Nexus Android 5.0 Release Date: Everything We Know

With an Android 5.0 Lollipop release date for Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Nexus 7, and Nexus 5 still missing in action, we want to take a look at everything we know, right now, about Google’s Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release.

Back in June, Google took the stage at Google I/O 2014 and announced Android L. The company showed off a number of new features including the update’s Material Design but it failed to confirmed a specific name for the software or a release date. Google did, however, release a beta version of the update for developers using the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013.


Months later, Google sent out a short press release detailing the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 from HTC, and the Android L update, now known as Android 5.0 Lollipop. At the time, the company confirmed the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for a number of devices including Google Play Edition devices and the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10.

At the time, Google confirmed the Android 5.0 Lollipop release for the coming weeks. Shortly after that, a rumor suggested that the Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop update would begin on November 3rd. While the OTAs did not start, Google did start dumping the source files into the Android Open Source Project, bringing the public Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release closer.


Google still hasn’t made an official announcement, it continues to stick to the “coming weeks” line, but that hasn’t stopped Android 5.0 Lollipop update rumors and details from swirling around. And just one day ahead of Google’s rumored Android 5.0 Lollipop OTA roll out, we want to take a look at everything we know about Google’s upcoming Android 5.0 release for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. Here’s a look at everything we know, right now, about Google’s plans for owners of Nexus smartphones and tablets.


What We Know About Google

Let’s start this off with what we know about Google. First, the company very rarely confirms release dates early. The Android 4.4 KitKat release date, for instance, was confirmed on the day of the roll out. We also know that Google has a tendency to split up its Nexus Android update release dates. We’ve heard that Google might do this with Android 5.0 but nothing is confirmed.

We also know how Google rolls out its Nexus Android 5.0 updates. Here’s how Android engineer Dan Morrill explained Google’s process many moons ago:

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.

Translation: The Nexus Android 5.0 release date probably won’t be the same for everyone. There’s a good chance Google will stagger the roll outs so that it can weed out potential issues on board.

We also know that the company tends to post the factory images and binaries early so that Nexus users can sideload the software. Google’s posted files for the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player but it hasn’t posted any for its other Nexus smartphones and tablets. With all of that in mind, let’s get to what we know about the actual Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date.


Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Date Rumor

The most credible rumor to date is from Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii. He suggests that the Nexus Lollipop release was delayed because of bugs and that the first Nexus Android 5.0 OTAs should start on November 12th. It’s not clear what this means for individual Nexus users but it looks like tomorrow could kick things off.


A roll out starting tomorrow does make some sense. Tomorrow, Nexus 6 pre-orders will begin at AT&T. Sprint, another major U.S. carrier, expects to deliver the Nexus 6 on November 14th. Google’s Android releases typically fall in and around its Nexus hardware releases so November 12th certainly fits the bill. Keep in mind, while the rumor is credible, it’s still just that. A rumor. There are also some other signs that point to an imminent release.

Nexus 4 & Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Release “Coming Soon”

Google still isn’t talking about the Android 5.0 Lollipop release for Nexus devices but that hasn’t stopped one carrier from speaking up. Canadian carrier Rogers claims that the Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop release date and Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop release date are “coming soon.” The company made the announcement on its regularly updated Android update schedule that includes plans for Samsung Galaxy devices, HTC devices, Motorola devices, and more.



The carrier did not confirm a specific date but the language and the appearance of these two updates means that Google is making progress and that we should see a Nexus 4 Lollipop release and a Nexus 5 Lollipop release emerge in the near future.

Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Date Movement

It’s also worth noting that Motorola and LG have made huge strides with their own Android 5.0 Lollipop updates. Nexus devices typically strike first so it would be extremely strange to see Google lag behind competitors like the Moto X and LG G3. LG, in a bit of a shocker, has promised Android 5.0 Lollipop for the LG G3 sometime this week.

While the gap between Android releases for Nexus devices and non-Nexus devices has shrunk in recent years, it would be surprising to see these devices beat Nexus devices to punch.

A Need to Be Prepared

We know that you’re going to need to be prepared for this update. Thanks to a massive change log, we know that Android 5.0 Lollipop is going to be a massive update for Google’s stable of Nexus devices. And because it’s such a massive update, you’re going to want to do some things to prepare.



We’ve outlined a number of steps to take so that your transition from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop will be as smooth as humanly possible. We recommend taking at least a few of these tips to heart as we get closer to the Android 5.0 Lollipop release for Nexus smartphones and tablets. We get the feeling that many of you are going to be surprised by the sheer size of this update.

Reasons to Install, Skip Android 5.0 Lollipop on Day One

You should also know that there are some very good reasons to install the update on day one and some very good reasons to skip the Android 5.0 Lollipop update on day one. We’ve taken a look at both and you’re going to need to decide which suits you best. You should decide before the Nexus Android 5.0 release date arrives. It will make things a whole lot easier for you.