Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Update: 7 Things to Expect Now

Google’s Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop update was first released nearly three weeks ago. Since then, the update’s trickled out to some Nexus 7 users but not all of them. With a Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop upgrade on the minds of many users, particularly those dealing with Android 5.0 Lollipop problems, we want to take a look at what we expect from the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 release going forward.

It has been over two weeks since Google rolled out the red carpet for its latest Android Lollipop update, Android 5.1 Lollipop. Android 5.1 replaces Android 5.0.2 and Android 5.0.1 as the company’s most current version of Android and as we’ve pointed out, it comes with a number of heavy duty upgrades for Nexus smartphones and tablets, including the Nexus 7.


Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update started rolling out to Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 owners several days ago though the update still hasn’t rolled out in force. Many Nexus users are still waiting for the Android 5.1 Lollipop update to arrive and many are growing impatient with the lack of speed and Google’s continued silence.


We’ve been getting bombarded with questions about these upgrades. In particular, Nexus 7 users are curious about their Android 5.1 Lollipop release, a release that brings useful tweaks and bug fixes for lingering Android 5.0 problems. It’s a significant update for the aging former flagship and Nexus 7 users are getting anxious.


Today, we want to share our own expectations about the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 release going forward. This is how we expect Google’s Nexus 7 Android 5.1 release to play out from today going forward. Our goal here is to help set your expectations as we push further into March, away from the initial Nexus 7 Android 5.1 release date.


Continued Silence

Right now, the only Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update available is the one for the Wi-Fi version of the Nexus 7 2012. The OTA has reached many Nexus 7 2012 owners in recent days and we expect Google’s first Nexus 7 Android 5.1 release to finish up soon. Typically, Google’s roll outs take anywhere from one to two weeks and we’re now sitting in the two week range.

Google’s only rolled out one Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update which means that owners of its other three models must sit and wait. And we expect that wait to be in silence.

While Google offered an initial Nexus Android 5.1 release announcement, it rarely is in communication in the days and weeks after the start of its Android roll outs for Nexus devices. Often, we’ll see Google employees on Google+ and the Nexus Help Forums offer some insight ahead of time but very rarely do we see Google or any of its employees offer specific release dates ahead of time.

We expect Google to remain quiet about its upcoming Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop release dates. Instead, we expect it to let the releases themselves do the talking. Expect to learn about your missing OTA once Google drops the update into the Android Open Source Project.


Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1 Release

Google hasn’t announced a Nexus 7 Android 5.1 release for the Nexus 7 2013 but we expect the company to roll the update out at some point in the future. Perhaps the near future.

If the Nexus 7 2012 gets Android 5.1 Lollipop, one would expect a newer version of the Nexus 7 to get Android 5.1 Lollipop. It also helps that the update has been discovered lurking on Google’s website ahead of time. Some eagle-eyed Redditors spotted the Android 5.1 Lollipop update for “flo” which is a codename for the Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi.

The sighting doesn’t confirm an imminent release though now that we’re two weeks removed from the start of the Android 5.1 Lollipop roll out, an update could come at any time.

Of all the missing Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop updates, we’d expect the update for the Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi to be the next in line. But again, don’t expect Google to confirm that before its arrival.

Nexus 7 LTE Android 5.1 Release

We also expect Google to deliver a Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update to the cellular versions of the Nexus 7. Redditors have also spotted the Nexus 7 LTE Android 5.1 Lollipop update so it should only be a matter of time before Google releases the update for the “deb” model.


They’ve also spotted the update for the Nexus 7 2012 cellular model, also known as tilapia. So, at this point, Nexus 7 owners should expect Google to push Android 5.1 Lollipop out to all Nexus 7 models. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone.


Now, we do expect the roll outs for the cellular versions to come a little later than the roll out for the Wi-Fi model. The Nexus 7 cellular models are always weeks, sometimes months, behind the curve and it’s hard to envision these updates on the horizon. We own these devices and we’re expecting to have to wait for a bit.

Slow Roll Outs

Once these updates do roll out, we expect them to mirror what we’ve seen from Google during its Android 5.1 Lollipop push. Google has taken its time with its Android 5.1 Lollipop roll out for its initial batch of Nexus devices and we don’t expect anything different from its upcoming roll outs.


Traditionally, Google’s taken one to two weeks to get everyone situated with new software. We’d expect these missing Nexus 7 Android 5.1 roll outs to take one to two weeks if everything goes according to plan. If Google hits a snag in the deployment process, expect the roll outs to take longer.

Mixed Reviews

Once the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop update picks up steam, we expect to see a stream of feedback about the updates on Android-centric forums and Google’s Nexus Help forums.

We’re already seeing Nexus 7 2012 users detail their experiences with the new update (we’ve offered our own impressions as well) and what we’ve gathered is that performance is great for some users and horrible for others.

While we and many other Nexus 7 2012 users have been having a good experience on Google’s Android 5.1 build, others are struggling. Some users have said that the Android 5.1 Lollipop update killed performance on their device. We heard similar tunes after the Android 5.0.2 and Android 5.0 Lollipop updates. In fact, we see these mixed results after every single Android update and that’s why we recommend doing some prep work ahead of your release.


There’s always some risk installing new Android firmware, especially on Nexus devices, but you can limit that risk if you do prepare your device and yourself ahead of the OTA. We followed our own advice and we came out of the Android 5.1 update unscathed.

Android 5.1 performance is going to vary person-to-person, device-to-device so don’t take one person’s word for it. Not even ours. We encourage you to dig around for feedback on performance before deciding what to do about Nexus 7 Android 5.1. If you don’t prepare, you increase your risk of running into Android 5.1 issues.

Android 5.1 Problems to Mount

Speaking of Android 5.1 issues, we’ve been hearing and seeing complaints about Nexus 7 Android 5.1 problems. We’ve already outlined several bugs and problems impacting the Nexus 7 after Android 5.1 Lollipop and we expect to see the complaints grow louder as Google’s roll out moves on.

We expect to see more complaints about random reboots and app crashes. We expect to see more complaints about connectivity and bad battery life. We expect complaints about lag. And we expect smaller issues to pop up for many Nexus 7 users. We expect these problems because they’ve plagued every single Nexus Android roll out we’ve ever been apart of.

Expect Android 5.1 Lollipop to fix a lot of Lollipop problems but you should also expect to hear more about Android 5.1 problems. If you do run into Android 5.1 issues, expect some of these fixes to help.

A Wait for the Next Major Android Update

We don’t expect another major bug fix update to arrive anytime soon. Google’s Android 5.1 is a massive update that took months of engineering and it’s clear that it’s in Google’s plans for the future. Google’s been known to release small bug fixes (Android 4.4.3 to Android 4.4.4 is one example) but major updates take a huge effort behind the scenes.

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

We wouldn’t be surprised if Google rolled out another big bug fix before its next major Android update but we would not expect that release to be right around the corner. We haven’t seen any rumors pop up and we haven’t seen anything pop up in testing. We usually see both of those things before a major bug fix release.

What this means is that Nexus 7 users need to expect to rely on third-party fixes for Android 5.1 problems. We’ve put together a list of fixes that could help but you’ll certainly want to consult other resources if you run into trouble.