Does your Android smartphone or tablet need updating? Here's how to check
Is your mobile phone or tablet one of the billions around the world that are at risk of hacking and attacks? We found that, based on Google's own data, some 40% of Android devices could no longer be receiving updates.
Google updates Android every year, and the current version (March 2020) is Android 10. Google's own Pixel phones get updates for three years from their launch date: that means two updates to the next version of Android, plus a further year of security updates.
Want some more help with Android? Our friendly tech team can help you with one-to-one support on a range of tech issues. Find out more here.
Other phonemakers are less transparent about how long they'll update a phone or tablet for, but if you're running a device on Android 7 (also known as Android Nougat), it's no longer safe to use and you should replace it.
How to check
First, swipe down from the top of your phone to pull down the notification shade, then tap on the cogwheel icon to take you to Settings.
Once you're in the Settings app, scroll down until you find About phone, then tap on that. (Note: our screengrabs are done on a Huawei phone running Huawei's version of Android 10, called Emui 10. The steps will be broadly the same on all phones, though the screens might look different.)
Then tap on About phone and look for Android version on the next page.
Check for updates
While you're in the Settings app, it's a good idea to check and see if there are any updates you can do. Scroll down until you find System & Updates in the Settings app.
Tap that, and then on the next screen, tap the Check for updates button.
Beware that if your phone has the latest version of Android it can get, it will say Your software is up to date, but if you're running an older phone with an older version of Android, that does not mean your phone is safe: as we said above, you need to be running a current version.