5 Things to Know About the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Update

Back in March, Google started pushing out the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update, an update that brings feature tweaks and bug fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. Thing is, many Nexus 7 users remain on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. We’ve started to see new Android 5.1 Lollipop details emerge in recent days and today, we want to take an in depth look at Google’s roll out.

Last month, Google trumpeted the arrival its Android 5.1 Lollipop update for Nexus smartphones and tablets. The company outlined the new features that would be coming to Nexus users and we soon discovered that they would be joined by a long list of bug fixes aimed at crushing lingering Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop problems.


Shortly after the announcement, Google released the update for the Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 10, Nexus 6, and Nexus 5. Since then, Nexus users have been treated to an excruciatingly slow roll out process and tons of unnecessary confusion. The company’s Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop release has been a bit of a mess as the update has rolled out slowly to the Nexus 7 2012 and failed to hit the company’s three other Nexus 7 models. This has left many users frustrated.


Google’s Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update isn’t rolling out in full force but we have seen some new developments take place in the past few days and we want to share these new developments with you.


As we push into the month of April, we want to take a look at a few things that we think Nexus 7 users need to know about their Android 5.1 update and the Android 5.1 release. This roundup will take a look at what we know right now about Android 5.1 Lollipop and some of the rumors that we’ve heard about Google’s plans for the future. If you haven’t been paying attention, this will catch you up to speed.


Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Update…Update

Google only has one Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop update and from what we can tell, that update’s rolled out to a majority of Nexus 7 2012 Wi-Fi users. It has been several weeks since the start of the OTA roll out so this makes sense. Google’s OTAs typically take a few weeks to complete and we are starting to see complaints about missing OTA updates die down.

If you haven’t seen the OTA yet, you have a few options. You can remain patient with your fingers crossed or you can go ahead and skip the OTA roll out and install the update manually:

If you aren’t familiar with the sideload process, here is a guide that will show you how to use these files without harming your device. It’s not recommended for novice Android users. It’s a fairly lengthy process though once you’ve got it down, you’ll be able to skip OTA roll outs in the future.

Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Release Confirmed for More Users

As a reminder, it’s clear that Google is cooking up new updates for its Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi, Nexus 7 LTE, and Nexus 7 HSPA+. All three of these Android 5.1 Lollipop updates have been sighted on Google’s website, a sign that they’re still in development behind the scenes.


Unfortunately, we still don’t have a release date to share with you. After its initial announcements, Google typically goes back into its shell. Release date announcements are extremely rare and there’s a good chance that you’ll find out about your Android 5.1 (or Android 5.1.1 release) on the day that the update rolls out.

The important thing to gather from this is that these updates are coming. They might be days away, weeks away or even months away but it’s clear that all three of these devices are still in Google’s future plans.

Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

For now, it’s looking like it will be Android 5.1 Lollipop that rolls out to the remaining Nexus 7 variants. That could change though.

Android 5.1.1 Lollipop has been spotted lurking inside Google’s new SDK Manager. The Android 5.1.1 update appeared yesterday, April 1st, which just so happens to be April Fools. This doesn’t seem like a Google April Fools joke though.

Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop Review Early - 3



It’s not clear what this update might bring but there is speculation that it could offer a fix for the memory leak issues plaguing Nexus devices on Android 5.1 Lollipop. Random reboots and app crashes are among the most common Android 5.1 problems and a fix is sorely needed. It could be that Android 5.1.1 delivers that fix to Nexus 7 2012 users and owners of the other three Nexus 7 variants. Because this is an x.x.1 update, it probably won’t be too much different than Android 5.1.

Android Police believes that a public Android 5.1.1 release could be extremely close though it’s not clear where it will land first. The memory leak issue is affecting all Nexus users so it’s possible that we’ll see Google add to the confusion and release another build without a public announcement or any sort of clarification. Be on the look out, Nexus 7 users.

Nexus 7 Lollipop Problems Persist

Android 5.1 Lollipop comes with a laundry list of bug fixes for Lollipop problems. However, in the weeks since its release, we’ve begun to hear about some of the problems it’s causing on the Nexus 7 2012. We already mentioned app crashes and random reboots but Google’s Nexus Help Forum also outlines some of the other problems plaguing Google’s aging tablet.


Nexus 7 users are complaining about installation problems, severe battery drain after making the move to Android 5,1, sluggish performance, boot problems, Wi-Fi problems, random freezing, Google Play problems, and more. There are several lengthy threads on Google’s forum and on Reddit where users are conversing about the problems impacting their Nexus 7.


We’re pointing these problems out because we want to alert those of you that may not have made the move to Android 5.1 yet. Android 5.1 Lollipop does come with some big changes but you need to be careful because it could bring some problems to your slate.

If you’re already on Android 5.1 and you’re dealing with problems, we also want to provide you with a few resources. We’ve put together a list of common Android 5.1 problems and fixes for those problems. Those fixes have worked for some people though they aren’t guaranteed to work for you. In addition, we’ve put together some steps to take to fix bad Android 5.1 battery life.

You’ll want to keep these in mind if you own a Nexus 7 2013 or a cellular model. Even if these devices get Android 5.1.1, there still could be trouble so you’ll definitely want to do your homework.

Success Stories

When it comes to Nexus software updates, there are always two sides to the coin. One side features users dealing with problems. The other side features Nexus users who are getting solid performance.

While there are certainly Android 5.1 problems plaguing Nexus users, there are also those who have been having a solid experience with Android 5.1 Lollipop on board.

Some Nexus 7 2012 users on Reddit claim that they’ve experienced no problems with Android 5.1. In fact, some claim that the Android 5.1 Lollipop update revitalized their tablet. This mirrors the experience we’re having on the Nexus 7 2012. We had given up on the aging former flagship until Android 5.1 came along and managed to breathe some new life into it.

Here’s how one user describes his Android 5.1 update:

After suffering weeks of lag and crashes on 5.0.2 I decided to flash back to KitKat

Upon turning on the nexus I saw the 5.1 update available. Oh well I thought, may as well try it before looking up how to flash.. Nothing to lose as its virtually unusable as it is. I still have the flash option if its no better.

After waiting about 10 mins for download to start, we were off and running.

The update completed in very quick time.. The spinning balls were only on for 1-2 mins.

Tablet back on and google apps started to update. (Strangely this took longer than the actual update)

All I can say is I am more than happy. I can use my tablet again (even Chrome is back perfect and that has been a dog since 5.0…I’ve had to use a lightweight browser previously)

Speed is easily on a par with KitKat. No lag. And this is without any “tuning” or factory reset.  I’ve reinstalled all my apps that I had to take off in 5.0.2 to even attempt to use it and its still flying

My nexus is back (I’m typing this on it)

So before you write off Android 5.1 completely, you’re really going to need to dig in and gather as much feedback as you can. There are always two sides to every Android update.

Now does this mean that you should install Android 5.1 or Android 5.1.1 the second it arrives for your Nexus 7? No. In fact, we recommend waiting a few days or even a few weeks to see how things play out.