Learn about the Android OS for mobile devices and how to upgrade to the latest version.
Due to inactivity, your session will end in approximately 2 minutes. Extend your session by clicking OK below.
Due to inactivity, your session has expired. Please sign in again to continue.
Android™ Operating System (OS) FAQs
About Android OS
What is the Android operating system (OS)?
Android is an OS created by Google® for use on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. It's available on devices made by a variety of manufacturers, giving you more choices of device style and pricing. Also, with the Android OS, you can customize your device in many ways.
Is there a cost to update my Android OS?
No, updating your Android OS is free. You won't be charged for the update or for the data usage to receive the update.
Where can I learn more about OS updates?
Are Android devices capable of receiving future OTA (Over the Air) software updates?
Do Android devices dedicate a certain amount of memory to apps, widgets, etc?
No, there's not dedicated memory on the device for apps, widgets, etc.
How many Android apps can I have open at one time?
The number of simultaneous apps open will vary by device because the Android OS will stop some idle apps from running. Additionally, it's recommended that you close apps you're not using to conserve your device's energy and help it run at its optimal speed.
Can I purchase an Android device online?
What is the latest version of Android?
The latest version of Android OS is 12, released in October 2021. Learn more about OS 12, including its key features.
Older versions of Android include:
- Tiramisu (OS 13)
- Snow Cone (OS 12)
- Red Velvet Cake (OS 11)
- Quince Tart (OS 10)
- Pie (9.0)
- Oreo (8.0)
- Nougat (7.0)
- Marshmallow (6.0)
- Lollipop (5.0)
- KitKat (4.4)
- Jellybean (4.3, 4.2 and 4.1)
- Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0)
- Honeycomb (3.0)
- Gingerbread (2.3)
- Froyo (2.2)
- Éclair (2.1)
- Donut (1.6)
Is OS 13 available for my device?
OS 13 is only available on select Android devices. Some newly released Android devices will ship with OS 13 preloaded.
If your device is running an older Android version, you can regularly check the Software Updates page to see if the latest update is available for your device. Each manufacturer determines which devices they will update and what the schedule will be.
Will I still be able to use my apps if I upgrade Android?
Yes, however you may need to reinstall* certain apps. For more information about a specific app, go to Google Play.
*Data usage may apply.
How can I find out which Android OS version is on my device?
The steps to find the current OS version vary by device. Below are general instructions that work for most Android devices. For detailed instructions about a specific device, please check the User Guide.
To find out which Android OS is on your device:
- Open your device's Settings.
- Tap About Phone or About Device.
- Tap Android Version to display your version information.
How do I update my device to the latest version of the Android OS?
Device models receive software updates at different times. Typically, you'll receive a notification on your device, letting you know there's an update available.
You can also check the Software Updates page regularly to see if your device can be updated. Instructions for completing an OS update are available on that page as well.
Managing your Android device
Can I transfer content, like contacts, pictures and video, from one Android device to another?
Yes, using your Google account, you can sync and transfer contacts across multiple Android devices. You just need to sign in to each device using your same Google username and password.
You can also sync media (e.g., pictures, videos, etc.) through Verizon Cloud.
Can I sync my Android device with my corporate email and calendars?
Yes, you can sync your Android device with your corporate email, contacts and calendar through Exchange. You can even view your work and personal email accounts in a single, unified inbox.
For device-specific instructions on how to sync your email, go to our Interactive Simulators page. Select your device from the list and select the Email section.
Where can I get help troubleshooting an issue with my Android device?
If you're having an issue with your Android device, our online Troubleshooting Assistant may be able to help. Select your device name from the list to view the troubleshooting topics available.
Google and Gmail
Do I need a Gmail® account to use an Android device?
No, you don't. However, it's highly recommended because many of the services require you to sign in with a Gmail account to use them. For example, you won't be able to access Google Play™ to download apps.
You can set up a free Gmail account online or from your device.
What is Google Play?
Google Play is the Android storefront where you can shop for apps, games, music, videos and books for your Android device. It offers both free and paid apps. Any items you download from Google Play will also be available on other compatible Android devices you've connected to your Google account.
If Google crashes, will there be issues with the Android apps?
No, Google is a collection of services that run independently from Google Play apps. Individual Google services, such as Gmail or Google Calendar, might not receive updates, or you may not be able to access a certain function if a specific service stops working. For example, if Google Play is impacted, you may not be able to access the Google Play Store on your device.