Nexus 4 Lollipop Update: 5 Things You Need to Know

Earlier this month, Google started rolling out its initial batch of Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop updates including the Nexus 4 Lollipop update for its aging former flagship the device’s third major Android update. With Google’s Nexus 4 Lollipop release picking up steam, we want to take a look at some of the important things you need to know about the release and the update itself.

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” though it did not offer any specifics.

Earlier this month, Google’s Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date finally arrived for select Nexus users including owners of the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, 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 delivers a number of new features including the update’s new Material Design.

Developers are working on a Nexus 4 Android L port.

It’s an exciting time to be a Nexus smartphone or tablet owner and more specifically, a Nexus 4 user. This is the third major update for the Nexus 4 and it comes as a bit of a surprise given how old the device is. Google typically pulls the plug on software updates after 18 months but it, for whatever reason, decided to keep owners of the Nexus 4 in the fold. The company also decided to keep the Nexus 7 2012 around as well.

With the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update in full swing, we want to take a look at the five most important things we think you need to know about the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update and the Nexus 4 Lollipop release from Google.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update Still Rolling Out

The first thing Nexus 4 users need to know is that the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is still rolling out. We, and many other Nexus 4 users, have yet to see the Android 5.0 OTA arrive and it looks like Google is taking its usual approach to the Android 5.0 Lollipop update roll out. For those unfamiliar, Google almost always rolls its updates out over the course of a week or more. The Nexus 4 OTA only started rolling out last weekend so there is probably still a ways to go.

Nexus 4 Android 4.4.3 Review Early - 1

If you haven’t spotted the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update, don’t panic. You’re in the same boat as tons of other people. Now, you should also know that there is no benefit in checking 100 times a day through the Nexus 4’s settings. You only should check a couple of times a day to see if the update is there. Typically, the update will show up without warning in your notifications.

One thing that you should not do is attempt to force the update through Google Framework Services. We repeat, do not use the Google Framework Services “trick” that other sites and other Nexus users will probably recommend if your update hasn’t arrived. It’s not a trick and it can harm your device. In fact, the problem’s gotten so bad that Google itself warns against using this method when trying to update.

It’s Not Worth Sideloading

You should know that the Nexus 4 Lollipop update, at this point, is not worth sideloading. Sideloading, for those not familiar with the term, allows you to manually install the proper files ahead of an OTA. It’s a process that many Nexus users use to bypass the long OTA wait times. At this point though, with close to a week gone in the Nexus 4 OTA, we recommend skipping this method of updating.

Many of the initial Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop problems we heard about were from people that had no business sideloading the software. Impatient, novice users that were taking the plunge for the first time. It’s something that we warned against over and over and there are always some people that don’t listen. If you’re growing impatient, and you’ve never sideloaded before, relax. The OTA process is a much safer way to get the upgrade and it should arrive soon.

Android 5.0 Lollipop Problems

If you haven’t installed the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update yet, you should know that there are some major problems plaguing the software. If you’ve owned a Nexus device for awhile now, you probably know that this is part of the game, but for those that are new, note that Android problems always plague Nexus devices. It’s the trade off. Google gives you access to all of the latest features, you serve as a guinea pig.

As we noted earlier this week, Android Police discovered one major Android 5.0 bug affecting Nexus users. The issuer pertains to the app switcher showing off a random card when a user clears them all. Nexus 7, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 10, and Nexus 9 users have also taken to Google’s Nexus Help Forum to complain about a myriad of issues impacting their devices.


Google Now is apparently crashing and freezing for a number of Nexus users. Users are reporting issues with syncing after downloading the new update. We’re seeing the usual assortment of Wi-Fi issues, problems with sound, issues with Contacts, and more. This is just the tip of the iceberg and Google’s forums are literally flooded with complaints from Nexus 4 users and beyond.

So, instead of sitting idle, you need to poke around those forums or your Android favorite forum before installing this update on your Nexus 4. There is going to be some risk involved and you’ll need to decide if the Android 5.0 update’s features are worth the risk. The Nexus 4 is an old smartphone so there is certainly some risk involved.

You Don’t Need to Install It Yet

With those in mind, you should know that you don’t have to install the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update when the OTA arrives. In fact, as we’ve pointed out, there are some reasons not to install the Nexus 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update right now. Have you done the proper preparation? Have you tracked down potential fixes for potential bugs? Are you ready for the big changes that the Material Design brings? These are questions you need to answer before installing Google’s latest Nexus 4 update.

Nexus 4 Wireless Charger Review - 02

If you do decide to blindly update to the Nexus 4’s latest and perhaps last major Android upgrade, you should know that you can flash back to Android 4.4 KitKat if the Android 5.0 Lollipop update doesn’t play out like you wanted it to. It’s not a difficult process but it’s going to take some time, and some knowledge, so you’ll want to be sure that you want to make this move.

Our advice is to wait a few days for the smoke to clear and then make a decision. You should know that Google typically rolls out bug fixes a few weeks after the initial release so there’s a chance that we could see one roll out in the near future to alleviate some of these initial problems. Just some food for thought.

How to Get Nexus 4 LTE with Lollipop

Finally, you should know that there is still a way to get LTE support on board your Nexus 4. The developers over at the appropriately named XDA-Developers have cobbled together a way to take advantage of the LTE modem that is tucked away inside the Nexus 4. If you had LTE on Android 4.4 KitKat and want it with Lollipop, you’ll want to take a look at these instructions. If you’re curious about getting LTE on your Nexus 4, you’ll also want to take a look.

This is only recommended to veteran Nexus 4 users, not beginners. Remember, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong and if you have no idea what you’re doing, you may ultimately have to perform a factory reset. Please be careful.