Updates are a part of our lives. Whether it's updating some apps on a mobile device or pc, it's important to run updates quickly enough to prevent any glitches with a device's performance. Two major types of updates are explored in this piece: The Software and Hardware updates. We explain how they’re connected, their differences and similarities, and some major benefits.
Though they are different based on how they work, at the end of the day, they share the same end result, which is to produce a better and smoother working device. In relation to code management, we also highlight some specific tools that help with updating code and explain semantic versioning as it relates to updating code.
Software and Hardware updates exist in our everyday lives, from our phones that offer security and new feature updates to our laptops or smart TVs, constantly reminding us about an update. Many of us are guilty of ignoring these notifications because of the time and cost involved, but there are many reasons why we should run updates sooner rather than later.
A software update is when changes are made to the software to either update certain features, fix bugs, or improve its functions. A Software update is also known as software patches; Software patches can be used to reduce or disable some parts or features, but it's not a regular occurrence.
With computer hardware, an update requires adding new hardware to a computer that would improve its performance. A typical example of a hardware upgrade is, replacing a hard drive with an SSD or upgrading the RAM of a system to improve its overall performance and efficiency. In writing code, devs also need to ensure they have the proper management tools for keeping track of changes made to code which is where concepts like version control and semantic versioning come into play.
Ultimately, there are more benefits to allowing updates run regularly in terms of time, cost, and convenience, and we will explore all of that in this article.
What is the Connection between Hardware and Software?
All modern electronic devices require two major components to function effectively: the Hardware and the Software.
The hardware refers to the physical, electronic parts found within a device. These hardware parts can be a bunch of microchips, logic gates, and unique processing chips like the ones used in processing radio waves for communication.
On the other hand, software consists of instructions that tell the device how it should function. An excellent example of software is the operating systems for Windows and Mac. Hardware can't work without software like software without hardware is useless because there's no device to receive its instructions.
Concerning regular updates, Hardware and Software in devices will continually evolve as technology advances. Therefore, sticking with old updates can affect the performance of a device and its ability to receive some fixes that would make the system safer.
Some Specific tools that help in Updating Code
Code management tools, or version control or revision control systems, are essential when making changes/updating code. These tools help track any changes made to application code while fellow devs. can work on the same application at the same time.
Developers can see the differences between the two versions of the same file through these tools' UI- or web-based interfaces. Also, code management tools offer a technique for conflict resolution as multiple team members change the same line of code in a file.
How do the tools work?
Many versioning systems contain multiple branches where developers can create a component for their projects and make changes to one or more files.
By creating a "Pull" request, developers can move their changes to the main branch of any application. The request is made up of the different changes that exist between the main branch and the developers' branches, allowing other team members also to review the changes and move the updated code to the main branch.
That being said, here's a list of all the primary code management tools:
- Apache Subversion (SVN)
At Fetchly Labs, Git is the version control system that’s mainly used because it allows Devs to manage and keep track of source code history while working on projects. It’s important to note that GitHub and GitLab are often regarded as primary code management tools.
However, Github and GitLab are cloud-based hosting services where developers manage Git repositories. In essence, Git is a versioning tool, while GitHub and GitLab are in another category of tools used to manage Git storage.
Semantic Versioning as it relates to Code Updates
Semver is the short form of Semantic Versioning, and it refers to the standardized way software engineers give meaning to released software. Versioning software development projects is the best way to keep track of updates to software, as new plugins, addons, libraries, and extensions are included regularly. In simpler terms, Semver is a way of numbering software releases, and they come in the form of Major.Minor.Patch. For example, if a software's current version is 2.6.9, then the updated version would be 3.0.0.
Using this example: 2.6.9.
2 represents the Major Version - Major changes that break the API.
6 would represent the Minor Version - Major Changes that do not break the API.
9 would represent Patches - Bug Fixes.
With these three numbers, authors can easily access all the necessary compatibility information and decide if the software should be upgraded to the latest revision and how much-required work.
is a highly effective tool for software authors to communicate important information to potential and existing software consumers. Through this form of Versioning, consumers can automate the difficult task of updating software according to their preferences, and authors can spend more time focusing on other things. Check out semver.org
to get a complete understanding of semantic Versioning.
Major Benefits of Updating Software and Hardware
Boosts the entire PC's performance
If you want to improve and sustain the performance of your PC, it is advisable to carry out regular updates. Outdated software and hardware cannot handle complex tasks, mainly newer functions associated with features from the latest updates.
With that in mind, regular PC maintenance should involve setting up updates designed as preventive measures against security breaches. Users will also enjoy a smoother performance with less downtime.
Better Security Solutions
Most people consider installing an antivirus or spyware protection as one of the ways to update their PC's security features. However, software updates offer the same benefits because they focus on maintaining safety throughout a device or component's lifecycle. Software and hardware become less vulnerable to security threats when they're in their updated state.
Improves Staff Workflow
Fetchly Labs improves the work efficiency of team members by including regular software and hardware updates as part of the business maintenance routine. Team members would be more focused on carrying out tasks efficiently when they don't have to worry about security or performance issues."
Up-to-date Features to Improve User Experience
When software developers release their products to stores, they do their best to maintain the features for a while. Most updates do not significantly impact the device's use as they are mainly technical and deal with stability issues, prevent crashes, and eliminate minor bugs.
On the other hand, some updates are more comprehensive and provide new features to improve the user experience. A simple example of a comprehensive hardware update is replacing the battery on a laptop to improve the battery life.
A comprehensive software update can be switching from a free antivirus solution to a paid version which would work better in finding and dealing with bugs.
Improved confidence for customers and clients
One of the reasons why clients trust the development process at Fetchly is because regular updates of web or mobile apps are part of the services offered. Updates provide added confidence for a business and its clients because the proper steps have been taken, and both parties don't have to worry about compatibility or efficiency issues. Many business relationships suffer when vital data isn't easily accessible or secure, and Fetchly takes extra steps to implement regular updates and maintain lasting relationships with clients.
It Saves Time and Money
Regularly updating software and hardware saves time and money that would have been spent if issues were allowed to escalate. When updates are done early enough, it minimizes the chances of more serious problems that require more troubleshooting, time, and money to fix. Most updates are free and easy to install, and they can be set up such that the installation happens automatically.
In a nutshell
One thing that helps with updates is setting up an automatic update routine and checking software settings regularly. It takes very little time and is a highly beneficial commitment to a device's overall experience. A little patience and, most times, a quick system restart is all that is required to complete an update.
*This is not the official Fetchly opinion but the opinion of the writer who is employed by Fetchly*