13 Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Date Tips

With a Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date extremely close, we want to offer up some helpful tips to Nexus users in the buildup to Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop update release for Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 4. These tips should help make release day go a lot smoother for Nexus smartphone and tablet users.

The Android L update was first announced as Android 4.4 KitKat’s successor back in June at Google I/O. At the event, Google did not confirm an Android L release date or name though it did outline many of its features and offer a pre-release version to select Nexus users. In the weeks after the early beta release, we saw features teased and release dates rumored and last month, Google finally spilled the beans on Android L.


As expected, Android L is called Android 5.0 Lollipop. The update will be accompanied by two new Nexus devices including a Nexus 9 from HTC and a Nexus 6 from Motorola. Both devices will help usher in a new era for Google and its Android operating system. Problem is, Google still hasn’t confirmed a specific Android 5.0 Lollipop release date for owners of older Nexus smartphones and tablets.

Earlier this month, the company confirmed several Android 5.0 Lollipop updates for arrival including updates for the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 2012, and Nexus 10. And while those updates are confirmed, the Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date for each of those devices remains out of reach, at least for right now.


The Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop update is rumored for this week, today specifically, which means that a Nexus Android 5.0 release date is probably fairly close if not imminent. With that in mind, we want to offer up some Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Nexus 4, Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop release date tips that should make the transition from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android Lollipop less stressful.


Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Time

Google, unlike Apple, does not use a set release time for its software upgrades. Nexus Android updates have started rolling out at all hours of the day and there’s no way to predict when Google will starting pushing out Android 5.0 to its stable of Nexus devices. So what does this mean for those of you who own a Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, or Nexus 10?

Nexus 4 Android L System Image MIA

It means that you shouldn’t be checking your phone at 10AM (when Apple rolls out its iOS updates) and it means that you should simply keep an eye out on the internet for the start of the roll out instead waiting by the phone. When the Nexus Android 5.0 release day arrives, Google could push the software out any time during that 24 hour stretch so there’s no reason to get caught up with the release time.

Be Patient

Nexus users will want to remain patient on Android 5.0 Lollipop release day. For one, Google is rumored to be splitting up the release dates which means that some devices might be days or weeks off the initial pace. And two, Google almost always rolls its Nexus Android updates out in stages with a process that can take up to a week or two to complete.


Some Nexus users will get the upgrade on day one while others will almost certainly get it in the days and perhaps weeks after the initial batch rolls out. As a reminder, here’s how Android engineer Dan Morrill explained Google’s process:

Rollouts are conducted in phases. Typically they start at 1% of devices for around 24 – 48 hours; we watch the return rates and resulting device checkins and error reports (if any), and make sure nothing looks wrong before sending it to more. Then typically it goes to 25%, 50%, 100% over the course of a week or two.

What the percentages mean is that when your device checks in, it has a 1% chance (for example) of being offered the OTA. If it doesn’t (randomly) get an offer, it will never get an offer until the next batch.

IOW, once your device checks in and gets turned down, that’s it until the next batch. Mashing on the “check for updates” button just causes your device to check in again, and get automatically turned down again. Think about how that makes your device feel! WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE PHONES?!

That said, once the new batch does start, hitting that button does give you a new roll of the dice — but once. Since devices usually only check in for system updates every 24 hours (I think? Certainly on a many-hours basis) this can get you your shot sooner than it would happen on its own.

So, mash away. :) Just be patient, and mashing on it more often than once or twice a day isn’t going to gain you anything.

Edit: also, keep in mind that this isn’t first-come/first-served. You’re not racing other devices to get your slot in the current batch, or something.

So while you might feel a temptation to check for a software update in Settings every five minutes on your Android 5.0 Lollipop release date, those who know better will opt to remain patient and wait for the prompt to arrive. It may happen on day one, it may happen on day seven, the roll out is random and there’s no reason to get worked up about the roll out or the roll out time. Be patient.

You Can Install Early

Fortunately, there should be a way for Nexus owners to upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop before the Over-the-Air update arrives from Google. After the roll out begins, we should see direct downloads emerge. This direct download from Google’s servers will enable Nexus users to manually install the software on day one. As we’ve pointed out numerous times, the process will be a piece of cake for those who have used Android devices for years.

Nexus 4 Android 4.4.3 Review Early - 1

If you are the impatient type, you might want to consider sideloading the software. It can be a little tricky but it’s certainly one of the benefits afforded to Nexus devices and Nexus owners so it might be worth learning about the process. For more information about sideloading updates, have a look at our guide for last year’s Nexus 7 Android 4.4 KitKat update. The process for Android 5.0 should be the same.


You Don’t Need to Install Early

If you aren’t familiar with sideloading software updates or if this is your first Nexus Android update, we highly suggest skipping the manual install process. Our recommendation is that if you feel uncomfortable about the instructions, skip it, and wait for the OTA. Then, in the weeks after the release, acclimate yourself to the sideloading process so that you can install early next time.

Do Not Use the Google Framework Services “Trick”

Over the years, the Google Framework Services “trick” has been promoted by some sites as a way to force a Nexus update. While this “trick” may force the update, it’s doing more harm than good. Here is what Morill had to say about the Google Framework Services move many moons ago:

Doing this changes the primary ID by which Google knows your device. As far as the servers are concerned, the device was basically factory reset. There are many downstream effects of this, but a big one is that this invalidates the tokens used by any app that uses GCM (which is nearly all the Google apps, and a ton of third-party apps.)

How apps react to GCM IDs changing varies by app. With Play Store you have to log out and log back in, I think Gmail usually handles it transparently eventually but won’t get new mail notifications for a while, etc. Some apps you may have to clear data on to recover. All apps will simply stop getting GCM push-messages, until they get a new GCM ID; some do this frequently, others rarely, and some apps use the GCM ID as an ID on their own servers (as it is opaque and basically random), so other things besides push messages may not work.


Nothing bursts into flames, but it makes a ton of nuisances on the device, including some that can look pretty mysterious. Your mileage will vary depending on what apps you use.

All of this can be avoided by just doing an ‘adb sideload’ if you are impatient.

Do not use this process. Sideload or wait for the OTA. That’s it.

Set Aside Some Time for the Update

Android 5.0 Lollipop is going to be a massive update. It delivers numerous changes, fixes and more. With its size and potential impact in mind, we suggest setting aside some time for the download and installation process to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Trust us, you do not want to be distracted when and if something goes wrong.


It’s also worth noting that installation times will vary based on device and based on connection speed. If you’re on a slow connection, set aside some extra time because we’re expecting these Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to be fairly large and fairly large updates can take awhile to download and install. Do this and your process will go smoothly.

Rooted/Custom ROM Users Proceed with Caution

Those who are rooted and using custom ROMs will want to proceed with caution on Android 5.0 Lollipop release day. While power users will likely have no issues making the upgrade to the latest version of Android, average users who aren’t as involved in the community and Nexus users who have only recently rooted or installed custom software will want to be careful.


Before installing the update, we suggest heading to a place like XDA or the Cyanogenmod forums to ensure that everything is working properly and to seek assistance if necessary. We expect a fairly smooth transition process for most people but again, those who consider themselves to be novices at this kind of thing would be wise to seek out information prior to making the upgrade.

Come to the Nexus Android 5.0 Release Date Prepared

Do not come to your Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop installation and download process unprepared. Make sure your apps are updated so that they don’t cause serious issues after the upgrade. Make sure your device is at charged half way at least. Make sure your important files are backed up in the cloud or locally so that you don’t lose them if something does go wrong.

These precautions might seem like overkill to some of you but in our experience, the better prepared you are the better the results. The upgrade process can be a tad unpredictable and you’ll want to make sure that you and your device are ready ahead of time. Coming prepared won’t shut the door on potential issues but it will make them easier to deal with if they do pop up.

Install Lollipop From Home Base If Possible

We suggest installing software updates from home base and avoiding installations on-the-go. Installing from home base will afford you Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 users some advantages.


Installing at home not only means that there will be fewer distractions but it means that you should have access to all of the proper information in case something goes wrong. The last thing Nexus owners want is something to go haywire while at work or in the middle of a class.

Those of you who are tempted to install at work might want to wait until you get home, particularly if the device is important to work flow. There is no telling what might happen during, or after, the installation process and you wouldn’t want the Android 5.0 Lollipop installation process to impact any important plans you might have.

Expect Android 5.0 Lollipop Issues

We expect there to be Android 5.0 Lollipop issues on day one. While major Android updates like Lollipop typically bring fixes, they also have the tendency to wreck havoc. It happens almost ever single time a new update is issued and we expect it to happen with the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. It’s one of the pitfalls of being a Nexus user, unfortunately.

Don’t Panic If There Are Android 5.0 Problems

If you do run into installation problems or problems with the Android 5.0 Lollipop update, the worst thing you can do is panic. Installation issues typically iron themselves out and major bugs tend to get fixed within a couple of weeks after the initial release. Google is known for quickly pushing out an initial bug fix update to tackle immediate issues and we could see one with Android 5.0.


Again, if you come prepared to your Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date, you’ll be well equipped even if you do run into some day one Lollipop problems with either the installation or the software.

Here Are Some Solid Resources

Again, there may be some minor issues that arrive with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Google will be less inclined to fix those as it tends to focus on the bigger hero level issues in its initial bug fixers. There will also be those of you that want to be proactive with Lollipop problems. In other words, you don’t or won’t want to want for Google’s next bug fix update.

Google’s Nexus support forums are the first place to look for solutions for Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 Lollipop issues. There, Nexus users and forum moderators will offer useful advice and present temporary or permanent fixes. That’s a site that you’ll want to bookmark as a resource. It’s free and fairly easy to navigate.

Comment sections and Twitter are also helpful places to go should something come up during the Android 5.0 Lollipop installation process or after the software is downloaded and installed. The Android Central Forums are also another solid place to look for possible fixes or help with the Android 5.0 update should you need it. XDA-Developers is also a good site to check out.

Check in with IT Before Installing

Last but not least, if your device is a company phone, check in with your IT department before installing. These updates have, in the past, broken enterprise applications and functions like Exchange so you’re going to want to make sure you’re in the clear before installing. Otherwise, you may find your work flow disrupted.