexity, that allow you to do it, but I don't know LGs very well (and carrier-branded phones tend to be more locked-down too). Almost certainly this would involve a factory reset as part of the process, not because the reset itself will undo the update but because system settings from a phone with newer software will be incompatible with the older version and so the phone would probably be unstable or even fail to boot up if those weren't cleared when the older firmware was flashed (which is what the reset does).

    As for who is responsible for the release of the update, the answer is that for a carrier-branded phone the manufacturer (LG) produces the update, then the carrier (T-Mobile) modify it, adding their own apps and possibly removing things they don't want their customers to have. Then the carrier pushes it out to their customers. And as I've said, with very few exceptions(*) forced updates, which you can't decline, are a feature unique to US carriers. So T-Mobile bear the final responsibility, though whether this specific feature is theirs or LG's is hard to say. But low-level support staff you speak to may not even know how it works (not in their script), and if they do there is nothing in it for them if they say "yeah, it was us, but you'll need to get a lot higher up the chain to speak to anyone who can do anything about it and they don't care what you think anyway, and there's no point changing carrier because they're all the same" - all that honesty would get them would be an earful from you and a sacking from their supervisor.

    (*) The one exception I can think of was the "safety" updates that limited the charging of the infamous Galaxy Note 7 and eventually disabled the device completely. Those were forced on Note 7 owners worldwide, in an order to limit reputational damage to Samsung. But that was an extreme situation: it's only in the US that they use the same mechanism to push each bit of bloatware that someone has paid the carrier to add to their phones, whether you want it or not.
     
    #2 Hadron, Sep 14, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
    startac4 and MrJavi like this.
  3. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    I got a big software update last night. Completely screwed up my Moon photo.
    Started immediately after I hooked up the lens and tripod.
     
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