How to update an Android phone

Many people underestimate the importance of keeping their smartphone updated. The reasons for doing so are many, some frivolous and others crucial.

Keeping an Android smartphone up to date is critical. Not so much because updates often bring with them new features, which some may not even care about, but because of two aspects that have the potential to convince anyone to keep their device up to date.

The first is optimization. It happens more and more frequently that manufacturers, in the rush to keep up with many new products to be made official in different markets, send on the market a smartphone with a poorly optimized software. Usually the lack of optimization is realized when you buy a product in the early days of market release. Slowdowns, under-performance of cameras and battery, sometimes reboots: these are all symptoms that indicate a lack of software optimization, an aspect that is then resolved with updates after the first one. With this in mind, to improve the performance and stability of your device, it becomes important to keep it updated.

The importance of security for updates

The second aspect is more important than the first. While you can get used to the fact that performance is lower than expected in the long run, security should be a key aspect of absolute importance for everyone.

Every month Google distributes so-called security patches to manufacturers, i.e. solutions to the various bugs that Android can suffer from, and above all solutions to security gaps that arise from time to time, potentially putting at risk the data contained in smartphones. Then it's up to each manufacturer to decide if and when to integrate Google's security patches into their own updates.

Not all manufacturers update their products with the same cadence with which Google makes and distributes patches for Android, i.e. every month. Generally, monthly distribution is the prerogative of the top of the range, while mid-range and low-end phones can be updated every two months or, in the worst cases, every six months. Provided, of course, that the smartphone in question is not so "old" that it is no longer covered by the manufacturer's software support.

Intuitively integrating security patches when the manufacturer makes them available and sends them as a software update is crucial. Unfortunately, it is often the case that attackers find ways to "infiltrate" devices that hold dozens of personal data as well as passwords and access data for a multitude of services. So, from this point of view, giving up software updates is not and cannot be a good choice.

How to update your Android smartphone

How to update your device though? Theoretically, you should receive a notification that there is an update waiting to be downloaded and installed. In practice, however, it is not always so. So it's a good idea to proceed from time to time with a manual check.

Usually the path to do this is as follows - Settings > System > Advanced > System updates - but the various menu items may differ slightly from model to model. This menu will bring up any pending updates, which you can download and install. To complete the procedure, it is a good idea to restart the phone after the update is complete.