Android 10: The Story So Far
Google officially released Android 10 in September 2019 and was initially available for several Google Pixel devices. Other smartphones added to the list of phones that got the first taste of Android 10 were Xiaomi’s Redmi K20 Pro (in select markets) and the Essential Phone. The OnePlus7T, announced in the same month, was the first (new) phone to hit the market with Android 10 preinstalled.
Android 10 has acquired several improvements over Android 9, including a completely redesigned gesture-based navigation system and coveted support for system-wide dark mode. Several improvements were made to privacy issues, giving users control over restricting apps’ access to location and other data. Android 10 also bought – for the first time on Android – the scoped storage system, which essentially prohibits apps from accessing files unrelated to them without the express consent of the user.
Android 10 has been superseded by Android 11 since its release almost two years ago, which is the latest stable version of Android as of this writing. In January 2021, more than 43 percent of Android devices were running software based on Android 10. While phones from most of the major smartphone brands have already been upgraded to Android 10 and above, this guide might come in handy if you have an old 3 or 4 year old smartphone that is still running Android 8 or Android 9.
On which devices can I install Android 10?
If you’re using a relatively new device (around a year old), your phone is likely already running Android 10. If you have a smartphone that was released in 2017-18, you need to contact your manufacturer to get it to see if an official update to Android 10 is available for your device.
We have a separate section below where we tell you how to install Android 10 and how to check the Android version of your phone.
When will I get the update to Android 10?
As mentioned earlier, Android 10 is already fully deployed on most of the major devices that have been released since late 2019 and 2020, and chances are your smartphone is already using Android 10. Once you’ve verified that your phone is already running Android 10, the only thing to worry about is checking for monthly security patches that Google is putting out for Android. Make sure to check for software updates at least once a month so that your phone is always updated to the latest version of Android that is available to you.
Note that if you own flagship handsets that were released in 2017-2018, your device should ideally also get an official update to Android 10. However, the release of Android updates depends heavily on your manufacturer, and you are at the mercy of regular software updates.
How to install Android 10 as an OTA update
The easiest way to install Android 10 on your device is to go the official route and check for OTA updates released by your smartphone manufacturer. In case you’re using a fairly old phone that is still running Android 9 and you’ve read that an official update to Android 10 has been released for your phone, you are almost certainly getting the official update. Here is what you need to do.
The first thing you will learn is how to check your Android version and then check for updates. To do this, please make sure that your smartphone is connected to a stable WLAN and is charged to at least 60 percent.
to open the settings -> Tap Via phone and look for the Android version in the menu.
If you see Android 10 (or Android 11), you no longer need to “install” Android 10 because you are already using it or have an even newer version.
If you have a really old phone and found that it is still running Android 9, repeat the same steps as above and tap Check for updates Possibility.
If your device manufacturer has released newer updates for your device, ideally you will receive a notification that a newer version is available for your device. Sometimes you may need to download and install software updates now or more to finally get the latest version of software available for your phone.
You can follow the same procedure for devices already equipped with Android 10 or Android 11 to check if there are newer updates available for your device.
If your smartphone does not show any new updates even after checking it several times and you are sure that the internet connection is OK. well, you have no luck. It is very likely that your phone is not suitable for Android 10 or the hardware is just too old.
The only way out now is to look for alternative custom ROMs that may be available for your device. However, the world of custom ROMs and unlocked bootloaders is only recommended for users who have the technical know-how to do it. General users ideally should stay away from them just to be on the safe side.
The following steps are from 2019 and no longer apply to newer devices that are already equipped with Android 10/11 or higher. However, if you want to tinker with manual Android installation techniques on an older, eligible smartphone, these steps might come in handy for you.
In case you’d like to do the same thing, but for a newer version of Android (Android 12), check out the link below.
How to install Android 10 manually
1. Reset before installing the update
As mentioned above, please note that this step is not mandatory, it is just a tip. The installation of a new software version can lead to errors that did not exist before. Whenever you want to make major changes to the system of your Android smartphone, it is advisable to reset and back up it beforehand.
We recommend manual installation of Android 10 only for experts! It is still an unstable version that could make the device difficult to use.
2. Unlock the bootloader
To flash the new Android version, you first have to open the bootloader and activate it via the developer options and the USB debug mode:
3. Download from the factory images
Now all you have to do is download the Android 10 factory images which vary from device to device. On this page you will find links to the supported devices:
Here are the links to the system images for your Google Pixel phone:
4. Install Android 10 on your computer
Before proceeding with the actual installation, you will need to unzip the zip files, including those found in the unzipped files, i.e. zip to zip. Now you can proceed with the installation:
Here we go:
- Download the Android SDK from this website.
- Add the SDK tool and the Platform Tool folder to the PATH variable:
- Mac: Enter the command “export PATH = $ PATH:
- Windows: Right-click and choose My Computer> Properties> Advanced> Environment Variables. Changes the PATH variable and adds the path for the Android SDK.
- Under Windows, the Google USB driver must be found in the SDK folder: Go to Tools> Google USB Driver in Manager. Connect your smartphone to your PC and right click on Computer> Administration. Right click on the device in the left pane and you will see Periphery> Update driver. With manual installation you will find the driver under the path SDK> / extra / google / usb_driver.
- Now check that the device number appears in the list of connected devices and everything is done!
5. Install Android 10 on your smartphone
- Turn off your device.
- Press and hold the power and volume down buttons to restart the device in bootloader mode.
- Connects your smartphone to your PC via a USB cable.
- Open Windows Explorer and look for the previously downloaded firmware in the ADB Tool folder.
- Double-click the flash-all.Bat and wait for the process to finish.
Your phone will automatically restart with the new version of Android 10. If the process is unsuccessful, see the section about possible problems you encountered during the process.
Problems installing Android 10? Here are the solutions
If you ran into any problem before installing, make sure you have enabled USB debug mode and unlocked the bootloader.
If you are in a boot loop, the first thing you can try is to wipe the cache partition by going back to the bootloader and using the volume buttons to go into recovery mode (press the power button to confirm). After clearing the cache partition, the device will restart.
If you’re still locked on the home screen after doing this, return to. back Restoration and choose Delete data / factory reset and press the power button to confirm. That way, you should be able to solve the problem.
Problems with ADB
If you get an error message at the command prompt that the system.img file is missing, do the following:
- Extracts the Image.zip file.
- Copy and paste the files into the same folder where you saved the other unzipped files (in the ADB tools folder next to adb.exe and fastboot.exe).
- Opens a command window (press Shift and right click, then choose to open Command window and type the following commands):
- Fastboot Flash Bootloader
- Fastboot Flash Radio
- Quick start restart – bootloader
- Fastboot Flash Recovery.img
- Quick start Flash Boot Boot.Img
- Fastboot Flash System.img
- Fastboot Flash Cache.Img Cache Cache Cache
- Quick start Flash user data userdata userdata.img
- Fastboot Flash Bootloader
It is not possible to start the flash-all.bat file.
Make sure you clicked on flash-all.Bat in administrator mode (right mouse button, execute as an administrator).
Did you manage to install Android 10 on your smartphone? Was it hard? Let us know.