Why You Should Always Upgrade Your Beacon / iBeacon Firmware

We went through a little helpful exercise recently, by going over all our support requests and reaching out to our earlier customers to find any recurring themes and issues. When we took a good look at these recurring themes, we found some surprising results.

While we are of course always improving our products and services all the time, and our development roadmap is greatly influenced by all your suggestions. There is one particular theme which all customers need to know about, because it’s a really easy fix.
Here it is: upgrade your firmware. It really is that simple.

Why you should be diligent about firmware upgrades.

You have to keep in mind that Beacons and iBeacon are a new technology (or more accurately, a new way of arranging and using existing technologies).
This means everyone involved in the industry right now (whether you are Google / Apple or a brand new startup) – is continually finding new ways to get the most out of the hardware, and making the hardware work optimally with all the connected platforms and devices.
That’s just the way it is. We learn, we discover, we grow – and then we introduce new improvements through firmware.
So each new firmware version is going to introduce noticeable improvements to your hardware – and the longer you put off upgrading your firmware, the bigger the difference in performance.

What kind of improvements you can you expect from firmware upgrades?

Here is the short and general list – though each new version will have specific enhancements:

  • General performance improvements
  • Improved energy efficiency / battery life
  • Increased overall stability
  • Added functions and capabilities
  • Bug fixes

It’s a very simple question: do you want these improvements in your current hardware? If yes (and why not since it’s a free service anyway) – then you need to upgrade your firmware and keep it updated.

How to check your current firmware version and upgrade.

Note: Our current firmware version (as of July 2014) is version 2.6. We launched firmware version 2.0 in January 2014, and have introduced a lot of improvements since then.

  1. Get the latest version of our Admin App from App Store if you haven’t already done so.
  2. Get your mobile into range of any Beacons you want to check or update.
  3. Go into Admin Mode (after signing into your account) and check the list of available Beacons.
  4. On this list, you will see if there are any Beacons with outdated firmware (check out the screenshot to see the icon to look for).
  5. Select the Update link on your screen, and the firmware will download and install automatically on all outdated Beacons.

That’s it! Not so hard now is it?

Future Updates for Firmware Management

  • We will eventually launch our Admin App for Android so you won’t need an iOS device to maintain your Beacon network.
  • Web Panel will also be eventually updated so you can see firmware version, and upgrade all your Beacons directly from your account.

Final Recommendation

It is generally a good idea to check for new firmware updates once a month.
We are continuously finding ways to improve our Beacons / iBeacon – so each update will provide an incremental improvement. The performance difference may be small from one update to the next, but these do add up quickly if you keep skipping updates.
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