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I have an Android device and its OS is 4.2.2 and API level is 17.

  1. How to change the API level without flashing firmware?
  2. Is API level upgraded by flashing a custom firmware?
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    1. No. Unless you didn't update to available stock higher versions 2. Possible, yes, if your device has custom ROM developed for it. If you want specific answers ask specific questions by adding details such as device name and model, is it rooted etc using edit – beeshyams Jan 14 '18 at 10:40
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The API level is the technical corresponding number to your Android version – so e.g. saying your device is running on "API level 23" would at the same time mean it has Android 6 (Marshmallow) installed. Lifting it to API level 24 would mean upgrading to Android 7 (Nougat). With your device being on API level 17, it's running JellyBean (Android 4.2.*). That said:

  1. No, impossible.
  2. Yes if it's "newer" (but not limited to custom firmware; a newer "stock" one would do the same) – but an OTA upgrade could achive the same.
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