10 Things to Do Before the Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop Update

Google’s finally announced its Android 5.1 Lollipop update for Nexus smartphones and tablets and today will serve as the official start of the Android 5.1 release date. With that in mind, we want to take a look at some things we think Nexus users should do ahead of their latest Lollipop upgrade. These tips are geared towards non-power users and those that are thinking about installing the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the first time.

In November, Google pushed out its initial Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. The update brought new features to Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 users and it helped usher the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 into the spotlight. Android 5.0 Lollipop also brought a number of Nexus Lollipop problems to users, problems that Google’s been trying to solve.


In the weeks after the initial Android 5.0 Lollipop release, Google rolled out two Lollipop bug fix updates aimed at tackling these problems. The first was Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, an update that up until today was the most current version for many devices including the Nexus 5. The other, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, an update that was limited to just a few different devices.

The Nexus Android 5.1 release date is here.

The Nexus Android 5.1 release date is here.

A few weeks ago, Google confirmed the arrival of a new Android 5.1 Lollipop update before scrubbing its existence from its website. The update arrived for Android One devices in a few different regions though until today, Google wasn’t talking about it. Today, Google is talking about Android 5.1 Lollipop for Nexus devices.


The Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop release is finally here and according to Google, it’s going to bring some new features to the table including “support for multiple SIM cards, Device Protection and high definition (HD) voice on compatible phones.” Thanks to a number of leaks, we know that there is much more to the Android 5.1 Lollipop update.


With a Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop update now here, right now is the perfect time to make your final preparations for the release. Here, we want to tell you about some things you should do ahead of Google’s next big Android 5.0 Lollipop update. These pre-release tips will help Nexus users and they will come in handy should Google decide to roll out more Android 5.1 based updates in the future.

Research Android 5.0 Lollipop

If you own a Nexus smartphone or tablet and you’ve somehow avoided the Android 5.0 Lollipop, now is a great time to get familiar with the update’s features. Android 5.0 Lollipop is a whole lot different than Android 4.4 KitKat and you don’t want to get blindsided.

We’ve reviewed the Android 5.0 Lollipop update numerous times already and that feedback will help you get started. We also recommend taking a look at the slideshow below. This slideshow compares the KitKat update to the Lollipop update and it will get you ready for the changes you will encounter if you’re moving straight from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 Walkthrough: What’s New in Lollipop

Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 - Lockscreen

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Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 - Lockscreen

 With Android 5.0 Lollipop Google has slightly improved the lockscreen. There's now a shortcut to the dialer by swiping left to right, and notifications are more useful and interactive. Shown right on the lockscreen they can be swiped away, slide down to expand, or double tap to instantly unlock right into that app or notification. Everything is simple and smooth, and we still have full-screen album artwork on the lockscreen while playing music.


The quick shortcuts and improved notifications will come in handy for all users.

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This might seem like overkill but we recommend this step to those of you that consider yourselves novice users. If you go into the Android 5.1 release without any clue about Android 5.0 Lollipop as a whole, you’re going to be lost and frustrated. Do your homework ahead of its release and you should come out of the Android 5.1 release date much better off.

Look Into Android 5.1 Lollipop

If you’re already on Android 5.0 Lollipop and you’re familiar with its features, you probably don’t need an Android 5.0 refresher. What you should do though, if you haven’t already, is check out some of the features that should be on board the Android 5.1 Lollipop update. This isn’t just your standard bug fix update. It’s bringing some other changes along with it.



Our recent Android 5.1 Lollipop breakdown outlines many of the features and changes that should be on board the update. Google hasn’t released a full change log just yet but we’re expecting a collection of enhancements and fixes that should improve the software. If you’re not familiar with these, get familiar because you may discover some changes to features that you use a lot.

Research Lollipop Problems & Fixes

Right now, ahead of your Android 5.1 roll out, is a perfect time to deep dive into the Android 5.0 problems currently affecting Nexus users. Android 5.0 delivered a number of problems to Nexus smartphones and tablets. And while Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop fixed some of these problems, they failed to fix them all.

If you take a look at the current Android 5.0 problem situation, you’re going to get acclimated to the common problems affecting Nexus users on Android 5.0, Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2. This will help you handle the sting if issues do surface on your device after the Android 5.1 Lollipop upgrade. Android 5.1 brings fixes but it could also bring problems. Android updates always do.

We’ve outlined some potential fixes for a few of the more common Android 5.0 Lollipop problems but you’ll want to familiarize with as many issues and fixes as you can before installing Android 5.1. Our fixes are a great starting point but you’ll definitely want to poke around.


Get Familiar with Sideloading

We recommend taking a look at the manual update process (also known as sideloading) ahead of the Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop release. Once the Android 5.1 OTAs start, someone will find the proper files lurking on Google’s severs. And once that happens, you’ll be able to install the Android 5.1 update ahead of Google’s slow moving Over-the-Air roll out. It’s a nice perk for those of you that are impatient.


It can be a tricky process and it can foul up the performance on your device. We do not recommend installing manually if you’re unfamiliar with the process so right now, ahead of the release, is a great time to get caught up on the process if you’re at all interested in skipping the OTA process.

This guide on how to install the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update should get you up to speed though there are plenty of other resources out there that will help you learn about sideloading ahead of the OTA. If you’re not comfortable after taking a look, you should wait for the OTA from Google to arrive. It should arrive soon.

Clean Up Your Nexus

Right now is also the perfect time to clean up your Nexus smartphone or tablet. This is going to be especially important to those of you jumping to Android 5.0 for the first time. The update requires a ton of storage to install and that’s going to pose problems for those of you that have collected a ton of apps and files over the years. Nexus devices don’t have microSD card slots so it’s very easy to use up your internal storage space.

You’ve likely downloaded applications or music or other files that you simply don’t use any more. Now is a great time to get rid of those applications and files that you no longer need to house on your internal storage. It will get rid of any clutter and also free up some valuable storage space on your tablet ahead of the Android 5.1 release date for your device.

Back Up Your Files

Thanks to the cloud and Google’s auto backup features, most of your files are probably secure. That said, you’re going to want to ensure that you’ve backed up all of your important photos, videos, app data, and more before installing Android 5.1 Lollipop. There’s always a chance, albeit a small one, that something could get ruined during the transition from Android 4.4 to Android 5.1 or Android 5.0.1/Android 5.0.2 to Android 5.1.

The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure that Auto Backup is turned on for your important files. To do this, head over to Google’s website. It offers in-depth Auto Backup tutorials that will ensure that your precious files will be stored safely ahead of Android 5.0’s release.We also have some tips that will help you backup your files properly.

For most users, the Nexus 7 Lollipop update is worth installing.

It would also be wise to take a look at your third-party cloud services (if you use them) to ensure that your files are still backed up. Again, this might seem tedious but you simply never know how the installation process is going to work out. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when you consider the size of the Android 5.1 update.

Charge Your Device

You’re going to want to ensure that your device is fully charged or at least charged enough where it’s not going to power down on you during the installation process. The safest route to take is to ensure that your device is at least 50% charged before installing Android 5.1.

The download and installation process probably won’t ruin your battery life but you still don’t want to run the risk of having your device die during the installation process. Charge up your Nexus smartphone or tablet before downloading and installing your new software. It won’t hurt.

Update Your Apps

In the months since the release of Android 5.0 and its bug fixers, we’ve seen a number of bug fixes and Android 5.0 compatibility updates roll out to third-party applications. While we can’t speak for every single application on the Google Play Store, we can tell you that by updating our applications on our Nexus devices, we’ve had a pretty good experience with our collection of apps.

Often times, major software updates wreck havoc on third party applications. Android developers do their best to alleviate these problems as quickly as humanly possible and the best way you can help your own cause is by installing the latest bug fixes. Most apps should work after you get Android 5.1 on board but if you do notice problems, try reinstalling or contacting the developer.

Check in With IT

If you’re using your Nexus smartphone or tablet for work and you happen to have an IT department, you should go and chat with them before installing your Android 5.1 Lollipop update.


Nexus users that use their device for work often run into issues with enterprise software, Wi-Fi connections, with Exchange, and with other important work-related features after installing Android updates. It literally happens every year after every Nexus Android release. There’s no cure all solution but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be smart about it.

There’s is a chance that your IT department might have a recommendation ahead of the Android 5.1 release. Often times, that advice is to avoid the update until they’re able to confirm that it’s working with key services.

If you don’t have an IT department, you might want to hold off until you can gather feedback from co-workers or developers.

Check in With Developers

If you’ve installed custom software on your Nexus device and you’re unsure about how to proceed, you’ll want to get in touch with the developers and the Android community before installing the Android 5.1 Lollipop update.

A lot of the initial problems we see come from people who are trying to sideload the software and those who are coming from a customized version of Android back to stock. If you aren’t running stock and you are thinking about sideloading or installing Android 5.1 down the road, keep an eye on your community. XDA-Developers is a great resource if you don’t know where to turn.