Update Android: How to get the latest version

In this article:

Can you always install the latest version of Android on your smartphone? How does the update work via OTA and via the PC? And why doesn’t your Galaxy have the latest version of Android? We explain how you can update Android.


1. How do I know if I have the latest version of Android?

To do this, you have to find out two things: what the latest Android version is called and which version is installed on your smartphone. You can find out the name of the latest version of Android on the Google Android website . There you will also learn the history of the Android versions and can understand how your version is classified historically. You can find your Android version on your smartphone under “Settings> General> Phone info> Software information” (or similar). The first entry reveals the Android version, for example 9.0 Pie.

However, the latest Android version available from Google is not always the same as the latest available Android version for your smartphone – unless you have a Pixel phone. They receive the updates first and directly from Google. Some manufacturers offer update lists in which you can check what the latest available version is for your specific smartphone and which are planned in the future. You can find out about the Android updates planned for Samsung smartphones in the manufacturer’s schedules under “Which smartphones are currently planned for an Android update?” here: Samsung software updates .

Since the manufacturers offer a different overview of their Android updates in different ways or sometimes not at all, we summarize them each in a guide when a new Android version is released. Here you will find our overview of the smartphones that will receive Android 9.0 Pie . But there is Android 10 now, you say? Right. And here you can find out which phones get this version: Android 10: Release dates for Samsung, Huawei & Co .

2. Why doesn’t my smartphone have the latest version of Android?

The simple answer to this question is usually: Because the manufacturer of your smartphone has not yet delivered the update. Maybe he doesn’t intend to. In any case, this applies if you have activated the automatic update and are connected to the Internet. Otherwise go to “Settings> Phone info> Update center> Software update> Check for updates now”. Depending on the smartphone, some of the menu items may also have a slightly different name.

In short, older Android smartphones will no longer receive the latest version of Android. Unfortunately, this is often not worthwhile for the manufacturers, because many people buy a new smartphone anyway. The adaptation of the user interface of the respective manufacturer such as that of Samsung or LG to the new Android version costs money. And the fewer customers who still use an old smartphone, the less manufacturers will invest time and effort in an update.

Even more annoying: Old Android versions are more susceptible to malware. The pixel smartphones from Google and cell phones in the Android One program have been equipped with the latest Android version for a comparatively long time , namely for at least two years from the time the device is available in the Google Store. Security updates for these devices have been available for at least three years. The manufacturers of these smartphones adapt the user interfaces only slightly, they offer almost completely “pure” Android.

3. Update Android via OTA and PC

OTA means “Over the Air”, ie invisible data transmission by air, so to speak. Updates are usually transmitted via mobile internet or Wi-Fi. For this you have to proceed as described under point 2.

You can also update your Android smartphone via the PC. It may happen that a new update is not displayed on the smartphone, but it is already offered by the manufacturer via USB transfer. This serves the purpose of protecting the servers and using the first update users a little as guinea pigs. If there are any problems with the update, the manufacturer can resolve them before rolling it out to most customers over the air.

You can get an update via the PC by installing the tool that your smartphone manufacturer provides for this purpose. Samsung offers the Kies tool for this . LG has the LG PC Suite for this . HTC offers the Sync Manager . At Huawei, the program is called HiSuite . The PC Companion is available from Sony . The exact procedure is then explained in the programs themselves.

4. I absolutely want the latest update

Do you want the latest version of Android, but your manufacturer does not offer it for your smartphone? Then you still have the last option to root your smartphone, download a file with the latest version of Android and install it manually. This method is only recommended for users who do not care if your warranty is invalid and they may damage your device.

You should also know how to root. After all, the lifespan of Android smartphones can be significantly increased. Find out in advance about the advantages and disadvantages of Android rooting in our guide .

Or you can get an iPhone that receives updates from the manufacturer even longer than the pixel devices. For example, there is iOS 13 even for the aged iPhone 6S, which came on the market in 2015.

Maybe you don’t really need the absolutely latest version of Android. If you only use known apps from the official Play Store and maybe install antivirus software, you should generally be spared attacks. You have to decide whether you want the latest Android features.


  1. You can look up which Android version you have in the settings of your smartphone.
  2. Google reveals the latest available Android version.
  3. You can find out the latest Android updates from smartphone manufacturers at these.
  4. Android updates no longer appear for many older smartphones.
  5. If you absolutely want the latest version, you may risk a root.
  6. With a PC, you sometimes get the new Android updates faster.
  7. Apple provides its old iPhones with updates longer than even Google does its pixel phones.
  8. You may not need the absolutely latest Android update at all.

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