Many people reading this article are technology enthusiasts who always want to get the most up to date. Including software. When a new version of the Android system or any other comes out, they want to know when and how they can get their hands on it and what changes there are. True, owners of smartphones often have to wait a long time until the latest version Android gets to them. This situation is now observed with Android 9 Pie and Android 10 Q.
However, not everyone dreams of the latest versions. There are times when upgrading to a new version is frustrating. In particular, enterprises and organizations are in no hurry to install new versions of software that may not work with the necessary applications. Especially if these are rare applications. Home users usually do not have such problems.
If you don't like the new version of the system, you may want to go back to the previous one. There are often bugs and operational problems that are fixed over the next months. If you don't want to wait, you can go back. However, this is not as easy as it might seem.
Make sure you really want to go to the previous Android.
Going back to the previous version Android can lead to new problems. First of all, you need to think about security. If your smartphone is on a modern version of the system, the previous version may not have new security mechanisms. There is a possibility that there are open holes and vulnerabilities there. Next, you need to think about how exactly to change the version, which will be discussed below.
In each new release Android Google introduces new APIs for developers. Companies like Samsung and Huawei are putting their own software products on top of a clean version Android. There is often no backward compatibility. Many of the system changes you don't like may be minor, but there is always the possibility that the functionality you need will not work on the previous version. This cannot be fixed unless you choose to install third-party software.
Most users simply won't be able to go back to the previous version.
If you have a Google Pixel, Nexus, or other manufacturer's smartphone that allows you to unlock the bootloader and provides a catalog of different Android versions for your devices, it's relatively easy to downgrade. For example, HTC and Motorola allow you to unlock the bootloader and have archives of old versions of the system for certain smartphones.
If you have such a smartphone, everything will be simple:
- Back up your data to cloud storage.
- Download the required version of the software and installation utility.
- Read the installation instructions and follow them.
Without root, you won't be able to back up all the data you need. For example, saves in games, message history, photos and videos inside chat applications, data from other third-party applications that are not synchronized with the cloud. They can be lost because reinstalling the operating system will completely erase information. Use backup and restore applications. Make sure Google Photos is set to back up photos and videos.
You need to understand what exactly you are doing and have all the necessary tools for this. The firmware of the operating system on the smartphone cannot be canceled halfway.
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The hard way
Some users do not have an unlocked smartphone and do not have system images ready to install. Developers usually do not like to share these versions of the system, and finding the one you want can be difficult. You need to look for information on forums on the Internet, where other owners of your smartphone model may ask the same question.
However, there may be difficulties and more serious than finding a system to install. Typically, operating system installation updates the device bootloader. This means that to go back, you first need to install the previous version of the bootloader. This is one of those pieces of software that usually cannot be reverted to a previous version. All sorts of tricky workarounds will be required, if at all possible. Installing the bootloader incorrectly is a surefire way to make your smartphone unusable.
Sometimes there are easy ways to get the software you want. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case, and on the forums many people complain that the smartphone has turned into a brick.
In general, it takes 5 minutes to flash the operating system, but then it can take many hours or days to restore the device if something goes wrong.
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If you're serious about losing your smartphone warranty, installing custom firmware might be your best bet. This is a third-party version of the system, often from the users themselves. Device developers can help them. Companies like Sony and OnePlus are known for their connections with the enthusiast community. Most often, custom firmware is still made by one person or several who know how to write code and like to tinker with their smartphones.
Custom firmware can contain the best features of both worlds. This is a modern version Android with critical updates and new features, but at the same time with support for something you need, which has been removed from the new official version. However, you can void your warranty, and installing custom firmware will still be difficult. If you have a common smartphone model, you will probably find the necessary firmware in places like the XDA Developers forum and other Internet forums, including Russian ones.