10 Things to Do Before the Nexus Android 5.1.1 Update

A Nexus Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update is confirmed and an Android 5.1.1 release could take place at any time. With that in mind, we want to take a look at some things we think Nexus users should do ahead of Google’s latest Android 5.1.1 release. These tips are geared towards non-power users and those that are thinking about installing the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the first time.

In November, Google pushed out its initial Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. The update brought new features to Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 users and it helped usher in the company’s release of the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. Android 5.0 Lollipop also brought a number of Nexus Lollipop problems to users, problems that Google’s been trying to solve in the months after its first release.


Several weeks after the initial Android 5.0 Lollipop release, Google rolled out two Lollipop bug fix updates aimed at tackling problems plaguing Nexus smartphone and tablet users. The first was Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, the other, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. Both of these updates tackled some of more glaring Lollipop issues.

Since then, Google’s been rolling out Android 5.1 Lollipop to Nexus smartphones and tablets. In April alone we’ve seen Android 5.1, a giant bug fix update, land for key Nexus devices including the Nexus 7 2013. Android 5.1 brings bug fixes and some feature tweaks to Nexus users but it also brings some Lollipop problems of its own.

We’ve detailed Nexus Android 5.1 problems and it’s clear that more than a few Nexus users are suffering from random reboots, battery drain, poor connectivity, and more. And that’s why it wasn’t too surprising to see an Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update emerge at the beginning of the month.


On April 1st, Google mentioned Android 5.1.1 for the first time in an update to its Android SDK. Several days ago, the Android 5.1.1 update appeared on Google’s website, a sign that a release for select Nexus devices is imminent. Today, the company released a Nexus Player Android 5.1.1 update factory image, a sign that the Android 5.1.1 OTA is about to begin.


With a Nexus Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update almost here for some users, right now is the perfect time to make your final preparations for the release. Here, we want to tell you about some things you should do ahead of Google’s next big Android 5.0 Lollipop update. These pre-release tips will help Nexus users and they will come in handy should Google decide to roll out more Android 5.0-based updates in the future.

Look Into Android 5.1 & Lollipop

If you currently own a Nexus smartphone or tablet and you’ve somehow managed to avoid the Android 5.0 Lollipop update, now is a great time to get familiar with the update’s features. Android 5.0 Lollipop is a whole lot different than Android 4.4 KitKat and you don’t want to get blindsided if you ultimately decide to move to Android 5.1.1.

We’ve reviewed the Android 5.0 Lollipop update numerous times already and that feedback will help you get started. We also recommend taking a look at the slideshow below. This slideshow compares the KitKat update to the Lollipop update and it will get you ready for the changes you will encounter if you’re moving straight from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 Walkthrough: What’s New in Lollipop

Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 - Lockscreen

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Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 - Lockscreen

 With Android 5.0 Lollipop Google has slightly improved the lockscreen. There's now a shortcut to the dialer by swiping left to right, and notifications are more useful and interactive. Shown right on the lockscreen they can be swiped away, slide down to expand, or double tap to instantly unlock right into that app or notification. Everything is simple and smooth, and we still have full-screen album artwork on the lockscreen while playing music.


The quick shortcuts and improved notifications will come in handy for all users.

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If you’re already on Android 5.0 but you haven’t moved to Android 5.1, then you’ll want to get familiar with Android 5.1 and its changes. Android 5.1 brings some tweaks, tweaks that will be present on Android 5.1.1. The slideshow below will get you caught up before the start of Google’s Android 5.1.1 Lollipop OTA process.

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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Look Into Android 5.1.1 Update & Features

Google hasn’t rolled out the red carpet yet for the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release and it may not. The company often keeps its changelogs extremely vague. Android 5.1.1 isn’t expected to be a massive update but you’ll still want to dig around for information regarding its contents. The Android 5.1.1 change log can be found here.

This is important if you’re already having a good experience on Android 5.1 or below. Android 5.1.1 comes with some key bug fixes but there’s always a chance that it could damage performance on your device. So you’ll want to research what it has on board and decide if it’s absolutely necessary to install on your phone or tablet.

Research Lollipop Problems & Fixes

Right now, ahead of your Android 5.1 roll out, is a perfect time to deep dive into the Android 5.0 problems currently affecting Nexus users. Lollipop delivered a number of problems to Nexus smartphones and tablets. And while Android 5.0.1, Android 5.0.2 and Android 5.1 fixed some of these problems, they failed to fix them all.


If you take a look at the current climate, you’re going to get acclimated to the common problems affecting Nexus users on Android 5.0, Android 5.0.1, Android 5.0.2, and Android 5.1. This will help you handle Android 5.1.1 problems if they do happen to surface on your device after making the move. Android 5.1.1 should bring fixes but it could also bring problems. Android updates always do.

We’ve outlined some potential fixes for a few of the more common Android 5.0 Lollipop problems but you’ll want to familiarize with as many issues and fixes as you can before installing Android 5.1.1. Our fixes are a great starting point but you’ll definitely want to poke around for other potential solutions.

Get Familiar with Sideloading

Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop OTA releases have been extremely slow and unpredictable. If you’re the impatient type, we recommend taking a look at the manual update process (also known as sideloading) ahead of the Nexus Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release.

Once the Android 5.1.1 OTAs start, someone will find the proper files lurking on Google’s severs. And once that happens, you’ll be able to install the Android 5.1.1 update ahead of Google’s slow moving Over-the-Air roll out.


Sideloading Nexus software can be a tricky process and it can foul up the performance on your device. We do not recommend installing manually if you’re unfamiliar with the process. So while you have some time ahead of the Android 5.1.1 release,  you can try to get caught up on the process if you’re at all interested in skipping the OTA process.

This guide on how to install the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update should get you up to speed though there are plenty of other resources out there that will help you learn about sideloading ahead of the OTA. If you’re not comfortable after doing your research, you should wait for the OTA from Google to arrive.

Clean Up Your Nexus

Right now, ahead of the Android 5.1.1 release, is a great time to perform some clean up your Nexus smartphone or tablet. This is going to be especially important to those of you jumping to Android 5.0 for the first time.

The Lollipop update requires a ton of storage to install and that’s going to pose problems for those of you that have collected a ton of apps and files over the years. Nexus devices don’t have microSD card slots so it’s very easy to use up your internal storage space.

You’ve likely downloaded applications or music or other files that you simply don’t use any more. Now is a great time to get rid of those applications and files that you no longer need to house on your internal storage. It will get rid of any clutter and also free up some valuable storage space on your tablet ahead of the Android 5.1.1 release date for your device.

Back Up Your Files

Thanks to the cloud and Google’s auto backup features, most of your important files are probably secure. That said, you’re going to want to ensure that you’ve backed up all of your important photos, videos, app data, and more before installing Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. There’s always a chance, albeit a small one, that something could get ruined during the transition from whatever you’re on to Android 5.1.1.


The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure that Auto Backup is turned on for your important files. To do this, head over to Google’s website. It offers in-depth Auto Backup tutorials that will ensure that your precious files will be stored safely ahead of Android 5.0’s release.We also have some tips that will help you backup your files properly.

It would also be smart to check on your cloud-based services (if you use them) to ensure that your files are still backed up. Again, this might seem tedious but you simply never know how the installation process is going to work out.

Charge Your Device

You’re going to want to ensure that your device is fully charged or at least charged enough where it’s not going to power down on you during the Android 5.1.1 installation process. The safest route to take is to ensure that your device is at least 50% charged before installing a new update.

The download and installation process probably won’t ruin your battery life but you still don’t want to run the risk of having your device die during the installation process. Charge up your Nexus smartphone or tablet before downloading and installing your new software. It won’t hurt.

Update Your Apps

There is always a chance that a third-party app or a stock app will start misbehaving after a major Android update. There isn’t much you can do to prevent this though we’ve have some success updating our apps prior to updating to the new software.


Android developers do their best to alleviate these problems as quickly as humanly possible and the best way you can help your own cause is by installing the latest bug fixes. Most apps should work after you get Android 5.1.1 on board but if you’re seeing issues after updating, you should get in contact with the developer, even if it’s Google.

Check in With IT

If you’re using your Nexus smartphone or tablet for work and you happen to have an IT department, you should go and chat with them before installing your Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update.

Nexus users that use their device for work often run into issues with enterprise software, Wi-Fi connections, Exchange, and other important work-related features after installing Android updates. It literally happens every year after every Nexus Android release. Android 5.1.1 patched some things up but you can never be too sure.

There’s is a chance that your IT department might have a recommendation ahead of the Android 5.1.1 release. Often times, that advice is to avoid the update until they’re able to confirm that it’s working with key services. If you don’t have an IT department, you might want to hold off until you can gather feedback from co-workers or developers.

Check in With Developers

Finally, if you’ve installed custom software on your Nexus device and you’re unsure about how to proceed, you’ll want to get in touch with the developers and the Android community before installing the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update.

A lot of the initial Android update problems we see come from people who are trying to sideload the software and those who are coming from a customized version of Android back to stock. If you aren’t running stock and you are thinking about sideloading or installing Android 5.1.1 down the road, keep an eye on your community. XDA-Developers is a great resource if you don’t know where to turn.