What Is the Latest Version of Android?.
The Android operating system is the most widely used mobile operating system in the world. There’s always a new version of Android around the corner, so there’s a good chance you’re not running the latest version.
Do you have the latest version? We’ll show you how to check what version of Android you have, what the latest version offers, how to update, and what’s next for Android.
The Latest Android Version is Android 12
At the time of writing, the latest Android OS version is 12, released on October 4, 2021.
Of course, if you’re not using a “stock” Android device, you may not have access to Android 12 for some time. This is because every device manufacturer tends to develop and host their own “skin” on top of Android. For example, Samsung Galaxy phones have One UI, Xiaomi has MIUI, OnePlus has OxygenOS, etc. which causes lag.
Key Features of Android 12
Like all major versions of Android, Android 12 has a few key features that will either convince you to upgrade or stick with the version of Android you know and love.
Android 12 is a major improvement to the operating system. The graphical interface has undergone significant changes. System colors can automatically adjust based on your wallpaper. Widgets have a new look, animations and movements have been upgraded. Everything on the home screen seems more refined and high quality.
The elements on the screen are more spaced out, and Android 12 makes better use of the high resolution screens that modern phones have. You can also take screenshots that go beyond the actual limits of the screen, such as an entire web page as you scroll through it using the Scrollable Screenshot feature.
Another notable feature set of Android 12 has to do with accessibility. There’s a new window magnifier, an optional dark mode for those who are sensitive to light or who want to view pages in the dark.
Depending on your vision needs, you can also bold text throughout your phone and perform system-wide color adjustments, including switching your phone to grayscale.
Privacy features bring Android 12 closer to Apple’s latest version of iOS. There are clear new indicators for when your microphone or camera is recording, and you can permanently disable your camera and microphone if you don’t want any apps to have access to them.
What Happened to the Dessert Names?
While the first versions of Android didn’t have code names, you may remember that for a long time, every version of Android was known by the names of desserts:
Cupcake (Android 1.5) Donut (Android 1.6) Eclair (Android 2.0-2.1) Froyo (Android 2.2-2.2.3) Gingerbread (Android 2.3-2.3.7) Honeycomb (Android 3.0-3.2.6) Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0-4.0.4) Jelly Bean (Android 4.1-4.3.1) KitKat (Android 4.4-4.4.4) Lollipop (Android 5.0-5.1) . 1) Marshmallow (Android 6.0-6.0.1) Nougat (Android 7.0-7.1.2) Oreo (Android 8.0-8.1) Pie (Android 9.0) li
With Android 10 (aka “quince pie”), Google decided that it would switch to version numbers like Apple iOS.
Dessert codenames are still there, but they are no longer the official public name for the operating system. For example, Android 11’s internal codename is “Red Velvet Cake”. The dessert name for Android 12 is Snow Cone!
How to Update to the Latest Version of Android
If you’re in a hurry and want to upgrade to the latest version of Android, there are several ways to do it. The one that requires the least effort is just waiting for you to get a notification that your phone is ready for a system update. You can then simply schedule an update, or get started right away by downloading the update over Wi-Fi.
If you want to manually check if an update is available, open Settings and select Software Update.
On older versions of Android, you may have to go to Settings > System > System update, About this device or something similar.
Why Can’t I Update to the Latest Version of Android?
You may have been thrilled to see that the official release date for a new version of Android has come and gone, but the offer to upgrade to it doesn’t seem to be available. As mentioned above, most Android phone manufacturers spend time customizing Android before releasing it on their phones. This may take several months, so you may have to wait for these new features to arrive.
On the other hand, companies like Samsung or Xiaomi are adding features to their custom version of Android that are not in the stock version of Android or that will only come in a future version. For example, the screen recording feature was only added in Android 11, but Samsung Galaxy phones (among others) had it years before the release of Android 11.
If your phone is more than two years old, you may never get a chance to update your phone. Android phones have a notoriously short support cycle compared to the iPhone, and you may find yourself getting fooled as they turn their attention to new phones.
This is changing; for example, Samsung has committed to release at least four Android version updates for its Galaxy S22 line of phones. If you have a stock Android device like the Google Pixel 6 or other Pixel phones, you can update it as soon as a new version of Android is released. However, Android may not support older models as they do not support newer features.
What Happens if You Don’t Update?
If you can’t (or don’t want to) update to a newer version of Android, you can continue to use your phone as usual. You should still receive security updates and bug fixes for several years. However, you may find that Android apps from the Google Play store eventually stop supporting your version of Android, making your phone less useful over time.
When is Android 13 Available?
While Google hasn’t given an exact release date for Android 13 Tiramisu, the general expectation is that the stable version will be released at the end of the third quarter or the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2022. The next Google I/O event will likely provide an exact date. With the exception of stock Android devices, users may get Android 13 sometime in 2023.
Previewing Upcoming Android Versions
If you don’t want to wait to try out the next version of Android, you can try developer preview builds. If you have a Google Pixel device, you can install a developer preview build using the developer tools on your phone. However, we do not recommend anyone to do this on their primary device.
You can also download a preview build from the Google Developers site and run it in an Android emulator to get an idea of what’s next.
Getting New Android Versions on Unsupported Devices
If your phone manufacturer has turned down Android updates for your device, you always have the option to install a custom ROM on your phone. This means erasing the factory image of the system and replacing it with an image created by a third party.
This is a great way to update a phone or tablet that is no longer receiving updates but may have the right hardware to run new Android versions. However, you may experience some disadvantages such as loss of manufacturer features for this device. For example, if you have a fancy foldable phone, it’s unlikely that a custom ROM not designed for that phone will support folding features.
Flashing your phone with a custom ROM is not for the faint of heart, but if you follow the steps to root your device, install custom recovery software, and finally flash a custom ROM, you should be through with it.
I Want to Go Back to an Older Version of Android
Getting the latest version of Android is great, but sometimes you might feel like you prefer the way it used to be, or maybe your phone has serious bugs that you can’t live with until a patch comes out.
You can roll back to the previous version of Android, but not by official methods. Instead, check out our guide to downgrading to an older version of Android.
What Is the Latest Version of Android?
What Is the Latest Version of Android?