Nexus 6 Android 5.0.2 Update: What to Expect

After a few weeks of waiting, earlier this month Google finally started pushing the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update to users. The Android 5.0.1 update comes just a few weeks after Google’s initial Lollipop release, aimed at fixing a few small problems with the initial software rollout last month. However, few users have actually received it, and most likely a Nexus 6 Android 5.0.2 update is coming soon.

Back in June Google debuted Android L, which is now known as Android 5.0 Lollipop that the company fully revealed in October and launched in November on the new Nexus 9, Nexus 6, and Nexus Player. Over the past few weeks it’s arrived for many additional smartphones and tablets, but then Android 5.0.1 arrived and 5.0.2 should be coming next.


Read: Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 KitKat: What’s New in Lollipop

The Android 5.0 Lollipop update delivered a number of new features detailed above, as well as tweaks and enhancements to the overall look and feel. Along with tons of animations and neat visual effects for Nexus and Android users. Shortly after the release problems started to emerge for many Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 owners, and now Android 5.0.1 is rolling out to curb most of them. The Nexus 7 actually got an update to Android 5.0.2, and new details today confirm it should be headed to all Nexus devices.



Before the holiday break Google quietly released an update for the Nexus 7 to Android 5.0.2 to fix some lingering bugs and serious issues that were causing the tablet to be almost unusable for most owners. It is running Android 5.0.2, while most devices are running Android 5.0.1, but most Nexus 6 owners are still stuck on the initial release with no updates.


Nexus 6 Android 5.0.2 Update

T-Mobile and Sprint both announced the Nexus 6 on their networks would start receiving Android 5.0.1 Lollipop a few weeks ago on December 15th. This means that all those with a Nexus 6 on each of those carriers can expect it soon, as Google’s officially started the update push. However we haven’t heard too many reports of owners getting it, and it appears to have been possibly delayed for the Android 5.0.2 update instead.

That being said, we’ve yet to hear from Google themselves, or Motorola for that matter, and the update could be for those carriers and not the AT&T Nexus 6, or those bought from the Play Store. A few owners have reported the Android 5.0.1 OTA update has arrived, but our own unit is still stuck on Android 5.0 and has more than a few bugs plaguing it. The leaked Sprint Nexus 6 document said 5-10% by the 15th, and 50% by the 16th, then all remaining Nexus 6 owners should see Android 5.0.1 Lollipop before the 18th. But that didn’t happen.


The Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update should have been completed nearly two weeks ago, but that isn’t the case, and many owners are still on Android 5.0 wondering when 5.0.1 or even 5.0.2 is coming to their device with fixes.


Android 5.0 Problems

The release of Android 5.0 Lollipop was the initial software debut, and as expected a few small bugs needed to be addressed. Once millions of users got it, more reports surfaced that got Google working on a fix. And while there will likely be a few small issues with Android 5.0.1 Lollipop too, it should fix a majority of the problems Nexus users have been facing.


Nexus 7 devices have struggled with video playback and reboot issues, the Nexus 5 had some batter issues, and the Nexus 6 Android 5.0 release saw complaints about freezing, battery drain, app restarts and reboots, as well as a few other minor problems that should hopefully all be addressed in this software improvement and stability update.

The biggest issue was a memory drain problem that was causing reboots, freezing, and app crashes on all Android 5.0 devices. This weekend Google confirmed they’ve fixed the memory leak problem in Android 5.0, and marked it as complete, with it being rolled out in the “next software release”. This means a new version of Android should start rolling out for all Nexus owners, and eventually all other Android smartphones and tablets. This is expected to be Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, and could arrive first with the Nexus 7 (rolling out now) and soon for the Nexus 6.

Again, owners can head into settings > about phone > software updates > and tap check for updates to pull down the over-the-air software update, then just follow the on-screen prompts to complete the download and installation. Whenever it arrives at least.


Slow Arrival

Just as a reminder, the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update is still technically rolling out to all users, unless Google pulled the update, but that’s yet to be confirmed. This is still what we’d call a slow and staggered update. What this means is that Google and its partner carriers aren’t pushing the update out to all user at once. If they did the process would take longer for downloads to complete, and if any problems arise they won’t be able to stop it before millions of owners get the update.

As a result, Google does staged or staggered rollouts in small percentages, then bigger quantities, and finishes off the remaining 50-100% of users after 2-4 days of rollouts. This prevents further problems, keeps the update process running smooth, and ensures the best experience.

We know waiting can sometimes be a hassle, especially if your device has a few bugs you’d like addressed (and the Nexus 6 does), but the update should be here soon enough. No confirmation of Android 5.0.2 for the Nexus 6 has arrived yet, but we’re expecting it any day now. This will be an over the air update (OTA) and owners can expect a notification to appear sometime over the course of the week, hopefully. Simply accept, download, and let it reboot and complete the update, and you’re all set.

Get Android 5.0.1 Early

If waiting for the slow staggered update or tapping the “check for updates” isn’t something you’re interested in, don’t worry, because you can get it early. Right now in fact. As usual, Google’s released what the company calls factory images for the updates. These will wipe the phones data and information, and put it back to a completely stock “out of box” state. Meaning you’ll lose all the content on your device. A quick backup can solve this when you restore everything from Google’s servers, but this route isn’t the best option for beginners.


Owners have two choices: flash the factory image and wipe their smartphone, or flash the OTA update file that’s been pulled from Google servers. These both take some technical know-how, and are for advanced users. However, this is Android 5.0.1 that started rolling out two weeks ago, and isn’t the Android 5.0.2 update with the latest memory leak fix. Meaning we’re expecting a new factory image and update to arrive shortly. It’s only a matter of time.

Read: How to Install Android 5.0 Lollipop Right Now

The guide above is a general guide for flashing Android 5.0 to the Nexus 5, but the same steps can be followed word for word when flashing the Nexus 6 factory image of Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. Just use the appropriate images from Google’s page, and you’re all set. Or Android 5.0.2 once it arrives.

On the other hand, flashing the OTA update file won’t erase any user data, but requires ADB setup to sideload the file, or a custom recovery in Android to apply the Again, this is for advanced users.

The Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update was expected to be on all devices a few weeks ago, but thousands of owners are still waiting for it. Again, most likely the delay was for Android 5.0.2, and we’ll know more details soon enough. That said, get 5.0.1 now if you’d like with some initial fixes.

Final Thoughts

The Nexus 6 is available on Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, the Google Play Store,, and Best Buy in the United States. Verizon is the only carrier yet to offer the phone, but should announce availability eventually. We’re not sure if carriers are controlling the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update, but in the past Nexus devices are all handled directly by Google.


All said and done, these updates should be here sooner rather than later. If you’re still waiting for Android 5.0.1 to arrive you can follow the steps above, but most users should wait a few days in case Google starts pushing Android 5.0.2 for the Nexus 6, or release the factory image.

Flashing the factory image will yield the best results, as it’s a clean install, but the over the air update should be perfect for the majority of users. Have patience, as it’ll be here soon enough.