Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release: What to Expect

Google’s rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to its Nexus 5, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 and a short time ago, the OTA landed for owners of the aging Nexus 4. With the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop release finally here, we want to take a look at what we, and Nexus 4 owners, can expect from Google’s Nexus 4 Lollipop roll out.

Back in October, Google announced a number of new products including a Nexus 6 smartphone from Motorola, a Nexus 9 tablet from HTC, and an Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 5. It also confirmed Android 5.0 Lollipop for its stable of Google Play Edition devices. At the time, the company said that the updates would begin rolling out in the “coming weeks.”

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Last week, Google’s Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date arrived for owners of several Nexus variants including the Nexus 5, Nexus 10 and Nexus 7. The update, one of the biggest in the history of the Android operating system, takes Nexus users from Android 4.4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop and it delivers a number of new features including the company’s new Material Design.

A couple of days ago, Google trotted out the Nexus 4 factory images and binaries, a sign that the OTA was close. Over the weekend, right on cue, the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update started rolling out to Nexus 4 users in the United States and around the world. Users say they have received notifications and carriers like Rogers have confirmed the start of Google’s Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop deployment.

With the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update rolling out, we want to offer up our own release expectations for Nexus 4 users. This will cover all aspects of the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop release including the release itself, problems, and more. Let us help set the stage for you while you wait for the Android 5.0 Lollipop update to arrive.

Slow Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Roll Out

Expect the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update to roll out slowly over the course of a week or so. The Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 Android 5.0 Lollipop updates are all moving extremely slow and we expect the same to apply to the Nexus 4 Lollipop push. This is classic Google and you Nexus 4 users should have been prepared for this scenario.


We recommend checking for the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update a couple of times a day. That’s it. Anything more than that is going to be overkill. Go into the Nexus 4’s settings, manually check for the upgrade, and if it’s there, the device will display a prompt. If nothing has shown up after a week or so, then you might have a problem on your hands. Be patient.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Problems

As we’ve pointed out, there are some reasons to think about avoiding the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update when it first arrives. One of those reasons is to avoid Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. We’ve already heard about a number of smaller issues plaguing Nexus devices and we expect the number of issues to grow in the days ahead as more and more Nexus users get upgraded to the latest software.

We also expect the Nexus 4 to get the short end of the stick in terms of performance. Nexus 4 users complained, loudly we might add, about last year’s Android 4.4 KitKat update. Older devices tend to suffer after new updates arrive and we have a feeling that the Nexus 4’s Android 5.0 Lollipop update won’t be any different.

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So, tread very lightly and make sure you’re prepared for the update’s arrival. There’s a good chance that the Android 5.0 Lollipop will bring some minor bugs to Google’s aging former flagship.

More Problems If You Sideload

Expect more problems if you try to sideload the Nexus 4 Lollipop update ahead of the OTA. Many of the Nexus Android 5.0 issues that we’ve seen come from those who grew impatient with the OTA process and decided to attempt to sideload the software. As we’ve noted many times, sideloading isn’t for everyone and it can cause lots of problems. We’ve spoken to people that needed to factory reset just to get their device working again after a failed manual installation.

If you go this route and you have no idea what you’re doing, expect to run into difficulties. That’s why being prepared and making backups are extremely important. And that’s why most of you are going to want to wait for the OTA to arrive. We don’t expect Nexus 4 users to encounter any problems downloading and install the OTA. Google’s staggered release typically ensures a smooth delivery.

Next Android 5.0 Update Weeks Away

If you blindly install Android 5.0 Lollipop and you do encounter Android 5.0 issues, you can expect an Android 5.1 or Android 5.0.1 update to be weeks away. Google typically pushes a bug fix update out a few weeks after the initial release and with a major bug on board the Nexus 7 2013 update and other Nexus users making a stink, we could see a bug fixer push out before the end of the year.

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Google has a long history of rolling out incremental bug fixers a few weeks after an update’s arrival and we expect Google to follow this pattern and offer some initial fixes for some of the biggest Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. We do not expect this update to happen overnight but we wouldn’t be surprised if a new Android 5.0 update landed sometime before the end of 2014. Until then, you’ll need to expect the need to rely on forums like Google’s Nexus Product Forums.