5 Things to Know About the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Update

Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update is missing for a number of Nexus devices though it looks like we can finally take the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 update off of the list. With an OTA in sight, we take a look at what users need to know, right now, about the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update.

In March, Google released an Android 5.1 update for its Nexus smartphones and tablets. The update, the third incremental update for its new Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system, brought feature tweaks and a collection of bug fixes for select Nexus users. Owners of the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2012, and Nexus 10 were the first in line though the Android 5.1 update is finally starting to make its way to other devices.


Earlier this month, Google started rolling out Android 5.1 to the cellular version of the Nexus 7 2012, also known as the Nexus 7 3G. Up until today though, the Android 5.1 Lollipop update remained missing for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 2013, Nexus 7 LTE, and Nexus 9. Today, we can confirm another Android 5.1 roll out, this one for a popular Nexus smartphone called the Nexus 4.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Update Review Early -   4

While Google didn’t bring out the trumpets or the red carpet, the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update is finally here, a month after the start of the Android 5.1 Lollipop roll out. With that in mind, we want to take a look at the most important things Nexus 4 users need to know about their upgrade to Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop Update Now Available

After a lengthy wait, the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update is finally here. Thanks to a user on Reddit, Nexus 4 users now have access to the Nexus 4’s Android 5.1 OTA file. If you’re familiar with the sideloading process, here’s the appropriate file, direct from Google’s servers:

If you don’t know how to sideload, you can take a look at our guide here. Just remember, there’s always a chance that you could negatively impact the performance on your device so proceed with caution.


What’s interesting is that this file has emerged before Google’s release on AOSP. The factory images for the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 update aren’t available though we suspect that Google will make them available soon. You’ll be able to find them here.

Nexus 4 Android 5.1 OTA

At least one Nexus 4 user has received the Android 5.1 Lollipop OTA from Google and we expect to see the update pick up the pace in the days and perhaps weeks ahead. Here are a few things that we think Nexus 4 users need to keep in mind as the Android 5.1 Lollipop update starts to roll out:

  • You need to prepare yourself and your device for Android 5.1. We have some tips here and here.
  • The roll out will move slowly. Google’s updates typically take a week or more to complete. The Nexus 4 Android 5.1 update should be completed before the end of April.
  • You can check manually through settings but don’t check more than a couple times a day. Most of you will discover the update via a prompt in notifications.
  • Do not try and force the update using the Google Framework Services “trick.” You could seriously harm your device.
  • You don’t need to install the update the second it arrives. In fact, you might not want to. There are loads of Android 5.1 problems that we’ll detail in a second.

It’s Android 5.1, Not Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

It’s important to note that the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update is Android 5.1 Lollipop and not Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Unless Google’s made some additions, it’s probably going to look a lot like the Android 5.1 updates that have already rolled out for Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 6 users. That means new features, bug fixes and perhaps, the dreaded memory leak issue.

Android 5.1 vs Android 5.0 Lollipop Walkthrough: What’s New

Quick Settings

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Quick Settings

Our favorite new change has to do with Quick Settings. For those that don't even know, pulling down the notification bar twice (or once with two fingers) brings up a Quick Settings menu. From here you have access to screen brightness, and toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, a flashlight, airplane mode, auto rotate settings, location, screen casting, and more quick toggles appear as you use them. Like hotspot control, and more.


In all of our slides Android 5.1 is on the left, with the older Android 5.0 screenshot on the right.

With Android 5.1 Lollipop Google made quick settings even better. Once you swipe down twice or once with two fingers, you'll have easier access to controlling WiFi or Bluetooth and connections. Rather than fumble through settings, simply tap the little drop down arrow, and you can connect to WiFi or Bluetooth devices all from here. This is a small but very convenient change, and one of our favorites.

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Just in case you forgot, the slideshow above will recap what you need to know about the changes Android 5.1 Lollipop will bring to the Nexus 4 after you download and install it.

Android 5.1 Lollipop Problems

We know that it’s going to be tempting to install the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update the second it arrives for your device. That said, you might want to think about resisting the urge.

Android 5.1 Lollipop brings feature tweaks and bug fixes for lingering Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. It also brings some problems of its own. We’ve outlined many of the Android 5.1 Lollipop problems plaguing Nexus users. They range from random reboots to battery drain to problems with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Update Review Early -   2

Before you install the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update, we suggest poking around for feedback from Nexus 4 users who decided to install early. This way, you can make a well informed decision about whether to stay on whatever you’re on or make a move to Android 5.1.

Fixes for Android 5.1 Problems

If you ultimately decide to download the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update and you do encounter some problems, note that we’ve put together some resources that should help.

We recently cooked up a list of fixes for common Android 5.1 Lollipop problems that should help. We’ve also pieced together some useful Android 5.1 battery life tips that will almost certainly help in the event that your Nexus 4 starts showing rapid battery drain. Keep those resources bookmarked.