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Tech Tip: Checking the Delivery Date on That Android Update

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The Android 6.0 settings show when the tablet had its last security patch, left. You can look for new software by tapping System Updates and tapping Check for Update on the next screen, right.

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The New York Times

Q. Is there a way to tell definitely if my Android Marshmallow tablet has the latest security patches from Google?

A. Last summer, Google began pushing out monthly updates to plug security holes and fix other issues with its Android operating system. You can quickly see if your device has the latest software by checking the settings. Open the Settings app from the home screen, or use two fingers to swipe down from the top edge of the screen to open the Quick Settings box and tap the gear-shaped icon.

In the System section of the Settings screen, select About Tablet; Android smartphone users will see About Phone instead. The next screen shows basic information about your device, including the make and model, current status of the battery and the overall version of the Android system installed. In the “Android security patch” area, check the date.

If the last listed patch date was within the past month, you probably have the most recent update. You can also check for a system update from the About Tablet screen by tapping System Updates at the top; the next screen displays the device’s update status and provides a button to manually check for new software.

As Google’s Android Security Bulletins page shows, patches for the system tend to come out the first week or two of each month — if you are using Google’s own Nexus hardware. For Android devices made by other companies, check with the manufacturer or wireless carrier for information on updates for your model; the support area of the company’s website is a good place to start.

Google typically provides security updates for its own hardware for at least three years from when the device first went on sale, or 18 months from when the item was last sold in the Google Store — depending on which time period is longer.

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