Hey Samsung, Make it Easier to Update Android! (Please)

CIO.com blogger James A. Martin has a few choice words for Samsung regarding its tedious Android update process. Specifically: Apple makes upgrading to a new OS painless, so why can’t you?

Dear Samsung,

You want to woo Apple customers away from their iPhones, right. Well, here’s a little tip: A lot of iPhone fans also use Macs. And you do not make it easy for Mac users to upgrade the Android OS on their Samsung smartphones. (I suspect you haven’t made it all that easy for Windows users either, though I can’t verify that.)

I speak from personal experience. I finally took the time yesterday to upgrade Android on my Samsung Galaxy Note to version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. In all honesty, I was holding out for the latest version, Jelly Bean. (More on that later.)

Ice Cream Sandwich Android

Not having upgraded my Galaxy Note phone before, I had to figure out where to go online to get the upgrade. I did a Google search, clicked around to a few places, and found this Samsung Kies download page. (Kies is Samsung’s utility for connecting Samsung phones to PCs and Macs for OS upgrades, music transfers and such.)

I downloaded the software to my iMac. But when I attempted to install Kies, I received this message: “kies20mac_s9999.pkg can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.” Honestly, Samsung, I knew your relationship with Apple was chilly. But classifying you as an "unidentified developer?" That’s just cold.

I went to System Preferences, selected Security & Privacy, clicked the padlock icon so I could make changes, then selected the option to allow apps to be downloaded from “anywhere.”

Finally, I installed Kies, after which I was forced to restart my Mac. Everything started shutting down and then the screen went gray. It stayed gray until it was clear I had to push the on/off button to manually restart my iMac.

Once I restarted, I discovered Kies hadn’t finished installing—so I had to repeat the previous steps and restart again. At last, the installation was complete and I opened Kies for the first time—only to discover a newer version was available. Hesitantly, I opted to download it. To make a long story a little shorter, I had to restart my iMac a total of four times before I could successfully launch the latest version of Kies and upgrade my Galaxy Note to Ice Cream Sandwich.

And that brings to me another point. Why am I not able to install the more recent Android OS Jelly Bean? Your Jelly Bean FAQ page simply tells me that if I had a Samsung Galaxy S III on AT&T (my wireless carrier), I could upgrade to Jelly Bean, no problem. But there’s no official word from you, at least not on this page, as to when I might expect to see Jelly Bean. Why would you keep customers in the dark on something so basic? I realize that U.S. carriers have some say in this. But come on, guys. Work with me here.

Samsung, you make some awesome products. But if you want to woo away as many iPhone users as possible, you need to make upgrading to a new OS way easier. A wireless update that’s super easy would be ideal. Apple managed to pull it off. Why can’t you? 

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