How to update your Android smartphone or tablet: Get the latest software on your phone 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. Here’s how to update Android on your smartphone or tablet. For more Android tips and tricks see Android Advisor.

Android has been heavily criticised for its OS fragmentation – as of 7 July 2014, 13.5 percent of devices were still running Android 2.3.3-2.3.7 Gingerbread, 11.4 percent were still running 4.0.4-4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, and 56.5 percent were running 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean. Given that we (or, at least, 17.9 percent of the Android-owning population) are now running Android 4.4 KitKat, with Android L expected this autumn, you can see why people might complain. Also see:37 best smartphones 2014

It’s not just about device stability and speed, either. New operating system updates bring new features, such as Jelly Bean’s multiple user accounts and KitKat’s improved Google Now and smarter Caller ID. Android L, when it launches in the next few months, will bring a new Material Design, enhanced notifications, as well as ahuge improvement to battery life. Check out our Android KitKat vs Android L comparison review.

See alsoGoogle I/O round-up – Android, Google Play, Google+, Chrome and Maps.

Google I/O announcement roundup: Android, Google Play, Google+, Chrome and Maps – See more at:

Upgrades for Android devices are generally available over-the-air (OTA), which avoids the need for cables and a desktop PC. They are also rolled out gradually and will depend on the manufacturer and mobile operator. Also see: 26 best tablets 2014

That last bit’s important: it’s up to your phone- or tablet maker whether it wants to release new operating system updates for your model, and it is under no obligation to do so. If you have a high-end, flagship phone such as the Samsung Galaxy S5HTC One M8 or LG G3, you can reasonably expect that your manufacturer will provide at least one operating system update. If you have a cheap or mid-range phone or tablet, you may find that what you’ve got is what you’re stuck with – particularly if it’s from a relatively unknown brand. Also see: 14 best budget smartphones 2014

by Chris Martin

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