Why aren't I getting my Android updates?

Episode 1405

Steve from Denver, CO
Motorola Droid 3

Steve doesn't know if he's getting the latest version of Android or not. Leo says there's so many approvals that are required with Android updates. Google puts them out, but that doesn't mean his ISP or his his phone's manufacturer has released them to his phone. Few have made the pledge to promptly put updates out. What's important, though, is that he gets all the security updates. If he's not getting those, then he's vulnerable and nobody other than Google really cares. That's why Leo prefers to use Google's phones. They get updated automatically.

Are Java updates safe?

George from California

Episode 1397

George wants to know if he should update his Java? Is it OK to update? Jason says that it's often OK to ignore them, but if it's an important security update, or if it's required for him to use a website, then it's a good idea to stay updated. It's definitely safer security wise to do so. But Jason also recommends getting rid of Java altogether. When in doubt, though, always go directly to Oracle to get updates. That way he'll know it's always official.

Should I update my iPhone?

Episode 1395

Barry from San Diego, CA

Barry wants to know if he has to update his iPhone's OS. He's worried the update could brick his phone. Leo says that's always possible with updates, but the benefit of having the latest OS outweighs the slight risk that it could hurt the phone. He should always update because there are security patches and critical updates that are a must. Sometimes there's a bad update, but it's really rare, especially in the iPhone. There's new features in iOS 10 that make the phone run smoother as well.

WannaCry Ransomware Mostly Affected Windows 7

Episode 1388


Last weekend, the WannaCry Ransomware bit several hundred thousand computer systems, including sixteen hospitals in the UK. The ransomware infected the systems and encrypted all data. The reason this one was really bad is that it was a "worm," or a "network aware virus" that would spread out over the local area network to find other computers to infect, and bring the whole establishment to its knees.

Windows 10 Creators Update Rolls Out to Users

Episode 1379

Microsoft is going to start rolling out the Creators Update to Windows 10 starting April 11. This won't be a massive change in terms of how it looks, but there will be a considerable amount of new features. While last year's Anniversary Update was a problem for some people, Microsoft has fixed those bugs over time. Leo's not counting on it being quite reliable, but it is still good advice that if you get offered the Creator's Update on April 11, you may want to wait. You should be able to defer the update for as long as you can.

How can I get the latest update for my Android phone?

Episode 1363

Tim from Diana, TX
Update via ADB Android 4.2

Tim wants to know why he's not getting his phone updated. Leo says that since Tim is a subscriber of Straight Talk, it's likely that they aren't sending out all the official updates. Leo advises talking to Straight Talk about when he can expect the next update for his phone.

The only other option is to root it and install it himself, but that's not for everyone. He can find out how to do it at XDA Developer Forums. He'll have to follow the directions to the letter or he'll end up bricking his phone.

How can I get updates for my Note 4 if I moved to T-Mobile?

Episode 1352

Sundar from Maryland
Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Sundar recently switched to T-Mobile with his Samsung Galaxy Note 4. He's worried that he isn't get the security updates since the phone was from another service. Leo says he'll need to go into his phone settings and change the APN settings. T-Mobile has directions on how to do that here. He should understand that a Note 4 is an older phone and he may not get them anyway.

How can I get Windows to finish its update?

Shirley from Venice, CA

Episode 1344

Shirley is having issues with the Windows 10 update that Microsoft forced on her. Now she gets a popup about updates. Leo says updating her system is very important and while she can defer them, she can only do that for so long. Then Windows will force the update. That's a real problem because she could get the update while she's in the middle of something. There is one way around it -- she can set her computer to say she's on metered Wi-Fi so Windows won't force it. She should get the update, though. Scheduling them in the middle of the night is best.

Android Has a Bad Exploit: QuadRooter

Episode 1313

A really bad exploit in the Android OS enables the installation of malware called QuadRooter. Google is working to push security updates, and promises to have an update by September. If your manufacturer or wireless provider is slow to push out updates, then you may be vulnerable for quite some time, especially if you have an old phone. If you're looking to get a new phone, make sure you're getting it from a company that's offering monthly updates.