Android 5.1 Lollipop Update: What We Know So Far

Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update has already replaced Android 5.0.2 Lollipop as the most current version of the Lollipop operating system. However, the Android 5.1 Lollipop release remains mysterious for most Android users including owners of Nexus devices like the Nexus 6 and Nexus 5. With details continuing to emerge ahead of an official announcement, we want to take a look at what we know so far about Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update.

In September, Google released the Android 5.0 Lollipop update to the public for the first time. In the days after the initial release, owners of Google’s Nexus devices started complaining about a number of Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. Google didn’t sit on its hands. Instead, it moved quickly to eliminate several of these initial hiccups with a couple of Android 5.0 bug fix updates.


Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop are now available across all of Google’s Nexus devices and they’ve even started to hit non-Nexus devices as we push deeper into the year. The two updates squash some Android 5.0 Lollipop issues though according to many Nexus users, Android 5.0 Lollipop problems remain. Fortunately, it looks like Google will try and fix some of these problems as well.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Update Review Early -   4

The company recently, and quietly, rolled out an Android 5.1 Lollipop update to select devices in select parts of the world. Android 5.1 Lollipop is still a bit mysterious given that Google hasn’t announced its arrival. But it exists and we’re starting to learn more about the contents of Google’s next big update, an update that appears to be much larger than the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop updates before it.


With a week to go in February and an Android 5.1 Lollipop release on the horizon, we want to take a look at what we know right now about Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update for Nexus smartphones and tablets and for non-Nexus devices as well.


Current Android 5.1 Release Status

The Android 5.1 Lollipop update is still not widely recognized by Google though the Android 5.1 Lollipop update is official and available on several devices. Currently, the Android 5.1 Lollipop is found on Android One devices in Indonesia and in the Philippines.


Indonesia’s Android One models started getting the Android 5.1 Lollipop at the beginning of February. While Google’s website initially confirmed the Android 5.1 name, the references to Android 5.1 Lollipop have since been scrubbed from its website.

Android One variants in the Philippines come equipped with Android 5.1 Lollipop on board. The country is host to two Android One models and both are currently running the new version of Lollipop software.


Who Else Will Get Android 5.1 Lollipop?

Google still hasn’t confirmed any concrete Android 5.1 Lollipop release details but thanks to leaks and credible sources, the Android 5.1 Lollipop release picture has come into focus in the past three weeks.

Weeks ago, it became clear that Google is least testing the Android 5.1 Lollipop update on the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9. Testing doesn’t confirm a public release but it makes one extremely likely.


Last week a benchmark, first noticed by Dutch site TechTastic, showed a Nexus 5 model running an Android 5.1 Lollipop update. The benchmark is from the popular GeekBench database.

The listing could mean that Google, or someone else, is testing the software on the Nexus 5 behind the scenes. It does not, however, mean that a Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop release is imminent.


HTC’s Mo Versi, known for his candidness about Android software releases on Twitter, recently hinted at a release for the HTC One M7. Versi did not confirm the update for any other models.

Android 5.1 Lollipop Release Date

At the moment, we know very little about the Android 5.1 Lollipop release date. Google still hasn’t confirmed any release details though thanks to comments by Versi, we now know when we might see the first roll outs emerge.


In comments last week, Versi stated that Google’s next MR release, MR stands for Maintenance Release, will be coming in March. Versi isn’t Google but he’s certainly plugged into key software releases so his information is credible.


Android 5.1 Lollipop Features

With Android 5.1 Lollipop already out on some phones, we’re starting to learn a bit more about what’s on board the software update. Android 5.1 Lollipop rumors have pointed to an extensive list of bug fixes but we’re starting see some new features pop up as well.

New Wi-Fi Toggle

Android 5.1 Lollipop comes equipped with a new Wi-Fi toggle that’s far less intrusive than the current method. To get a feel for the change, take a look at the video below.

New Clock Animations

The Android 5.1 Lollipop update will bring some new animations to the clock application. These changes, discovered by Android Police, can be seen in the short video below.

Screen Pinning

Screen pinning, a feature that arrived with Android 5.0 Lollipop, will be getting an upgrade in Android 5.1 Lollipop. The interface changes, which are described in-depth by Android Police, allow for more freedom when pinning a screen. Specifically, the changes eliminate a pesky dialog box and it explains how to unpin a screen with more clarity.

Quick Settings

There are also a few changes to Quick Settings. You can now easily hide options like Wi-Fi Hotspot from the Quick Settings tiles. The Android 5.1 Lollipop update also brings some changes to the way that you can swipe to get rid of the Quick settings menu and unlock the device. Both features can be seen in action in the videos below.

Bug Fixes

Android 5.1 Lollipop rumors suggest that we’ll also see a number of bug fixes. Here’s the rumored Android 5.1 Lollipop change log that leaked out at the tail end of last year:

  • Silent mode added after missing on Android 5.0
  • General improvements in system stability
  • Improved RAM management
  • Fixes for sudden app closures
  • Improved battery management
  • Excessive consumption of network devices when used Wi-Fi fixed
  • Issues with wireless connections fixed
  • Problems with OK Google function solved
  • Notifications problems solved
  • Some sound problems experience by certain devices fixed
  • Other improvements and changes

Android 5.1 is shaping up to be a substantial update for Android users and it should only be a matter of time before Google confirms the Android 5.1 update’s arrival for non-Android One users.