The Android that powers your phone is called, in more technical terms, firmware.
If your phone would be a Windows-powered computer, then firmware versions would be Windows XP, Windows 7, or Windows 10, with many iterations for each broad version. This is more or less what happens with your Android phone – periodically, Google releases a new Android version that improves features and fixes security risks.
Most of the time, it’s a good idea to keep your phone up to date by installing the most recent firmware. Some of the best reasons to do so include:
- Improved battery life
- Eliminating stutters and lags
- Better connectivity
- Improved data transfers
- Compatibility with the latest apps
- Design changes
Drawbacks exist as well, but they’re quite rare. You won’t be able to install the latest firmware on a phone you bought 8 years ago, as it most likely won’t be able to handle the newer features that the firmware came with. But barring these rare cases, you should always strive to be up to date with your firmware, even if it’s just from a security point of view.
And to that extent Updato has your back. I’ll show you three ways to keep up with firmware upgrades – and don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert to keep up:
- Use our OS Updates Library, a large free firmware archive for Samsung phones.
- Use the manufacturer’s website to download official updates.
- Use OTA and get direct updates through your device interface.
We’ll break down what each option has to offer you, its pros and cons, and how to perform them. After you understand every option in detail it will be easier for you to keep your phone up to date.
Option #1: Use Updato’s free firmware archive
A while back we launched our free firmware archive, which is now the biggest free firmware archive for Samsung phones on the internet. We’re constantly improving and expanding on it, to make sure that your experience is as smooth as possible.
When you visit our library, just enter your phone’s model number to search for the latest firmware. If you’re unsure of your phone’s exact model number, grab your phone and go to “Settings”, then click “About”, and you’ll find your phone’s precise make and model number.
Once you enter your device’s model number you’ll see a list with multiple firmware available for download. Choose the one for your region, then just hit Download and wait for the firmware to get downloaded on your computer.
Once you have the firmware all that’s left for you to do is install it on your phone, using Odin. Here’s an in-depth tutorial that shows you how to use Odin to install firmware.
This is by far the simplest option if you want a specific firmware. If you don’t have a Samsung phone, there are alternatives:
Option #2: Use the manufacturer’s official site to download updates
Almost every manufacturer in the smartphone industry provides updates through their website. This method will get you the latest official firmware for your Android phone, provided of course that your preferred manufacturer is among those who offer their firmware for download.
The process itself is similar to how you navigated our firmware archive:
- First, browse the manufacturer’s site and find their firmware download page.
- Next, insert your phone’s make and model number, then the build number, or another serial number that your manufacturer uses to identify your phone.
Using this method, you’ll have the latest official software release approved by the manufacturer.
The advantage of this method is the reliability you get from the official manufacturer. The disadvantage is in the delay of releases – or the availability of releases, as some manufacturers stop releasing updates after a while.
Option #3: Use the OTA update method
This is the simplest and safest method for downloading and installing firmware, and is used most often by the majority of smartphone users.
Just click the “Software Update” option in your smartphone’s interface, and it will automatically find the latest updates, if any are available. This method relies on the manufacturer’s updates, and you can expect delays depending on your region.
Note: Some manufacturers provide special features for specifically chosen regions, and restrict them for others.
This “set it and forget it” option can be very handy, and if you’re not keen on having the latest firmware the day it’s released then it’s a good enough option.
How to install your Android firmware update
Excluding OTA, once you’ve located and downloaded the latest firmware, all you have to do is install it. If you downloaded the firmware from a manufacturer’s website, you’ll have to transfer the file to your phone’s storage, locate it within your file manager, then press “Install.”
If you choose to use our Updato free firmware archive, (thumbs up, and props to you!) just follow Updato’s step-by-step tutorial on how to manually install the firmware using Odin.
Note: To avoid excessive data usage, make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi network.
We’ve done our best to streamline the process and make it easy to follow, but if questions arise, or you just want someone to hold your hand, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.
Image source: the-geek.ru