Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop Update Breakdown (April)

Just over a month ago, Google announced the Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop update. In that month, we’ve seen the Android 5.1 Lollipop update roll out to a number of different Nexus smartphones and tablets including the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and others. As we push deeper into April, Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update is finally starting to wrap up. With that in mind, we take a look at everything Nexus users need to know now as we press on towards Google I/O 2015 and the summer.

On March 9th, Google confirmed the elephant in the room. The elephant of course was the Android 5.1 Lollipop update that the company confirmed for Android One devices in the month of February, only to scrub all Android 5.1 references from its website. That is, until, the company rolled out the red carpet for the new software early last month.


According to Google, Android 5.1 Lollipop is an “update to Lollipop that improves stability and performance and offers a few new features like support for multiple SIM cards, Device Protection and high definition (HD) voice on compatible phones.” As we now know, there is much more to the Android 5.1 Lollipop update than stability improvements and support for multiple SIM cards.


As for the Android 5.1 Lollipop release, well, Google has taken its sweet time. While the update was originally released shortly after the announcement, it has taken Google several weeks to get the software out to its various Nexus devices in various parts of the world. Not everything about the release has been confusing or bad though. We’ve also seen some pleasant surprises.


Today, after a month of coverage, we want to take one last all encompassing look at where the Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop update stands for Nexus smartphones and tablets. This roundup takes a look at what we know about the Android 5.1 update, the Android 5.1 release, and what could be coming next for Nexus users.


Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Update

Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Update Review Early -   4

After a lengthy wait, the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update is finally rolling out Over-the-Air though it’s going to be a few days before Google’s Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update hits everyone. If you’re still waiting, you have a few options. You can continue to wait, Google’s roll outs typically take between one and two weeks to complete, or you can install manually.

Earlier this week, Google finally posted the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop factory images. The timing was strange given that Google’s OTAs typically start after the arrival on AOSP, not before. No matter. They’re there now if you’re interested.

The Nexus 4 Android 5.1 OTA file has also been found lurking on Google’s servers and we’ve put together a guide that will take you step-by-step through the sideload process if you’re looking to skip the OTA roll out. It’s a fairly easy process but remember, there’s always a chance that it could hurt the performance on your device.


Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Update


The Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update was first released back in March though it took awhile to hit a majority of Nexus 5 variants around the world. It appears that the cause for the delay was another Nexus 5 Android 5.1 build, LMY47I. The new build starting hitting Nexus 5 users a few days ago and it fixes a few smaller issues including a problem with SIM cards.

If you haven’t seen this build or the other version of the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update yet (build LMY47D), you can install the software manually on your device.

And because we have your best interests in mind, we recently published some feedback about the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update that will help you decide if you want to install Android 5.1 or sit back on whatever you’re currently on.

Nexus 6 Android 5.1 Update



Google’s Nexus 6 Android 5.1 Lollipop roll out should be complete by now but if you’re somehow still waiting for the Android 5.1 update to arrive, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a guide that will help you sideload the updates below. Proceed with caution.

We recently published a Nexus 6 Android 5.1 Lollipop review that takes a look at performance in key areas and it should help you decide if you want to install the update today or take a rain check. Take a look if you are still on the fence.

Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Update


The Nexus 7 2012 Wi-Fi was among the first Android 5.1 Lollipop updates that Google pushed in March. And while we expected the Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi to be next in line, things didn’t play out that way.


Earlier this month, Google started rolling out the Nexus 7 3G Android 5.1 Lollipop update. That update should be finishing up very soon if it hasn’t already. Again, it usually takes one to two weeks.

This update came as a surprise given that Google’s updates for its cellular-enabled Nexus 7 models have historically been late to the party. Like, months late to the party.

Earlier this week, Google produced another surprise: A Nexus 7 LTE Android 5.1 update. That update is rolling out right now though it’s rolling out slowly. It, like Google’s other updates, will almost certainly roll out slowly over the course of the next week or so.

Today, another Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop update started rolling out. The Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the 2013 Wi-Fi model is rolling out right now and it’s in the same position as the Nexus 7 LTE Android 5.1 update.

If you are growing impatient, and you want to install Android 5.1 right now, we’ve got you covered. Here are the appropriate files that you’ll need to sideload the software:

Nexus 7 2012 Wi-Fi

Nexus 7 3G

Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi

Nexus 7 LTE

Nexus 9 Android 5.1 Update


At this point, the Nexus 9 and Nexus 9 LTE are the only Nexus branded devices on something other than Android 5.1. The two devices remain on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, an older version of Android 5.0.

It shouldn’t be too long before the Nexus 9 and Nexus 9 LTE get their bump to Android 5.1. We know that the updates are coming, it’s just a matter of when at this point. Unfortunately, Google rarely announces release dates ahead of time so you’ll probably be waiting in the dark. Look for the updates to move out soon though.

Nexus 10 Android 5.1 Update

The Nexus 10 Android 5.1 update was one of the first to roll out and Nexus 10 users all over the world should have access to the new software right now. If for some reason you don’t, here’s the file that you need to sideload.

Android 5.1 Problems

As Google noted, Android 5.1 Lollipop comes with stability and performance enhancements. That’s fancy speak for tons and tons of bug fixes. Android 5.1 Lollipop does bring tons of bug fixes. It also brings some new features that you can check out in the slideshow below.

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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What Google doesn’t tell you is that the Android 5.1 Lollipop update comes with bugs including one serious one. As we noted in our Nexus 5 Android 5.1 review, Android 5.1 is afflicted with a serious memory leak bug that causes the device (and other Nexus devices) and apps to crash. Google’s fixed the problem but it’s not clear when it will push the fix out.

Nexus users are also complaining about serious camera app problems on the Nexus 5, bricked devices, Wi-Fi problems, battery drain issues, Smart Lock problems that appear to be affecting quite a few people, data connection issues, problems with texting,terrible performance, push notification problems, and more. These are just a small sample from one forum where Nexus users are posting feedback.

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 starts showing rapid battery drain. Keep those resources bookmarked and search around other sites for other fixes.

It’s also important to note that not everyone is having Android 5.1 problems.

Nexus Android 5.1.1 Update

On April 1st, a reference to an Android 5.1.1 release emerged in Google’s updated Android SDK. Its appearance probably wasn’t an April Fools joke though we still don’t know much about this update. Its features are missing in action and a release date is unknown. Google itself is silent and it continues to push out Android 5.1, not Android 5.1.1. There’s speculation that it will have a fix for the memory leak problem (at the very least) but that’s still not confirmed.