10 Things to Know About the Nexus Android 5.1 Release

Google’s Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop update is now several weeks old. In the weeks since the start of the roll out, we’ve learned a number of new details about the company’s Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop release. As we head into a new month, we want to take a look at everything we know, and don’t know, about Google’s Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop update and release.

Earlier this month, Nexus users were treated to another Android 5.0 Lollipop announcement. On the heels of Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop comes Android 5.1 Lollipop, a brand new update that comes with some significant upgrades.


Android 5.1 is much bigger than your standard incremental Android update. It comes with a number of feature tweaks including support for multiple SIM cards, HD voice for the Nexus 6, some subtle changes to the Quick Settings feature, and tons of bug fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. While the features are a nice touch, many Nexus users are fixated on the bugs that it does (and doesn’t) bring to Google’s Nexus smartphones and tablets.


Since the announcement, Google’s rolled the update out to a number of devices including the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 2012, and the Nexus 10. And since those roll outs have started, we’ve seen some new developments.


As we head into the month of April, we felt it appropriate to take a look at the progress that Google has made with the Android 5.1 Lollipop update and to also take a look at some of the key mysteries that still surround the Android 5.1 Lollipop release. It doesn’t help that Google’s been radio silent for a number of weeks now.


Here’s what we know, and don’t know, about the Nexus Android 5.1 update as the release pushes into the month of April.

New Nexus 6 Android 5.1 Lollipop Update

The Nexus 6 Android 5.1 Lollipop update was one of the first to roll out. And while its landed for many Nexus 6 users, there are still some that are on Android 5.0.1 Lollipop.


A few days ago, Google released an update version of the Nexus 6 Android 5.1 Lollipop update into the Android Open Source Project. The update is still Android 5.1 but it comes with a different build, LMY47I. From what we’ve heard, its primary function is to address SIM card issues. It’s not a major upgrade from the last build, we know that for sure.


The new OTA is available for Nexus 6 users in Australia but it’s not clear if the new build will become available anywhere else.

New Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop Update

The company also released a new Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the Nexus 5. The update is currently available in the Android Open Source Project for developers and it’s also known as build LMY47I. The OTA file from Google still hasn’t been found and Google rarely announces the start of its OTA update process so Nexus 5 users are just going to have to wait to see what happens.

Android 5.1 Release Moving Extremely Slow

From what we can tell, the Nexus 6, Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 10 Android 5.1 updates are all cruising out to device owners though they are doing so in an extremely slow fashion. As a reminder, Google’s OTA updates can sometimes take up to three weeks to deploy to everyone. Those of you that haven’t seen the update just yet need to remain patient.


The Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop roll out is rolling out extremely slow. We and a few others were able to get the initial OTA installed a few weeks back but it looks like the software is at a bit of a standstill. That could have something to do with the arrival of this new build, we’re not entirely sure. What we are sure about though is that a ton of people are still on Android 5.0.1.


Reminder: You Can Skip the OTA

If you own one of these devices and you want to skip the OTA process, you can. Here are the proper OTA files for each device and here is a guide that will show you how to use these files without harming your device. We only recommend the sideload process to experienced Android users. The rest of you should wait for the OTA process to pick up:

Nexus 6

Nexus 5

Nexus 10


Nexus 7 2012

Nexus Player

Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Update

Google still hasn’t officially announced a Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update though we’re fairly certain that the aging former flagship is in the company’s Android 5.1 plans.

In March, Myce spotted an Android 5.1 Lollipop build running on the Nexus 4. What this means is that Google has the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update in testing behind the scenes. And if the update is in testing behind the scenes, there’s a very good chance that it will roll out to the public at some point down the road.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Update Review Early -   4

Sascha Prüter from Google has essentially confirmed the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 release though he has declined to offer any specifics about its release date. Not surprising given that release dates depend on internal testing.

The update has also been spotted on Google’s website. At this point, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when and unfortunately, we don’t know when Google is planning to push the software out.

Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1 Update

Google still hasn’t announced a Nexus 7 Android 5.1 release for the 2013 model but it does look like the device is in its plans. Not surprising given that the Wi-Fi only Nexus 7 2012 is already on Android 5.1.

Some eagle-eyed Redditors spotted the Android 5.1 Lollipop update for “flo” which is the codename for the Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi. The update, like the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 update, is lurking on Google’s site, a sign that it’s currently in development. Unfortunately, the sighting doesn’t confirm an imminent release so owners of the Nexus 7 2013 need to be on your toes in the month of April.

Nexus 7 (Cellular) Android 5.1 Update

Redditors have also spotted the Nexus 7 LTE Android 5.1 Lollipop update so it certainly looks like Google will release the update for the device that’s codenamed “deb.”And yes, they’ve also spotted the update for the Nexus 7 2012 cellular model, also known as tilapia. These devices always trail behind the rest of the pack so there’s no reason to believe that their upgrades are close.

Nexus 9 Android 5.1 Update

Google’s new Nexus tablet, the Nexus 9, is still on Android 5.0.2. It probably won’t be for long though. The Nexus 9 Android 5.1 Lollipop update is lurking on Google’s website and while that doesn’t confirm an imminent release, it does hint at a release in the future. It’s not clear how long it might take Google so Nexus 9 users need to remain patient.

Android 5.1 Problems Continue

Android 5.1 Lollipop fixes a number of Nexus Android problems. This we know. We also know that it fails to fix an annoying memory leak problem that’s causing random reboots and app crashes and we also know that Android 5.1 Lollipop problems continue to plague Nexus users.

Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop Review Early - 3

Google’s Nexus Forums continue to fill up with complaints about Android 5.1 Lollipop. They range from reboots to bad battery life to connectivity issues to problems with apps. The complaints have only grown louder as more Nexus users have installed the new software.

We’re hoping that these new Android 5.1 builds and these Android 5.1 delays help to exterminate some of these peskier bugs though Nexus users should remain vigilant as we head deeper into the Android 5.1 Lollipop roll out.

If You Need Help…

If you’re already on Android 5.1 Lollipop and you’re noticing bad battery life, head here. If you’re dealing with some other common Android 5.1 Lollipop problem, you’ll want to head here and take a look at our fixes. We also recommend combing the Nexus Help Forum and Android-centric websites for potential fixes.

Those of you that are still waiting would be wise to get acquainted with some of the Android 5.1 Lollipop problems currently affecting Nexus users. We also recommend taking a look at the potential fixes so that you’re prepared once your roll out arrives.