Walter from VA writes:
I see articles all the time about upgrading Smartphones to take advantage of the newer apps & programs but have yet to find anything for my Samsung Rugby SGH-1847 Smartphone that is still using Gingerbread 2.3.6. Is there an update available anywhere that will bring my smartphone up to date?
Walter, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to update your phone to the newest version of Android, Lollipop, but you may be able to update to Jelly Bean, depending on your phone service provider. Whether or not an update is available to a non-rooted phone depends on the manufacturer. Android is a little bit different on every device that uses the operating system and the manufacturer needs to tweak the update to suit the device. Usually, if those updates are available they will be pushed to your phone and you’ll receive a notification that an update is available. Unlike a Windows or Apple device where the operating system and its updates are the same across all devices running that OS, each Android device is different.
Usually on an Android device, you can check if an update is available by selecting Settings.
If you aren’t sure which version of Android is on your device, you can tap About device or About phone.
To see if updates are available, look for Software updates in settings.
You’ll see when the last update was made and also be able to check for fresh updates.
As you can see, the device I used for the screenshots is up-to-date.
For Samsung devices, you may wish to download Kies to your PC or MAC at this site. You can then link your phone to your computer with a USB to micro USB cable. It was very helpful to me when I was having issues with a stubborn update.
If an update for your device is not available, it could either be because the device is older and the manufacturer did not want to go to the effort to put together a specific update for your device or because your device may not be able to handle the requirements of the newer operating system.