Quick, which is the most popular operating system for mobiles and tablet PC's? Even a five year old will answer this easy-peasy question, it's the Android OS, represented by the little green alien looking thingi. The Android OS entered the mobile OS sphere and things have never been the same. And the Android platform just keeps getting better and better, with bugs and errors being fixed and lots of user-friendly features being added with every new release.
The current and latest version is the Android 2.3 or Gingerbread but everyone is looking out for the new Android update, Ice Cream Sandwich. So, whether you are stuck in the caveman era with an Android version of 2.1 on your phone or gearing up for the Ice Cream Sandwich, below is an easy explanation to make the process of upgrading, a piece of cake (or a piece of ice cream sandwich).
How to Update Android OS
The updating process is made up of the following sub-process:
Most of the time, updating the Android OS will take place smoothly and everything remains where it is. But sometimes, things can go wrong, so avoid crying over split and lost data, apps, game data etc. later. Prior to updating, make a backup of your data first.
Press the HOME button and then touch or tap Settings. Look for the Privacy option, then Back up my data & settings. There should be a check box or button to enable this feature. This option creates an automatic backup of your data and settings. But for this to work, you need a microSD card or memory card, as the backup file will be created over there. Also the data and how this feature works depends on the make of the Android phone you are using. When a rest or update is carried out, you will be asked if you want to restore the data from this file.
Check for apps in the Android Market. There are a lot of free and paid backup apps, that can do the backing up for you. Such apps will allow you to choose if you want only data, or applications or both, to be backed up and where. There are different apps based on specific backup options like backing up only SMS's or pictures. Just make sure you know where the backup file is stored.
In the case of your phone's contacts information and numbers, the best way to make a backup is to sync your Android phone with a Gmail account. If new contacts are added, through the auto sync, they are present in your Gmail account. So syncing can make Gmail, your one-stop location for all your contact information.
With data and information, the more important the data is to you, the more steps you have to take to ensure its safety. You can always manually backup media data files such as music, images or pictures, ringtones etc on a PC. With apps downloaded from the Android Market, fell safe, they will remain installed and ready for use, even after a system update.
This is a simple and very convenient "how to upgrade Android OS" method. Basically, your Android phone lets you know about an update and you can choose to update to the new OS version or not.
You will require an Internet connection, to receive an update message and to carry out the update procedure.
- On your phone's screen, a Install system software update dialog box or message should appear, either on the main screen itself or in the upper corner
- Tap the Install now option, then tap OK
- Let the updating process take place uninterrupted. Try to connect to a secure and continuous Internet source, like a Wi-Fi network, to ensure a smooth connection for the updation process.
- You should see a message like "Your phone has been updated successfully to version x.xx.xxx.x..". Once complete, the phone should reset itself and restart. Let it do so, and congrats, you now have an updated Android OS!
This feature of receiving updates as they become available does not always work. Sometimes, everyone around you can get an update message except you. This is due to the fact, that some Android updates are dependent on carrier or service provider, and the brand and model of the Android phone. So the update to the new OS version is there, you just haven't got the message yet.
If you do not want to wait for the auto update software message or never receive it, time to pester your phone. Steps on to how to update an Android device manually include:
- Press the Home button on your phone
- Press the Menu button
- Scroll through your Menu options and tap Settings
- Scroll through the Settings options and look for About phone. Tap on it.
- The version and build number of the current running OS will be displayed. Tap the System software updates option.
- The OS starts searching for any updates. An Internet connection is required for this to take place.
- If there is no update available, then "Up to Date" is displayed.
- If there is an update available, the software model and build is displayed, tap on Install Now. Let the updating process take place. The phone will restart when it is done and voila! You now have an updated Android OS on your phone.
Through any of the above updation methods, make sure your phone is connected to a charger for the entire process. OS updation processes are time-consuming and rather unpredictable, so be prepared to wait and let the running upgrade run its course. Upgrading your Android OS version is important, as there are so many benefits and perks of each newly released version. The Android platform seems to improve with the passage of time, so Android fans can't hardly wait for the Ice Cream Sandwich update.