Android "Check for Updates" button now actually gets latest version

Every Android user has been there, whether or not they own a Nexus or an OEM device. They hear that the latest Android version has been rolled out for their device and they head on over to the Settings up in the hopes of getting it. But no matter how many times you mash that "Check for Updates" button, it's not going to happen if it's not yet meant to be. Now, however, it finally does, but it's not as straightforward as you might think.

Android updates seem to be as much black magic as they are science for anyone outside of Google. Updates are rolled out it waves, which makes that "Check for Updates" almost moot because, unless your phone has been given the green light already, it will say that you're system is up to date even if you know it isn't. The primary reason for that is to minimize the damage that a faulty update might cause to the Android masses. Better a few sacrificial lambs than the whole population.

Google has updated the functionality of that button to actually do what is says it does. And when it does see an update available, it will say so, whether or not you're device got into the first 1% or 25% of the total Android lot. This means that you will be able to immediately install the update, as if forcing the matter yourself. Of course, be prepared to suffer the same fate of that 1% should things go south immediately.

This new behavior isn't limited to Nexus and Pixel devices, though those will definitely have it easier. The change is actually in Google Play Services and should work with any device that uses Google's OTA system. While most do, as the whole circus around BLU Products' phones showed, not everyone does.

But even if your device meet those technical requirements, there is one huge caveat. You're still at the mercy of a carrier if you purchased the device from them. If you're on their network and they haven't yet approved the update, you still won't get it, even if you break your screen tapping on that button.

SOURCE: +Elliott Hughes