How to Automatically and Manually Update Android Smartphone or Tablet
To get the best performance and features from your Android smartphone or tablet you should make sure you're always running the very latest software available for it, not just in terms of apps but also the Android operating system.
Several times a year, Google releases a new version of Android with new features and performance improvements. Unfortunately, most Android devices in the wild will never get the update.
Why You Probably Can't Update Your Phone
- Google can't just release a new version of Android that works on all devices – manufacturers have to update the drivers to work with newer versions of Android.
- Cell phone carriers can delay updates by months on their networks. Also, with hundreds of models being released every year, there’s no incentive for carriers to put a lot of work into updating an older model that’s been replaced by a newer one. Therefore, "Flagship", high-end phones will generally receive updates, although they’ll be more delayed. But Low-end Android smartphones will likely never receive updates.
- Some new versions of Android come with increased hardware requirements and this prevents them from working on the old devices.
- Controversially, Android OEMs also add their own tweaks and skins on top of the Android operating system. These include Samsung's TouchWiz, HTC's Sense, Motorola's Motoblur, and others.
How to Automatically Update Your Android Smartphone and Tablet
1. It's always a good practice to back up your data such as contacts and photos. The upgrade should not affect your data but there is no guarantee.
2. Navigate to your Settings menu on your android device and scroll down to About Phone or tablet.
3. The menu can vary slightly from device to device but click the "Software Update" or similar button.
4. Your phone or tablet will automatically search for an update. If an update is available, select "Yes" to download and the installation will automatically be applied after downloading.
How to Manually (Forcedly) Update Your Android OS - Update Using a Rooted ROM
1. Download a rooted (custom) ROM. And save the files on the desktop.
- Rooting to upgrade is not supported by your carrier's and manufacturers’ technical support.
- There are several available versions online, created by different users. Make sure the root files that you download are compatible with your specific device model.
2. On your phone the USB debugging option must be enabled: "Settings -> More -> Development Options -> USB debugging". Also, your device must be charged especially if the battery status indicates less than 60% power left.
3. Connect your phone to the computer and launch the ROM you have downloaded.
4. Follow the instructions that appear to begin installing the rooted ROM on your phone.
5. Wait for the installation to finish. Once through, your phone will reboot with the updated Android OS.