Newbie’s information to Android updates and why they’re essential

Angelena Iglesia

With numerous dialogue hovering across the variety of years of updates Android telephones present when pitched towards the iPhone, and OEMs making an attempt to at least one up one another in that regard, you would possibly surprise what the fuss is all about. You may additionally suppose why your gadget’s software program even must be tweaked when every part’s already operating completely advantageous.

Factor is, apart from all these user-facing snazzy interface modifications, updates additionally introduce loads of under-the-hood optimisations. These embrace efficiency enhancements, and extra importantly – safety and privateness updates. Let’s begin by having a look on the stuff you miss out on once you stick with an older model of Android or in case your telephone reaches the top of its software program assist life.

Why replace your Android telephone

Safety and privateness enhancements

One of the crucial widespread methods for malicious apps to achieve entry to your non-public information is thru permissions, which, paradoxically, are largely granted by customers themselves. Till Android 10, apps got lifetime entry to issues just like the mic or the inner storage after consumer consent.

Android 11 modified this by introducing an “Solely this time” permission within the permissions dialogue. If the consumer selects this feature, the app is granted short-term one-time permission. Android 12 additional enforced privateness by introducing devoted privateness indicators for when an app accesses your mic and digicam. Then, Android 13 expanded upon this with built-in controls to cease apps from utilizing Wi-Fi permissions to gather your location information.

android 12 privacy indicators Privateness Indicators on Android 12

You possibly can see what we are attempting to get at right here. The older your Android model is, the extra essential security measures you miss out on. Nevertheless it doesn’t finish there. The Android system isn’t infallible, similar to some other OS, and dangerous actors usually discover new vulnerabilities to take advantage of when older ones are patched. It’s actually a cat-and-mouse recreation the place Google plugs exploitable vulnerabilities, dangerous actors discover their method round them, and Google patches issues up once more. These patches are rolled out via month-to-month safety updates, making such updates simply as essential as full-fledged Android model upgrades.

Efficiency enhancements

Android 12 noticed among the most notable efficiency enhancements to the platform in a very long time, with Google claiming it “lowered the CPU time wanted for core system companies by 22%.” This helps apps launch quicker and the system run smoother. Clearly, some Android variations deliver extra important efficiency enhancement than others. However the one factor you might be sure of is that there’s not often any regression – except in fact if the OEM messes issues up on their finish, which sadly is usually seen on price range telephones. Nonetheless, the benefits normally outweigh the disadvantages.

Consumer interface tweaks

Whereas “if it ain’t broke, don’t repair it” is usually a well-grounded saying, many Android customers will really disagree with it in the case of the OS. Google likes making frequent modifications to the Android interface and they’re nice at instilling a way of newness when issues go stale. For instance, Android 12’s model new Materials You design, which switches system and app colors primarily based on the present wallpaper, was acquired fairly effectively by customers.

Android13_MaterialYou_1 Android 12/13 extracts colors from the wallpaper and presents them to the consumer to use (Picture credit score: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Categorical)

replace your Android telephone

In case your present Android telephone was launched previously two to 3 years then there’s an excellent likelihood it’s effectively inside its software program assist life. Gone are the times when Android telephones have been handled to simply a few updates at finest – OEMs like Samsung are actually closing in on Apple by promising as much as 5 years of safety updates and 4 Android system updates. Nonetheless, even for those who reckon your telephone has hit the top of the street, there’s no hurt in checking. Simply make sure that your telephone’s related to the Wi-Fi and has ample battery earlier than updating.

replace your Samsung telephone

Typically thought to be the kings of Android updates and sometimes beating Google at its personal recreation, Samsung units have totally different replace strategies primarily based on the mannequin and One UI model:

Settings > Software program replace > Obtain and set up

Settings > About gadget > Software program replace > Replace now

Settings > About gadget > Software program replace > Obtain and set up

Settings > Software program replace > Obtain updates manually

Usually, you’ll obtain notifications every time there’s a brand new replace out there (be it any gadget), however you possibly can verify manually for those who suspect your telephone’s not on the newest model.

replace your Xiaomi telephone

Xiaomi has began promising as much as 3 years of Android updates and 4 years of safety updates for a few of its newer telephones. You possibly can verify for the newest out there MIUI model by navigating to:

Settings > About telephone > MIUI model > Test for updates

xiaomi miui 13 update screenshot Xiaomi is but to announce its Android 13-based MIUI pores and skin

Xiaomi additionally presents the choice to obtain and set up updates mechanically. On the replace web page you simply opened, faucet the three-dot menu on the top-right nook, hit Settings, and activate ‘Obtain mechanically’ and ‘Set up mechanically’ choices.

replace your OnePlus telephone

OnePlus is at the moment rolling out the marginally controversial OxygenOS 13 for eligible units. You possibly can verify for the newest software program model by heading over to:

Settings > System > System Updates

replace your Oppo and Vivo telephone

To verify if there’s a ColorOS/FuntouchOS system replace out there in your gadget, go to:

Settings > Software program replace

vivo funtouchos update

replace your Realme telephone

On Realme UI 3.0, you could head to Settings > About gadget, then click on ‘Updated.’

On Realme UI 1.0 and a pair of.0 you could head to Settings > Software program replace.

replace your Motorola telephone

Open the Settings app, scroll right down to the underside, faucet ‘System updates,’ after which faucet ‘Test for updates.’

Motorola additionally provides customers the choice to take a seat again and chill out and let the gadget deal with updates by itself. For that, head to Settings, scroll right down to the underside, faucet ‘System updates,’ and toggle ‘Good updates.’

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