Upgradeable Software – The Future of Box Mods?
Lately we've been seeing more and more mods that tout a new feature – the ability to update the control chip's software via a micro-USB cable that you can plug into your computer and get the latest updates straight from your device's manufacturer.
Why is this a big deal? With the fast-paced nature of the box mod market, many manufacturers are in a rush to bring the latest, greatest product to market – even if all the bugs haven't been worked out yet. This isn't unique to the vape world, even the biggest names in electronics – Microsoft and Apple – continue issuing updates to their operating systems as bugs are found. We think it's great that vape manufacturers are offering the same convenience, rather than forcing you to buy the newest "version" of their product to stay up to date, as was common practice as little as a year ago.
What's covered? While there are some minor fixes such as eliminating screen freezing or making pocket lock modes more secure, the evolving world of temperature control seems to be what really drove the market when it comes to offering software updates. Early TC box mods could only control Ni200 nickel wire – while popular in some circles, many vapers found problems with this wire. Updates have allowed for older mods to gain TC box mod profiles to allow their users to vape titanium and various grades of stainless steel, each with its own particular set of values that enable accurate vaping.
One thing that an update port is not, however, is a battery charger. While the same micro-USB connection on a fixed-battery vape mod will both charge the mod and allow for updates, box mods with replaceable batteries were intended to have those cells replaced when they wear out, rather than for the mod to be plugged in every time the batteries wear down. There are a few reasons for this: charging in a dedicated charger is both faster and safer, repeatedly plugging in and unplugging a cord can damage your micro-USB connection, meaning you'll eventually lose both charge and update ability (on mods that allow for charging via the update port), and having a spare batterry or set available will keep you from being tethered to a cord in all but the most desperate of times when you leave the house with a lower charge than you thought you had.
Still, it makes sense to look for a mod that offers upgradeable firmware – if you take care of it, most advanced devices these days are built much sturdier than their predecessors and can last for a few years, if obsolete software didn't get in the way. By removing that hurdle, your next mod buy can be an investment that will last well into the future – something especially important if looming FDA regulations are successful in banning the future sale of effective vape gear throughout the U.S.