Android’s open-sourced operating system is a reliable and efficient OS, as we Android users know. But nothing is perfect. The OS still requires frequent updates to fix security holes and remove outdated features. Those software update pop-ups on your phone screen that you keep putting off until “tomorrow” do have a purpose, you know. Call it self-improvement.
So if you need to play some software update catchup, you don’t have to wait until that pop-up notification appears again. You can easily access your device’s information and find out its current version and update accordingly.
How to Find Your Android’s Current Version
Each software update comes with a series of changes, both big and small. If you’re a Samsung Galaxy user, you’ll notice that one of the most significant changes that hit with Android 10 in 2019, was to DeX; you can no longer use DeX with Linux OS applications. Android released its latest software update, Android 11, in September 2020. It has several new and improved features, such as memory management, user interface, applications, and more.
Most likely, you probably have Android OS 8 or 9 and could use an upgrade. Not sure which version you have? Take a look!
- Go to Settings
- Scroll until you find About Phone, Device, or System. Select it.
- Click Android Version. Here, you’ll see all the information you need about your current Operating System.
Check for a Software Update
Usually, Google is kind enough to inform their customers about the availability of a new Android version. In this case, just follow the prompt. The system will update itself and restart the phone.
If by any chance you don’t receive automatic updates (or ignored the update request and the prompt disappeared), follow the steps below.
- Go to Settings > System.
- Then, click on Advanced and then System Update to view your update status.
- Follow the steps indicated on your screen.
How to Update your Android OS
There is more than one way you can update your Android’s OS. If you’ve been using one method and don’t particularly care for it, try a different one.
From the Settings Menu
Before updating this way, make sure you connect your Android device to the internet, either by Wi-Fi or cellular data.
- Go to your system Apps and tap the gear icon to open Settings.
- Tap on About Phone.
- Then tap on Check for Updates. If the Update button appears, it confirms that there is an update available. Select it.
- After that, you can install the new OS version. You’ll either see one of these options: Install Now, Install System Software, Reboot and Install, or any other option with the word Install. It depends on what OS version and device you are using. Click on any of the options above.
Using the Manufacturer’s Website
Usually, all manufacturers have a customer care website. Here, consumers can download drivers and system updates for particular models, make inquiries, share information, and exchange ideas. From your device’s browser, visit the website and download the correct OS update.
Through Your PC
Though not all device manufacturers do this, most sell their devices with a manual that shows you how to connect to your personal computer. Connect your tablet to your computer before launching its proprietary software and get the owner’s manual. By connecting to your PC, you can load in your new OS.
Google Play System Updates and Security Updates
Android automates system updates and security patch services. This way, you don’t have to even think about it. It just happens! However, you can manually find out the availability of an update through Google.
- Go to your system apps, and click the gear icon to open Settings.
- Select Security.
- For Google Play System update, click Google Play System Update.
- For security updates, click Security Update.
- Your device will then direct you to finish the update.
Troubleshooting Android Update Issues
Although Android controls the largest market share, slightly over 70% of the market, it’s prone to face many issues associated with its operations. Upgrading your Android may resolve some of these issues. However, the updating process itself may encounter problems depending on your device.
Below are two common problems users face while updating their Android.
Update Fails to Complete
When your upgrade doesn’t complete, you can usually blame it on a poor internet connection. Check the stability of your connection and either connect to a different Wi-Fi, use cellular data, or move closer to the router.
The other reason this could happen is if you are low on storage space. Updates come with firmware packages that require a lot of space. Simply go through your phone and clear out junk files.
Are you receiving an error notification? This is a sign that your update was interrupted by something. It could be anything from internet instability to a soft-bricked device.
To resolve this, reboot your phone and attempt the download again.
Customize your Android OS using Developer Options
Unlike other operating systems like iOS, Android developers can modify and customize the OS for each smart device using developer options. This is what makes it open source. You’ll first have to enable developer options.
- Go to Settings.
- Click on About Phone.
- Tap Software Info.
- When you get to Build Number, tap on it seven times.
- You’ll see a message saying, “Developer mode has been enabled.”
By successfully enabling developer options, you can turn on and off USB debugging, tweak animation settings, allow mock location, display CPU usage overlay, and access other hidden features. If you’re not a developer, it is advisable to leave developer options disabled by default. Otherwise, you might end up interfering with crucial settings.
Some people tend to take update requests as an annoying pop-up — but it’s not. Each update enhances the capabilities of the system and intends to bring about a better user experience. An error might arise, but employing simple strategies could help you weed out these errors. By using the steps above, it is easy to check and update your Android.