The operating system update situation in the Android space is a bit of a mess. You might have seen some headlines about how new software updates sometimes wreck people’s phones or change things in ways that they don’t like.

This may lead you to wonder whether you should bother installing Android updates in the first place. Are Android updates necessary to install? Is it okay if you skip them? Find out here.


Do You Really Need to Install Android Updates?

While it’s recommended to install Android updates, they are not mandatory unless you’re running a very old version. Developers constantly update their apps and games, and with time, they drop support for older Android versions.

So if you avoid installing Android updates for too long, you may eventually find that some of the apps you use on a daily basis are either no longer supported or are not working properly.

Android updates also bring new features, security patches, and bug fixes to ensure your phone keeps running smoothly, so avoiding them can cause problems down the line.

Is It Safe to Install Android Updates as Soon as They’re Available?

Person pointing to app icons on an Android phone home screen

Yes, installing Android updates as soon as they are available is usually safe. However, this also depends on the manufacturer of your device because Android brands apply their own software skins on top of the operating system for differentiation.

In other words, even if the Android update itself is okay, the manufacturer may not have optimized it well with the new version of their own Android skin. This means there’s some uncertainty around whether a new update will introduce bugs, like excessive battery drain or crashing apps.

This problem is unlikely to occur if you have a phone from a reputable brand like the Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel. However, brands that target the budget and mid-range categories are often accused of rolling out updates that are incomplete, don’t fix existing bugs, or introduce new bugs.

If you have a phone from such a brand, it’s wiser not to install Android updates as soon as available and instead keep an eye on forums and subreddits. Here, you might find people who have the same device as you and who will report any problems with the latest update. If there are some, it’s best to skip the update.

Android Updates Are Helpful, but Not Mandatory

As long as you have a phone from a known brand, it’s very unlikely that you’ll experience any problems after installing new Android updates.

But since there are so many Android brands, such is not a luxury everyone has. Regardless of which brand your phone is from, it’s best to back up all your data just in case the update does cause any unexpected problems.


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