Based on Android CDD document, a device must support an update mechanism to system software. It may be one of following kinds:

  1. Over-the-air (OTA): by Settings > About Phone > System Updates to install new version when it is available.
  2. "Tethered" update: update over USB from a host PC
  3. "Offline" updates via a reboot and update from a file on removable storage

I could understand clearly the 1st and 3rd mechanism but I'm confused about the 2nd. As my searching, "tethering" is used to connect the Android mobile to a host PC through USB cable then the PC could use mobile as a modern to access internet.

So I don't understand why that "tethering" is seen as an update mechanism?

Anyone has experience about this kind please help me to clear about it.

  • It shows how the world has changed, "tethered" updates used to be the normal way that devices updated, before OTA came along!
    – GAThrawn
    Jan 4, 2012 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


In this case, tethering means connecting the phone to the computer and using an application on the PC to update the firmware of the device. An example of this is updating with Samsung Kies or Odin.

  • Thank you so much for your guide, i will re-search it :)
    – long doan
    Jan 4, 2012 at 11:08
  • 1
    From dictionary.reference.com/browse/tether "Tether: verb (used with object) - to fasten or confine with or as if with a tether." They just mean a physical connection to a computer via a USB cable.
    – Chahk
    Jan 4, 2012 at 14:22

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