Nexus Android Lollipop Release: 5 Things You Need to Know

After weeks and weeks of building anticipation, Google finally revealed the Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date for select Nexus smartphone and tablet users. With Android 5.0 Lollipop OTA updates now pushing to top Nexus devices, we want to take a look at the most important details Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 4 users need to know about their incoming update.

Back in October, Google announced a number of new products including a Nexus 6 smartphone from Motorola, a Nexus 9 tablet from HTC, and an Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 5. It also confirmed Android 5.0 Lollipop for its stable of Google Play Edition devices. At the time, the company said that the updates would begin rolling out in the “coming weeks.”


Earlier this month, Google announced that the Android 5.0 Lollipop release had begun. The company did not start the OTA push but instead started pushing the update’s source code into AOSP. We even saw it release factory images for the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. Up until today, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 users have been in the dark about their own release. No longer.


Today, Google finally confirmed the Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release for select Nexus devices. The company’s confirmation wasn’t very specific but we’ve seen new Android 5.0 details pour out in the aftermath of its announcement. For new Nexus users, and those that don’t typically follow along, it can be a lot to stomach. We’ve seen new details emerge, files get posted and updates roll out.


With all of that in mind, we want to take a look at the five most important things you Nexus users need to know about what’s going on right now. This will delve into the who, what, and when in regard to the  Nexus Android 5.0 release date for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10.


Nexus 5 & Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop Updates Rolling Out Now

The first thing that you need to know is that Google’s rolling out a series of Android 5.0 Lollipop updates Over-the-Air.


The Nexus 5 Android 5.0 update, the Nexus 7 2013 and 2012 Wi-Fi only Android 5.0 updates, Nexus 10 Android 5.0 Lollipop update, and minor bug fix updates for the Nexus 9 from HTC and Nexus 6 from Motorola. Here’s how Google outlined it earlier today:

  • Nexus 6: Minor update to address bugs
  • Nexus 9: Minor update to address bugs
  • Nexus 5: Update from KitKat to Lollipop
  • Nexus 7 WiFi (2012 & 2013): Update from KitKat to Lollipop
  • Nexus 10: Update from KitKat to Lollipop

What this means is that if you’re a Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 Wi-Fi or Nexus 10 user, you would be wise to check to see if an update is available. There’s a chance that it might be though Google’s roll out will likely take a week or so to complete. That brings us to the second thing that Nexus users need to know about today’s release.


Android 5.0 Lollipop Rolling Out in Stages

You may not get your Android 5.0 Lollipop update today. Google does not roll out its Nexus updates all at once. So if you’re coming from an iPhone, and you’re used to the way Apple rolls out its updates, you’ll need to absorb that information. Just in case you’re skeptical, here’s what Google is telling Nexus users looking for Android 5.0.:

This is a good time to reiterate from the original post that as with most Android updates, it will be rolled out in waves so it may take some time before the update reaches your device.

Google’s roll outs typically take about a week or so to complete so you might be waiting through the weekend for Android 5.0 Lollipop to arrive. If you’re not familiar with side loading, you’ll need to continue to check once or twice a day through Settings. Checking one hundred times every hour is not going to increase your chances of getting the update.

You Need Free Space Available to Install OTA

Quick note. It looks like you’re going to need 500MB of free space or so to install the update Over-the-Air. This is going to be an issue for those of you with a Nexus device that lacks a ton of internal storage. 500MB is a whole lot of internal storage space. This is a reason why we told you to clean up your device ahead of the OTAs. Fortunately, with the staggered approach that Google is taking, you should have plenty of time to prepare.


We recently outlined several things you should do before installing Android 5.0 Lollipop and those tips are still relevant today for all Nexus smartphone and tablet owners. Take a look at them, heed our warnings, and you should be in a lot better shape when it comes time to make the jump from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop.


How to Manually Install Android 5.0 Lollipop

If you do not want to wait for the OTA, you should have an opportunity to install the Android 5.0 Lollipop update in advance. We’ve already seen the factory images and binaries for select Nexus devices released for developers and it should only be a matter of time before the OTA files are discovered lurking on Google’s servers.


Once the appropriate files are discovered, you’ll be able to side load the software onto your Nexus smartphone or tablet. We’re not going to outline the process here but take a look at our guide for the Android 4.4 KitKat update. These instructions will apply to Android 5.0, you’ll just need to swap the Nexus 7 with your device and the Android 4.4 KitKat update with the approrpriate Android 5.0 files.

If you feel uncomfortable with the process, wait for the OTA. While side loading is a nice way to get the update on board early, it also can cause issues for those that don’t know what they’re doing. If you’ve never done this, hold off and research it so that you can do it next time.


Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Date MIA

The Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update isn’t rolling out just yet. Neither are the updates for the cellular versions of the Nexus 7. Here’s what Google had to say about those:

The OTA update for 3G/LTE versions of the Nexus 7 2012 and 2013 have not yet started, nor have they started for the Nexus 4!

No word on when those OTAs will start though we’ve seen cellular models drag a release out to several weeks in the past. In other words, while a release in November is likely, it’s certainly not confirmed. We should see movement in the days ahead as Google works to get all of its devices upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Nexus 4 Android L System Image MIA

We should also note that there has been no word about Google Play Edition devices. They were only a few days behind Nexus devices during the Android 4.4 KitKat roll out so we should see those updates push out in the near future.

One last thing. Remember, you do not need to install the Android 5.0 Lollipop update today. There is no rush. Be patient, do your homework and your upgrade will go a lot better.