The world of Android smartphones is characterized by the Google home operating system, which has been driving a large number of models for more than a decade. Android is now a staple of the market, as it holds the highest share of devices globally. This is favored by the fact that there are many smartphone manufacturers who rely on Android, while the iOS counterpart is adopted exclusively by Apple.
Like all operating systems, Android includes software updates. The most frequent are the security updates, which do not bring particular new features in terms of functionality but update the security patches. The less common ones are updates that introduce software news while we talk about major update when the update involves upgrading to a new version of Android.
It goes without saying that the most coveted updates by those who are looking for software news are the major updates. Generally, Android updates come automatically distributed by the manufacturer, although they can be done in manual mode. So let’s see what the methods to update an Android smartphone.
- Update Android with automatic procedure
- Update Android with PC
- Update Android with custom ROM
- Update Android app
Update Android with automatic procedure
The most common way to do an Android system update is to receive it automatically from the manufacturer and then install it. This mode is called via OTA or Over The Air, because it does not require the device to be connected to one second but only internet connectivity to download the update package.
Once you have received the Android update via OTA you will receive one notification on your smartphone. Alternatively it is possible consult manually the availability of an update to download. That’s how:
- Go to the Settings of the Android smartphone.
- Access the System section
- Access the Updates section.
- Tap on the Check for updates option.
The above applies to devices Pixel by Google, while on other Android smartphone models the descriptions of the settings may vary slightly.
If you receive an update via OTA it will be enough confirm willingness to install it, wait for the installation and restart the device when prompted to complete the update. With the latest versions of Android, i.e. starting from Android 11 onwards, automatic updates are downloaded in the background when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network and installed. The user will only be prompted to restart the device for the installed update to take effect in the background.
Update Android with PC
In case you have problems receiving automatic updates or you intend to install a stock version of the firmware starting from an unofficial build, you can go down the path of updating via PC. In all cases it will be necessary to have a data transfer enabled cable (the one supplied with the smartphone is usually compatible) to connect the smartphone to the PC. Let’s see the options available.
Samsung Smart Switch
This is the Samsung app dedicated to backing up Galaxy smartphones. Smart Switch however, it also allows you to install manual software updates for your smartphone directly on your PC. The procedure involves installing the app on a smartphone and also on a PC. You can find it available at this link.
The procedure is very simple: once the smartphone is connected to the PC, the software will automatically recognize the model and in the section named Software update you will be able to consult the latest firmware version released by the manufacturer for your smartphone. Once the installation is complete, it will be possible to disconnect the smartphone from the PC and restart it. This procedure is clearly only compatible with Samsung smartphones. Smart Switch is compatible with both Windows PC and Mac.
Similarly to what is proposed by Samsung, Huawei offers its own proprietary tool to backup and update Android from its smartphones to PC. The tool in question is HiSuite and must be installed on the PC with which you want to backup or update. Next you will need to connect the Huawei smartphone to the PC and open HiSuite on the PC. You can download the program at this address.
There update procedure manual is simple:
- Connect the phone to HiSuite and click Update on the computer
- After finding a new version, upgrade. After the update is complete the phone will restart automatically.
Update Android with custom ROM
The world of Android smartphones includes an important branch called moddingwhich indicates all the software customization operations that can be carried out on the devices that go beyond what is allowed by the manufacturer and by the official Google software.
Among the best known operations we find the installation of one custom ROM, that is, an unofficial and customized version of the operating system. Over the years, the world of custom ROMs has seen many actors alternate, with different alternatives proposed, some of which even anticipated the features that we then saw launched in the official versions of the software proposed by the various manufacturers.
The installation of a custom ROM is an operation that edit system files, and it is very delicate because its incorrect installation could make it impossible to use the smartphone. These operations are usually not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and a hypothetical service intervention could cost dearly. Therefore, custom ROMs are only suitable for those who are quite familiar with it.
In any case, the procedures for installing custom ROM are now consolidated and therefore within everyone’s reach. Just read the guides carefully and ask more experienced users, such as those featured on the XDA forums, if in doubt.
In this guide you will find all the details on how to install a custom ROM on Android smartphone.
Update Android app
In addition to system updates, Android smartphones also require individual app updates installed. In recent years, we’ve seen several manufacturers make some of their proprietary apps independent of system updates, to make their updates easier and faster. In fact, on the Play Store we find several OnePlus apps but also the Google Camera.
Updating Android apps can be done automatically through the Play Store. Just go to the Manage apps and device section and then to the one called App updates to start the pending ones. Through the Play Store settings it is also possible to customize the execution of automatic app updates when connected to a Wi-Fi network or data network.