Microsoft releases firmware updates for Surface Book and Pro 4

Its been a long time coming for Surface Book and Pro 4 owners…

When the Microsoft’s Surface Book was originally introduce, most of the pundits in the industry, me included, declared it a total non-starter. It had a boat load of issues, and none of them were getting resolved quickly. I had declared that the Book was a disaster, and that I wouldn’t consider getting one any time soon. Its funny how things can change; but it wasn’t right away; and wasn’t without a number of firmware and system/ driver updates that didn’t come anywhere NEAR the mark.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4Thankfully, Microsoft finally DID figure it out; and they were able to get past some of the bigger problems plaguing the ground breaking ultrabook line. Keeping with a series of updates that, in recent releases have made the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 better than ever, Microsoft released a series of system based, firmware and driver updates for both the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book. This is a key update for the Surface Book, however, as it hasn’t had the regular updates that the Pro 4 has had. It hasn’t had any updates released for it in nearly six months.

Here’s what’s new for the Surface Book:

Windows Update History Name Device Manager Name
Intel Corporation driver update for Intel(R) AVStream Camera 2500 – System – 3.0.0.0 Intel(R) AVStream Camera 2500 – Sound, video and GC
30.15063.10999.4731 Improves camera stability.
Intel Corporation driver update for Microsoft Camera Front – System – 3.0.0.0 Microsoft Camera Front – System device
30.15063.10999.4731 Improves camera stability.
Intel Corporation driver update for Microsoft Camera IR Front – System – 3.0.0.0 Microsoft Camera IR Front – System device
30.15063.10999.4731 Improves camera stability.
Intel Corporation driver update for Intel(R) Control Logic – System – 3.0.0.0 Intel(R) Control Logic – System device
30.15063.10999.4731 Improves camera stability.
Intel Corporation driver update for Intel(R) CSI2 Host Controller – System – 3.0.0.0 Intel(R) CSI2 Host Controller – System device
30.15063.10999.4731 Improves camera stability.
Intel Corporation driver update for Intel(R) Imaging Signal Processor 2500 – System – 3.0.0.0 Intel(R) Imaging Signal Processor 2500 – System device
30.15063.10999.4731 Improves camera stability.
Intel Corporation driver update for Microsoft Camera Rear – System – 3.0.0.0 Microsoft Camera Rear – System device
30.15063.10999.4731 Improves camera stability.
Surface – System – 1.0.85.1 Surface Camera Windows Hello – System device
1.0.85.1 Improves camera stability.

 

Here’s what’s been updated for the Surface Pro 4:

Windows Update History Name Device Manager Name
Surface driver update for Surface Embedded Controller Firmware – System – 3.0.0.0 Surface Embedded Controller Firmware – Firmware
103.1791.258.0 Improves device reliability.
Surface driver update for Surface Integration – System – 3.0.0.0 Surface Integration – System device
1.0.170.0 Improves device reliability.

All of the updates are available via Windows Update on any Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 running Windows 10. However, the Surface Pro 4 update can be downloaded here. The Surface Book update can be downloaded here.

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Olio Releases Model One Firmware Updates 1.1.71

Well… At least they’re making an effort…

DlAmpsIrIf you recall, my review of the Olio Model One wasn’t very flattering. I still think its problematic, and something that most people probably should wait on purchasing. However… they ARE trying; and for that, their grades are improving. Recently, you may recall, they released a firmware update. Well, Olio has released another firmware update, updating their Model One to version 1.1.71.

Version 1.1.70 was released on 2016-01-22. Version 1.1.71 was released on 2016-01-23. Olio again caught a bug, post release, and followed it up with a quick fix. While this shows diligence – to an extent – airing their laundry like this probably isn’t helping them very much… Olio should have kept the information to themselves and just released version 1.1.71 without saying anything. However, the following is a list of updates and fixes that have been released.

  • ALS (Automatic Light Sensor) fixes: All watches should function normally on Auto brightness.
  • Watches rebooting: We have implemented a fix for those of you who saw your watch frequently rebooting.
  • Rapid battery drain: You should now expect a full 12 hours of battery life with Gesture On, and 18+ hours with Gesture Off.
  • Incorrect weather: The weather Complication should no longer display question marks, and the current weather should be accurate.
  • Repeating alarms: Repeating alarms will now get set properly.
  • Images not loading: Watch hands, Bluetooth or battery icons, and other image assets should now load consistently and immediately.

Please remember that the Olio Model one has a passive firmware updating system. You don’t download anything to either your (iPhone or Android) phone. Instead, charge both your watch and your phone, and make sure they are connected via Bluetooth in the Olio Assist app. If your phone app does not say connected, restart Bluetooth on your watch to reconnect. If this does not resolve the connection, please email Olio support and they will assist you.

As mentioned above, unresponsive watches should be fixed with this update. If you your watch turns off on its own, Olio would like you to contact them. They will likely want to take your timepiece back to their San Francisco headquarters for servicing. If it can’t be easily fixed, Olio will replace the watch at no cost to you. Please contact support@oliodevices.com for more information.

Olio has more to offer by the end of January 2016. They are in the process of updating both iOS and Android versions of Olio Assist; and those may already be out by the time this article is published. Please check the appropriate app store for an update if it hasn’t already come down to you.

Olio’s next firmware update will come in mid-February and is currently scheduled to include the following:

  1. Bluetooth enhancements
  2. Navigation in Control Hub (it does currently exist as a notification)
  3. Voice control
  4. The ability to update various watch preferences from the phone apps
  5. Time zones
  6. Silence notification Rule improvements

I’ll have more on all of this at that time, or as I update my Model One. The passive update system is difficult at best, as there’s currently no way to download the firmware update and push it to your phone. Somehow the stars have to align just right before that happens, and there really isn’t any way to set that into motion. It either happens or it doesn’t.

I’ve suggested that Olio needs to provide an “advanced mode” that will allow people to update their watch on their own, but they have so far refused to provide that level of service. While I understand their reasoning why – this stuff is all just supposed to work in the background without any forceful action on the user’s part – it doesn’t “just work.” I’ve had my watch sitting on my desk now for at least two days waiting for this to happen.

So far… Nuthin!

This isn’t supposed to be rocket science; and I’ve followed all of the instructions that I’ve been given. I have no idea why this is such a difficult process. Unfortunately, this is partially escalated due to all of the problems and issues that the Model One has.

If the product were functioning as designed, then there likely wouldn’t be a need for any kind of “advanced mode” that allowed you to download and push a firmware update to the watch.

That may just be me; but I suspect that it isn’t. I’m pretty certain that the issues, problems, frustrations and concerns that I’ve got are ones that are being voiced by every single Model One owner.

If you have any ideas, or additional information on any of this, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me via the discussion area below. I monitor all of my postings here on Soft32, so it’s easy to get in touch with me.

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Olio Released Model One Firmware Updates 1.1.61 & 1.1.63

olio updateOlio recently released firmware updates to help address bugs and issues in their smartwatch, the Model One.

If you recall, I recently published a review of Olio’s Model One smartwatch. Unfortunately, I declared it pretty much one of the worst train wrecks I’ve ever seen in an electronic accessory, and most certainly, the worst product I’ve looked at in 2015. My initial reaction was so poor that I recommended everyone stay away from it for now.

Recently, I’ve received noticed of not one, but two, device firmware updates for the Model One, direct from Olio. Firmware version 1.1.61 was released on 2015-12-25 and addressed a number of different issues. You can see the specifics on those, directly below. Firmware version 1.1.63 was released to resolve a firmware update issue where the watch may get stuck in “update mode, ” and not recover. In this case, as long as the device is connected to power and showing connected in Olio Assist, Olio says version 1.1.63 can be passively downloaded to the watch and the watch updated, resolving the issue. Watches successfully updated to firmware version 1.1.61 without issue would simply update to 1.1.63, and would see no additional issues or new functionality other than what came with version 1.1.61.

Thankfully, I didn’t experience this particular issue. My watch updated to versions 1.1.61 and 1.1.63 without a hitch.

Bugs and Issues Resolved:

  • Bluetooth on your watch and phone settings should no longer randomly disconnect. If it does, it should automatically reconnect.
  • Improved gesture sensitivity and optimization.
  • Added tap only setting on watch so that if gesture sensitivity doesn’t work well, you can put it on tap-only mode to save battery life.
  • Bug fixed that can cause the watch to run out of battery in less than 4 hours.
  • Automatically setting all watches to medium brightness to prevent the ALS from causing some screens to turn off. A long-term fix to use auto brightness is in development.
  • Fixed accelerometer bug that can cause the watch not to turn on via gesture. The watch will reboot when the accelerometer is in improper state.
  • Implemented synchronization protocol to ensure all Android phones display accurate time within 10 seconds. Some Android phones don’t send notifications continuously over Bluetooth, so the time update takes a while to send.
  • Fixed bug that can cause the wrong caller to be displayed on the watch during phone calls.
  • Fixed bug that causes the “updating” screen to stay on too long when updating day/night.
  • Fixed bug where “auto” mode didn’t transition properly in day/night mode.
  • Fixed bug that can cause notification actions to not work properly when notifications first came in on watch.

Based on the information above, some of the big problems that have been causing the watch to run through its full battery charge in four hours or less has been resolved. I’ll be looking at this VERY carefully, as it speaks to how the device uses Bluetooth as well as power management.

Battery life still remains the biggest issue with the Olio Model One. Even though I’ve got the latest updates on my watch, I’ve still had to have my watch sit on its charger part of the day today. (and the thing still gets bloody hot when it charges…)

Honestly, things are getting a bit better, as the update from 1.1.61 to 1.1.63 for me happened over night as planned – and was the first firmware update to happen this way. Every other update I’ve had to babysit and try to coax along. The battery life does seem a bit better, but not much.

There seems to be a long interval of time between 100% charge and 90-85% charge, and then after that, the device’s charge level drops like a rock to the mid 40%’s, where it again sits for about an hour before dropping like a rock again to the mid 20%’s. From there, it’s a gradual and steady decline to the end. I’ve also noticed that when my watch hits one of these plateaus, I can often expect it to restart on its own, out of nowhere, and when it comes back, the charge rate is much reduced (by as much as 15%).

Olio is also working on other issues, and has other updates planned. Items up for release next include, but aren’t limited to the following:

Known Issues with Pending Fixes

  • The iOS app can show disconnected when the phone setting and watch settings say connected. If this happens, turn Bluetooth off on the watch, wait five seconds, and then turn it back on. If the issue persists, kill the Olio Assist app, turn Bluetooth off on the watch, restart the phone app, and turn Bluetooth on the watch back on.
  • In “gesture off” mode, the watch will detect some wrist turns as taps. We are tuning tap detection to prevent this.
  • Despite the watch being on the charger for a long time, it might show less than 100% charged. The wireless charging firmware stops charging the watch when the battery reaches 100%, and does not restart until the battery drops below 90%. We are working on an update to the firmware that will keep the battery topped off without degrading the battery health.
  • We have identified a state that can cause the watch to charge slower than it should (>90 minutes). We are working on a fix to prevent this state from occurring.
  • It is possible that your watch will enter a state where the screen does not turn on. This is a known issue with the ALS calibration and we are working on a permanent fix. In the meantime, if you notice this issues, shine a bright light (your mobile flashlight should work) to get the screen to turn on, and set the brightness to medium.
  • When entering a new time zone, watches paired to iOS can take up to two hours to update to the new time zone. We have identified a new way to update the watch time from iOS and are working to implement that change. Temporarily, restarting Bluetooth on the watch will reset the time.

I’ll keep everyone posted on how things go with some of these updates. I still can’t recommend this smartwatch to anyone, even those that are used to beta testing and to living on the bleeding edge of technology. It’s just a bit too cold and bloody out here…

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Take a look at the top new features included in the iOS 5 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

As announced yesterday, Apple just released iOS 5 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The new operating system for Apple’s mobile devices includes cool new features, such as wireless syncing, improved notifications, PC-free setup, Twitter integration and over 200 other new features.

Let’s take a look at the best new features…

Notification Center

No more annoying blue box in the middle of your screen. Rather, a smooth little bar (quite the same as the one on the Android devices) will spin at the top of your screen. If you drag it down, you’ll see all the notifications you received and also your emails, weather and stock information. Tap any to access the appropriate app. The Notification Center also appears on your lock screen.

iCloud

This is what I personally consider one of the most important feature. iCloud stores your music, photos, documents, etc., and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices. You can get a free email address, 5GB of cloud storage, syncing for all your contacts, calendars and yes, much more. Also, you can now download your past iTunes purchases.

iMessage

When you’re texting or sending an MMS to another iOS 5 user, the operating system will save you money by sending your message (or pictures) using the internet, rather than your carrier. If you don’t have an Internet connection, the sending button will be green and it will be through your carrier, if it’s blue, it will use iMessage and it will be free of charge. The best part is that you don’t have to do nothing at all about it, iOS 5 will take care of everything in the background.

Newsstand

You can get now your newspapers and magazines delivered on the iPad. The new OS organizes your magazine and newspaper app subscriptions in Newsstand: a folder that lets you access your favorite publications quickly and easily. There’s also a new place on the App Store just for newspaper and magazine subscriptions. And you can get to it straight from Newsstand. New purchases go directly to your Newsstand folder. Then, as new issues become available, Newsstand automatically updates them in the background — complete with the latest covers. It’s kind of like having the paper delivered to your front door.

Camera

Apple understands that people use their iPhone camera quite often. In this manner, they made the camera app faster and you can now take pictures using the volume-up button. You can launch the camera app right from the home screen by double-pressing the home button. You can use grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, and single-tap focus and exposure locks to compose a picture on the fly. Also, if your Photo Stream is enabled in iCloud, your photos automatically download to all your other devices. Moreover, you can now easily crop, rotate, enhance, and remove red-eye without leaving the Photos app in the new iOS.

Safari

Safari it’s not only much faster, but it now allows you to read online content with a “reader” button more easily , that strips out the ads and makes the text look nice. Also, you can save text for later using a feature called “Reading list” which you can find in your bookmarks.

Twitter integration

With the new OS, you only need to sign into Twitter once through the settings. Then you can tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps. Want to mention or @reply to a friend? Contacts applies your friends’ Twitter usernames and profile pictures. So you can start typing a name and iOS 5 does the rest. You can even add a location to any tweet, no matter which app you’re tweeting from.

Reminders

Reminders lets you organize your life in to-do lists with due dates and locations. Let’s say you need to remember to pick up milk during your next grocery trip. Since Reminders can be location based, you’ll get an alert as soon as you pull into the supermarket parking lot. Reminders also works with iCal, Outlook, and iCloud, so changes you make update automatically on all your devices and calendars.

Independence

With the new OS, you no longer need a Mac or PC to own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. You can now do everything wirelessly, right out of the box. You can download iOS software updates directly on your device and you can now back up and restore your device automatically using iCloud.

Wi-Fi Sync

Every time you connect your iOS device to a power source, it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes wirelessly. So you always have stuff synchronized everywhere you want them.

Note: iOS5 can be installed on: iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 4 CDMA, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 4G, iPod Touch 3G, iPad, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi+3G and iPad 2 CDMA.

iOS5 is free and the only thing that you have to do in order to update your device is to connect it to iTunes and it will begin the update.

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Samsung Galaxy S gets Android 2.2.1 (I9000XWJS5) through Kies – build date 21 January 2011

Looks like there is a new version of Firmware for Samsung Galaxy S owners. Let’s see a few details about this firmware…

Firmware: I9000XWJS5
Firmware build date: 21 January 2011
Swype version: 2.6.47
Swype languages: UK/US English, Cestina, Danks, Nederlands, Suomi, Greek, Espanol, Francais, Deutsch, Korean, Polski, Turkce, Portugues, Slovenscina, Italian
Quadrant score: 1237-1296

Improvements comparative with XWJS3:

– Wi-fi sleep policy fixed
– A bit more faster than JS3
– GPS is faster and more acurate

If you want to update your firmware to this version, you’ll have to:

– install the latest version of KIES, or update it.
– remove all lag-fixes from your phone
– backup your phone contacts and calendar
– use Kies Registry Patcher to spoof your phone product code as: XEN
– update your phone through KIES
– factory reset your phone
– restore lost data, contacts and calendar

You can get the latest version of Samsung Kies from: here.

Note: this update is available only if your phone product code is XEN. Otherwise, you can update only if you spoof your product code to XEN using for example Kies Registry Patcher v.1.7 – however, this will void your warranty and can brick your device (actually, the update procedure itself can do it), so use the spoofing metod on your own risk.

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Samsung Galaxy S gets Android 2.2.1 (I9000XWJS3) through Kies – build date 11 January 2011

I can confirm myself, this version of firmware brings with it not only general bug fixes to Froyo, but it seems to make the device move much faster without any lag fixes – I guess it just doesn’t need any.

A few details about this firmware…

Firmware: I9000XWJS3
Firmware build date: 11 January 2011
Swype version: 2.6.47
Swype languages: UK/US English, Deutsch, Francais, Nederlands, Svenska, Dansk, Suomi, Norsk, Hrvatski, Romana, Srpski, Slovenscina and 2 more.
Quadrant score: 1216

Ok, let’s see a few improvements:

– doesn’t need lag-fixes
– no wireless issue
– no gps issue
– 26 apps thought Samsung apps
– no battery bug
– there are more, I’m sure, but this is what I noticed

If you want to update your firmware to this version you need to:

– install the latest version of KIES, or update it.
– remove all lag-fixes from your phone
– backup your phone contacts and calendar
– use Kies Registry Patcher to spoof your phone product code as: NEE
– update your phone through KIES
– factory reset your phone
– restore lost data, contacts and calendar

You can get the latest version of Samsung Kies from: here.

Note: this update is available only if your phone product code is NEE (Dutch CSC). Otherwise, you can update only if you spoof your product code to NEE using for example Kies Registry Patcher v.1.7 – however, this will void your warranty and can brick your device (actually, the update procedure itself can do it), so use the spoofing metod on your own risk.

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