If you're using an older version of Android, such as Lollipop (5.0) or even Marshmallow (6.0.1), it might be time to upgrade to the latest version of Android 10. Depending on your device, it's probably time to upgrade to a newer model, but those who want to keep their phone can update it to get the latest features and benefits of the Android operating system. Keep in mind that older Android devices may not be upgraded at all or work as efficiently, as newer versions are designed to use newer technology and different components. There are also manufacturer OS forks that include special features, functions, and bloatware.
Updating your phone to the latest version of Android is an incredibly simple task, although its availability very much depends on your phone manufacturer and mobile operator. It can take between one and nine months, if at all.
Tips before the update
Whenever you upgrade your old hardware to newer software, it's a good idea to take a backup of everything on your device. Cell phones are no different in this respect. Performing a simple backup to Google Drive, Google Photos, or another cloud service ensures that you haven't lost irreplaceable data if something happens.
Next, make sure you have enough memory on your phone or tablet. A new update will take up more space on your device. If you're using a phone that only has 16GB (or even 32GB) of internal storage, be wary of how much storage you'll have left after the update.
Finally, check your connections. To avoid any interference in the update, make sure you are on a stable wifi network and your device is charged. The last thing we want when running massive software as a whole is for something to crash and interrupt it.
Android 10 upgrade via OTA (Over The Air) updates
Once your phone manufacturer has made Android 10 available for your device, you can upgrade it via an over the air (OTA) update. These OTA updates are incredibly simple to do and only take a few minutes.
- Open your phone and head to " Settings. »
- In "Settings", scroll down and tap "About phone" or "About device".
- Select " Software update " ou "System update" to check for the latest version of Android.
Be aware that you may need to update your phone to the latest version of Android Lollipop or Marshmallow before Android 10 is released. You will need to be running Android 5.1 or later to update seamlessly.
Once downloaded, your phone will reset, install, and launch into Android 10.
How to Force an Android Upgrade (via Factory Image)
For those who are feeling a little braver with updating their phone and really want to get their hands on the latest version of Android before anyone else, Google has some Android factory images available for download.
However, this process is for advanced users only. Using an Android factory image will erase all your data, so be sure to back up your phone's content before updating. Also keep in mind that manufacturers have their own forked versions of the Android operating system, which include custom features and often bloatware.
Generally, Google only releases factory images for its Nexus devices, so if you're running one, you can definitely upgrade through this method. For those using other phone models, be warned: while the images will work, they may not be optimized to run properly on your phone.
Currently, Google has not made the Android Marshmallow factory image available for download, but when it does, that's how you can upgrade your Nexus device.
- Download and install the latest Android SDK on your computer
- Add the SDK folder to the PATH:
- Open My Computer | Properties
- Advanced system settings
- System Properties | Advanced | Environment variables Select Path, then click Change and enter the directory where you installed the SDK (remember that each entry is separated by a semicolon)
- Note where the SDK ZIP file is unzipped (by default it is in a directory called “android-sdk-mac_x86”)
- Open terminal and paste "echo 'export PATH=$PATH:/android/android-sdk-mac_x86/tools' >> ~/.bash_profile" to set PATH
- Enable USB debugging on your Android device in Settings | About Phone | Software Information
- If you haven't enabled developer mode yet, tap the "build number" seven times to enable it
- Once done, navigate to the newly accessible “Developer Options” menu in Settings. Check “USB debugging”
- Download factory images for each device (Google will make them available once launched)
- Extract the image to your computer and connect your Android device to the computer via USB
- Boot your phone into fastboot mode by holding down the volume up and down and power buttons when you turn on your device. If you don't have a Nexus device, here is a list of other ways to boot into fastboot
- Open a command terminal on your computer and run "flash-all.bat" to install the necessary files and operating system on your phone
- Once done, Google recommends that you lock down your phone's bootloader for added security. This is done by rebooting your phone into fastboot mode while connected via USB and then running "fastboot oem lock" from a command terminal on your computer
- That's it, you're done!
As all Android users know by now, getting your hands on the update is problematic. While most users check online tech sites and their device settings for the latest update, there is a method that lets you get the update a little faster.
Go to settings on your Android device and tap on your application manager. From there, locate Google Services Framework and clear the cache as you would with any application.
Close the Settings app and reopen it to check for the update. Many users said that they had to do it several times, but finally the update appeared.
There are several reasons why you may encounter problems while updating an Android device.
Not enough storage space
One would be a memory management issue (i.e. not enough free storage space). In this case, you can offload some content you don't need, but make sure that after the update your phone will still have free storage for it to work.
Your phone is rooted
If you rooted your phone, you will need to remove it or find another method to upgrade the software. Using SuperSu or another downloadable app, you can unroot your device, update, and then root it again.
If that doesn't work for you, try ODIN Pro to update your software. Whichever you choose, both are tedious tasks that require more than a basic level of technological understanding.
Your device model is not compatible with Android 10
This does not mean that Android 10 will never be available for your device; it just means that it may not yet be available for your device. As we mentioned above, you can try to force the update, but some users may have to wait a bit longer.
Your battery life is too low
The update will not work if your phone is not sufficiently charged (usually more than fifty percent). This may sound like a nuisance, but it's more of a failsafe. If your phone's battery were to drain during the update, it could have catastrophic consequences (and by catastrophic we mean a huge headache that could have been easily avoided). If you're having trouble getting your phone to cooperate with an update, try charging it a bit more.