Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release: What to Expect

Google’s rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to its Nexus 5, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 though the Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop release is currently limited to owners of the Wi-Fi only models. With that and updates for the cellular models still missing, we want to take a look at what we expect now from Google’s Nexus 7 Lollipop release.

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 week, Google’s Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date arrived for owners of several Nexus variants including the Nexus 5, Nexus 10 and Nexus 7. The update, one of the biggest in the history of the Android operating system, takes Nexus users from Android 4.4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop and it delivers a number of new features including the update’s new Material Design.

While the Nexus 10 and Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop updates are pushing for all users, the Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is stuck on Wi-Fi only models. That is to say that Android 5.0 Lollipop is only available for the Wi-Fi only versions of Nexus 7 2013 and the Nexus 7 2012. Google hasn’t said when it plans to push the update to the cellular versions of the Nexus 7.


With that in mind, and Nexus 7 LTE and Nexus 7 HSPA+ users looking for answers, we want to take a look at what we expect from Google and the rest of the Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out. Our goal here is to set expectations for Nexus 7 users that are still lingering on the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update that rolled out earlier this year.


Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Roll Out to Progress Slowly

As a whole, expect the Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop update to be delivered slowly. Nexus 7 Wi-Fi and owners of the cellular models will be subject to Google’s staggered Android update roll out process. The OTA process typically takes a week or so to complete which means that some owners of the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi may not see Android 5.0 arrive until next week.

This same rule will apply to those of you with the cellular models. In other words, once the update does become available, there’s a chance that it could take several days for it to arrive. Remain patient and expect to get it within a week or so.

Early Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Details

Owners of the cellular versions of the Nexus 7 users should expect to see early release date details emerge. Whether that’s from an Android engineer (similar to what we saw yesterday with the Nexus 4) or Google itself (in the form of binaries and factory images), the OTA process will almost certainly be trumpeted ahead of time.



We don’t expect Google to make another huge announcement, it’s made several Android 5.0 Lollipop release announcements already, but we should see someone or something tip the Nexus 7 OTA ahead of the actual OTA. This is important because it will allow you to get a head start on your preparations. We highly recommend preparing for the update before it arrives.

Nexus 7 Lollipop Release Date That Isn’t Too Far Off

We don’t anticipate the remaining Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop update release dates being too far off. Google’s already made tremendous progress with the Nexus 5, Nexus 10, Nexus 7, and now the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade and it would be surprising to see a lengthy delay for owners of the cellular versions of the Nexus 7.

Certifications and testing typically takes a little longer for cellular models and we saw the Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates take a bit of extra time for the Nexus 7 LTE. We could see it taking a few weeks at most, especially since early information point to an arrival only a few weeks after Google’s initial push.

Nexus 7 LTE Review 2013 Verizon - 5

What we’re saying is, don’t expect this Nexus 7 roll out to drag into 2015. Expect the company to get the Nexus 7 roll out done in a fairly timely manner, ahead of the holidays and vacation time for its engineers.


Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Updates Around the Same Time

We expect the Nexus 7 LTE and Nexus 7 HSPA+ to get the update in and around the same time. The LTE model has lagged in the past but we would not be surprised if both of these updates rolled out at the same time or at least around the same time. Everything is dependent on the testing process of course but we’d be surprised if there was a huge gap between these two updates. If anything, expect the LTE model to take a little bit longer.

A Way to Install the Update Early

Expect a way to install the Android 5.0 update early on your Nexus 7. Factory images, binaries and the appropriate files from Google are already available for the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi and Google will almost certainly make the proper files available for the Nexus 7 LTE and Nexus 7 HSPA+ ahead of the OTA. Sideloading is not for everyone though and it should be avoided if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Android 5.0 Problems

Android 5.0 Lollipop problems are starting to plague Nexus users. As we’ve pointed out, the issues aren’t limited to one device and they seem to be primarily affecting those that tried to sideload the update early. Just another reason to wait for the OTA update to arrive.

We fully expect Android 5.0 Lollipop to have bugs on board, maybe not as many as Android 4.4 due to the Android 5.0 Developer Preview, but there will be problems no doubt. Again, Nexus 7 users that want to mitigate these issues are advised to take the necessary steps to prevent them. Back up files, make sure your device is stock and ready to go, and avoid the update while traveling.



Google will almost certainly roll out an Android 5.1 update or Android 5.0.1 update in the future to help squash some of the biggest bugs that emerge in the days ahead. However, with no release date in sight, Nexus 7 users will need to rely on the community for permanent and temporary bug fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop issues, should they arise.