Updating your cellphones

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An older example: The battery-life problems with the i Phone 3G, which were addressed by Apple via a software update within days of the phone hitting the market.

However, software updates aren't only to remedy problems.

It would be easy to sweep all tech companies into the same pile, to mock their cynicism and manipulation, to accuse them of planned obsolescence on a criminal scale. The i Pad has been the best-selling tablet since its debut.

To update i Tunes, go to the "Help" menu, and select "Check for updates." If i Tunes says you have the most recent version, you're all set to move on to Step Two.

Manufacturers and carriers also use them to add new cell phone features or capabilities.

For example, Apple recently enabled the i Phone to download i Tunes songs over the cell network, so customers can now get their music fix anytime, not just when they're in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot.

And this spring, RIM will open its own download site exclusively for Black Berry users, which will certainly require a system update.

Updating software is simple on an i Phone; i Tunes checks for, and prompts you to download, any updates to the phone’s software every time you sync the device with your computer.

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