Upgrading your phone’s software is probably a good idea, although remember you have the choice to opt out. By upgrading, you’ll be able to access innovative new features and potentially eradicate any annoying bugs preventing your phone from maximizing efficiency. However, do bear in mind that updates can have a negative impact on your experience of an older phone, as the more modern software can be too taxing for older hardware.
Here’s how to run a software update on each of the most popular operating systems; iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
1). Installing an update through the use of Wi-Fi
To do this, you have to ensure that your phone is connected to Wi-Fi. Go to your phone’s settings, tap on the gear-shaped “Settings” icon in the top-right corner of the screen. Then next tap on system, which you might probably find at the bottom of the settings page. Next, tap About Phone.
The About Phone button is close to the bottom of the system page. Then tap the Update option, denoted as “Download updates manually” in some phones. Once this has been done, you can now follow any screen instructions.
Depending on your phone, you may have to tap through a few on-screen prompts (like inputting your
2). Using a computer
You can download your phones manufacturers desktop software. Install the desktop software on your PC, by double clicking the downloaded software setup and then follow the on-screen prompts. Then after this you will have to find and download an available update file. This usually found at the downloads and support page of the official website of your phones manufacturer.
Once this has been done, connect your phone to your PC via a USB. Open the manufacturer’s desktop software and double click the app icon for the desktop software you installed. Find and click the update option, after which you should select your update file when prompted.
3). Upgrading your phone through updating iTunes.
On an iPhone, you’ll receive a message when a new update is available, which will invite you to ‘install now’. If you hit that button, the device will start updating immediately. It’ll usually shut down and then restart, so don’t panic if your phone blacks out!
Alternatively, if installing immediately is inconvenient, you can update your phone at a later stage by going into ‘Settings’, hitting the ‘General’ button and then tapping ‘Software Update’. You’ll see a notification on the settings button, represented by the red icon, ‘1’. It couldn’t be simpler!
If you’re short of space on your phone, plug your phone into your computer using the provided cable, update iTunes on your computer to the latest version then it will allow you to update the phone, usually requiring less free space on the handset.
4). Installing a custom ROM.
If you want to install a custom ROM is generally recommended that you install Lineage OS, which has builds for most common phones and is updated regularly. There are three main benefits such as You get to run a more up-to-date version of Android than your phone officially has, the latest security updates are incorporated into the builds and there are extra features you won’t find elsewhere, especially for privacy and security.
If the latter is particularly important to you then you might want to look at CopperheadOS instead, although it only supports a very limited number of devices.
5). Get a New User Interface with Launchers
Launchers replace your phone’s home screen and app drawer. They can give your device a fresh new look and are highly customizable, with support for icon packs and different-sized icon grids. The best launchers, like Nova and Action Launcher, also carry over features from the latest version of Android and the Pixel devices, such as the “At a Glance” widget and the search bar in the dock.
6). For an upgrade in phone memory, try Adoptable Storage
If your phone has a MicroSD card slot, then obviously you should make use of that. Many devices running Android 6.0 or later support a feature called adoptable storage. This enables Android to view your card as an extension of the internal storage space. You don’t need to worry about having to move files and apps from internal to external memory — it all happens automatically.
On phones that support adoptable storage, you’ll be prompted to set it up when you first insert a card. You can also switch an existing card by going to Settings > Storage. Tap the card and select Storage Settings > Format as internal storage. Both methods will wipe your card, so make sure you’ve backed them up first.
7). Get A battery case that supports wireless phone charging.
Few commodities are as precious in the modern age as smart phone battery life, and if you’ve owned your phone for a while then chances are you’re looking at diminishing returns as far as time between charges is concerned.
With the help of a well-chosen battery case, you can eke out battery life that’s as good as or even better than it was when your phone was brand new. Whatever type you have, you should be able to find a matching case.
If you really want to push the boundaries with your smartphone upgrade then you could go for a case that enables wireless charging as well as supplying some extras juice, or you might prefer a portable battery pack to a case.
Again, you have got lots of options for all makes and models if you shop around. Whatever type of phone you’ve got, you should be able to find a case to match, and a lot of the time it won’t cost you much at all.
8). Get a waterproof case
Even if the manufacturer of your phone hasn’t seen fit to make it waterproof, you can usually take matters into your own hands by upgrading to a waterproof case—they’re available for most makes and models, and will often add extras like dust proofing and shock proofing too.
The best cases are going to depend on the phone you’re shopping for, but some cases will protect your iPhone S against liquids, snow, drops from a great height, and dirt as well.
If you’re in the Android camp then there’s plenty of choice too—just make sure your phone isn’t already waterproof, obviously, in which case it’s a bit of a wash. Google didn’t make last year’s Pixel smart phone waterproof, but the LifeproofFre Series Waterproof Case will do the job that Google’s engineers couldn’t for a little over $50.
9). Upgrade your phone storage with a MicroSD card
It always feels like smart phone space is at a premium, no matter how much on-board storage a phone has or how diligently we delete photos we no longer need. One quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive way of adding some extra room is by fitting a microSD card.
This only applies to Android phones, because iPhones don’t have memory card slots, and not all Android handsets offer expandable storage. If yours does, though, then you can create some more space for your photos, videos, apps
Cards in a variety of sizes are available—128GB of storage can be yours for the right amount —but double-check the maximum card size your phone can take (last year’s Samsung Galaxy S7 can accept cards up to 200GB in size).
If you’re using an iPhone then all is not lost if you want to boost the storage space that’s available. You could either pay up for some extra iCloud storage(from $1 a month) on the web or invest in a device like the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive , which moves photos and videos off your iOS device and onto a flash drive.
10). Invest in Clip-on lenses
Maybe the camera that came with your smart phone isn’t up to flagship standard, but you can improve its capabilities and add a few extra features at the same time with the addition of a clip-on lens or two.
The Amir 3-in-1 collection fits most smart phones, including recent iPhones, and gives you a fisheye lens, a macro lens, and a super wide angle lens to help you create some out-of-the-ordinary shots with whatever phone you’ve got. You simply clip the lenses on and off your phone as needed, and they don’t need any extra powering.
The Olloclip, for instance, is aimed specifically at iPhone owners and gives you four different lenses: fisheye, wide angle, and two macro lenses (10x and 15x). Again, the lenses are simple to clip on and should give your next series of Instagram shots an extra edge.
11). Get better headphones
Your phone might be old and bruised and battered, but you can do your tunes justice with a serious headphones upgrade (assuming your handset can still act as a jukebox of course). You’ve got a host of options to pick from to cover all levels of budget, and a choice of form factors too—from earbuds to full-sized on-ear headphones.
You’ve also got the option of Bluetooth as well, if you don’t want the inconvenience of wires dangling everywhere and getting yanked out of their sockets every time you turn your head. Almost all headphones will work with almost all handsets, though watch out for the newer iPhones (which use Lightning ports) and some newer Android phones (which use USB-C in place of a 3.5mm audio jack).
As much as we all love unboxing a new phone, sometimes making sure you’re getting the most out of your current handset is as good as an upgrade. Some new software, a choice accessory, a quick spring clean, or even just a new case can be enough to breathe life into an old device.