As we push deeper into Samsung’s Android 5.0 Lollipop roll out, we’re starting to see new details emerge. Among those details are rumors regarding a Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 update. With reports and rumors swirling, we want to help set your expectations appropriately as we take a look at what we expect from a Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 update.
At the tail end of last year, Samsung released its first Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the Galaxy S5. Since then, the company has made a ton of progress releasing Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop updates for a variety of devices including the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy S4. The update has also landed for smaller players like the Galaxy Tab S and Galaxy Alpha.
Samsung’s Android Lollipop roll out is going to take some time, maybe all year, and that means that we’re going to hear a lot more about it. New roll outs, new updates, new devices. Amidst these roll outs, we’ve heard rumors about a Samsung Android 5.1 Lollipop update and given what Android 5.1 brings to Nexus users, it has many users excited about the future.
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen interest in a potential Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 update start to pick up as Google continues to roll its Android 5.1 update out to Nexus users. Android 5.1 is a big update that features feature enhancements and bug fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. Samsung’s Galaxy Lollipop roll outs have been plagued with problems and that’s one of the reasons why Galaxy smartphone and tablet users are now focused in on these rumors.
It also helps that a knowledgable insider recently put forth a potential Samsung Galaxy Android roadmap. He claims that Samsung could, and we stress the word could, bring Galaxy S6 features to older devices with Android 5.1.
At this point, everything is just rumor and speculation but we’ve begun to get a ton of questions about what we think could happen with Samsung and Android 5.1. We’ve taken the bait and today we want to outline some predictions of our own. Here’s what we expect from the Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 update and release.
Sporadic Galaxy Android 5.1 Lollipop Rumors
First of all, do not expect Samsung to announce anything if and when it gets Android 5.1 Lollipop into its lab. The only time Samsung announces anything is when it’s near the finish line. What this means is that for the time being, you’re probably going to have to rely on Android 5.1 Lollipop rumors and even then, we expect those to be sporadic.
So far, we’ve only seen three Galaxy Android 5.1 update rumors emerge. If Samsung does opt to release Android 5.1 for Galaxy devices, we would expect rumors to pick up. For now though, you can expect to see sporadic information emerge, if it even emerges at all.
Here’s what we’ve heard thus far. One rumor suggests that Samsung hasn’t even entered into Android 5.1 development, at least not yet. Another reported failed to outline any specific dates only that Samsung is thinking about bringing Galaxy S6 features to older devices with Android 5.1 in the “long run.” The third rumor, a report from SamMobile, again points to a lack of development.
It’s clear that nothing is set in stone other than the fact that Samsung has yet to begin work on Android 5.1. And because we’re so early in the game, we don’t expect to see rumors emerge on a consistent basis anytime soon. So, if you’re interested in Android 5.1 for your Galaxy, you’re going to need to temper your expectations and remain patient.
Galaxy Android 5.1 Release Date
SamMobile is a credible source when it comes to Android update information. So if they’re saying that development hasn’t started, development on Android 5.1 probably hasn’t started. And if Samsung hasn’t started development on Android 5.1, an Android 5.1 Lollipop release date is probably months away at the very least.
Android 5.1 is a big update for Nexus users and it’s probably a potential candidate for Samsung’s Galaxy tablets and smartphones. That said, it’s clear that Samsung is intensely focused on getting its Android 5.0, Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop updates out to Galaxy users and we expect those roll outs to continue for much of 2015.
If Samsung does opt to release Android 5.1, and it might, we would expect the release to come much later this year. Perhaps, in preparation ahead of Google’s next big Android update, similar to what Samsung did with Android 4.4.4 KitKat ahead of Lollipop.
If you’re on Android 5.0.2 or below and you’re dealing with problems, expect smaller carrier-specific bug fix updates before Android 5.1. If you’re still on Android 4.4 KitKat, expect your version of Lollipop to be Android 5.0.2, Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.
And if Samsung does decide to release an Android 5.1 update, expect the roll out to mirror its other roll outs: Slow, unpredictable, and random. If Android 5.1 does roll out, don’t expect the release to take place overnight. Anyway you look at it, you’re going to be waiting. For awhile.
Will My Galaxy Get Android 5.1?
Predicting information for an update that doesn’t exist yet is, as you might imagine, extremely difficult. So we’ll use reason and Samsung’s history to set your Android 5.1 expectations accordingly.
If Samsung does decide to release Android 5.1, we expect it to release the update for several devices. Even Android 4.4.4 KitKat, a limited Samsung release, landed for multiple Galaxy smartphones. But which devices?
Well, you’d have to think that flagships like the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy Note 4, and Galaxy Note Edge would probably be first to Samsung’s next major update. And you’d have to think that the Galaxy S5 (and its variants), the Galaxy A series, Galaxy Alpha, and Galaxy Note 3 would be included based on their ages.
Samsung typically keeps devices updated for 24 months before kicking them to the curb. So if your device is relatively new, there’s a good chance you’ll get whatever is next from Samsung. Be it Android 5.1 or something else. Devices like the two year old Galaxy S4 now sit in a gray area and your future isn’t as clear, at least to us.
Galaxy S6 Features
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge feature new versions of TouchWiz. Their UIs have been trimmed down and owners of older devices naturally want to know if they’ll officially gain access to these features in the future. (For now, you’ll have to root and unlock to get them.)
We’ve heard that Samsung could use Android 5.1 to deliver Galaxy S6 features to older devices. This information does not come from Samsung but from a supposed insider on Reddit. The source is unproven at this point so take his information with a grain of salt.
While nothing is confirmed, we would be surprised if Samsung failed to bring at least some of the Galaxy S6’s features to its stable of smartphones. The company has a long history of bringing new features from new Galaxy S devices to older models. It never brings the whole feature set (hardware limitations are real) but it always manages to bring something to its older devices.
Android 5.1 Problems
Finally, if Samsung does decide to work on Android 5.1 for Galaxy devices, we would expect the update to include fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. As we’ve pointed out, many Galaxy users are suffering from some nasty issues including bad battery life, connectivity issues, and an assortment of smaller random bugs.
It has gotten so bad that Samsung was forced to halt Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 updates and Verizon was forced to issue another version of its Galaxy S5 Lollipop update. There is certainly room for improvement.
That improvement might come with smaller bug fixers, it might come with Android 5.1, or it might come with Google’s next big Android update. Whatever the case, don’t expect your next update to be your savior.
Android updates, big and small, always bring problems of their own. They also regularly fail to fix problems from the previous updates. There’s a reason why Google’s rolled out Android 5.0, Android 5.0.1, Android 5.0.2, and Android 5.1. It also looks like it will roll out Android 5.1.1 to fix some lingering Lollipop problems on Nexus devices.
Software updates are never perfect so don’t put all of your eggs into Android 5.1’s basket. Sure, the prospect of another big update is exciting but there’s a good chance that it won’t live up to your expectations.
Live in the present, not the future, and remain patient. We’ve put together some fixes and battery life tips that will help and we’ll let you know if we hear anything more about a Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 update. If there is one.