It's what's inside that counts, right? The saying isn't just for books and engines -- it goes for your phone, too! The software's where all the good stuff happens, so it's no surprise that we get amped when we know an update is on the way.


Who makes software? SW.png

Let's pull this curtain back! Operating system software updates don't have to be a mystery. The heavy layers of code and magic that make your phone operate in the way that keeps you operating are a collaborative effort! The wizardry always begins with the operating system's software developers, but then requires partnership with the device manufacturer and the carrier to complete.


What happens next?

Once the software's built, the device manufacturer creates a version for testing -- called a "release candidate" -- customized for T-Mobile's network and services (think Visiual Voicemail and Wi-Fi Calling), and sends it to our fantastic device team for review. The OS update test period is usually conducted by selected T-Mobile employees over the span of a few weeks. Some manufacturers use public beta programs to test release candidates before they're fine-tuned, so be on the lookout for public testing opportunities if you're into adventure!


The last thing T-Mobile wants to do is release an update without ensuring stability. If the update doesn't work as expected with our network and services, the software goes back to development to be fixed. When the update passes the tests, then T-Mobile determines a release schedule, and we share it with you in the Software Updates document for your specific phone in the Devices page.


So when do I get an update?

We're all super eager to get new software, but we never want a software version that's not up to our standards sent to our customers! We ask for your patience and promise that as soon as the software's approved, your device manufacturer will push rolling updates.


While Apple's iOS releases are typically relatively widespread, Android software update timing is more varied, with multiple manufacturers finessing the software for their individual user interfaces. We blogged about it a bit ago, but right now Oreo’s all the rage, and the Software Updates page on T-Mobile Support is the best place to go to check the development pacing of the latest Android OS update!


Support is home to more information about OS versions and some smaller software updates (like bug fixes and security releases) for your specific device, too! Check it out:

  • Go to the Devices page.
  • Select your device.
  • Select Systems & Settings and then Software updates.


Reaching out is totally cool -- we love hearing from you! But it's worth mentioning that our Care teams use the same Software Update documents that customers access, so any additional information is purely speculative. As tough as waiting can be, we caution against rooting your phone or installing updated software on your own. Installing any software on your device that does not come directly from T-Mobile will (1) void your warranty and (2) prevent you from receiving future software updates from T-Mobile.