Knowing how to update Python is important if you want to make sure you have the latest features, bug fixes and security. So how do you keep up with the times? This post shows you how.
Also read: How to round in Python
The simple part: how to update Python
Updating Python is the easy part. Just go to the website and then download the latest version of the interpreter:
This downloads an installer, and when you run that file, you will go through the next step. If you see that you want to know how to update Python, chances are you already have an older version installed on your machine. In that case, you will be asked to update and … that’s it.
If you do not already have Python installed on your machine, you should check out our guide for this:
Which version of Python should you use?
At the time of writing, the latest version of Python is Python 3.8.4. This provides a number of bug fixes over previous versions and some security updates. It was released in October last year.
If you are planning to learn Python, this is the version you should use. So what is the confusion?
Well, for a long time there was a debate in the coding community about whether developers should learn Python 2 or Python 3. This confusion was due to the fact that even though Python 3 was newer, many modules, frameworks, documentation, and even organizations had not done transition.
For example, Google App Engine is a service that enables developers to create web apps using Python and other tools that run across multiple Google-managed data centers. Websites like Khanacademy.org, for example, use the Google App Engine.
Also read: What is Python and how do you get started?
Until two years ago Google App Engine only therefore supported Python 2. Therefore, if you want to build an app running on this service, you need to use Python 2 and not Python 3.
The fact that Python 2.7 was the “end point” also helped in many cases where modules had not come to the latest version of Python 3.
But things are different now. Python is much less fragmented than before, and support for Python 2.7 has now officially ended.
This means that it would be wise for all new developers to start with Python 3. In addition, developers currently working with Python 2 should probably also switch.
There are many ways that Python 3 is superior:
- Python 3 has better Unicode support
- Python 3 supports typing that can be useful for large, complex projects
- Newer versions of Python are usually faster
- There is now greater community support for Python 3
- Small syntax changes make Python 3 easier for beginners
What happens now?
So now you know how to update Python to the latest version, it’s time to take care of Python 3! Next, why not continue your learning with an online course?
A good choice for beginners is Python for everyone. You can find this and many other courses in our guide to the best online Python courses.