Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop Impressions & Performance

The Nexus 7 Android 5.0 and Android 5.0.1 release delivers a completely new look to the Nexus 7 and several exciting features. Google Announced Android Lollipop in November after a long beta and the Android 5.0 release started for the Nexus 7 soon after. Despite a long roll out, it took until yesterday and an Android 5.0.1 release for the Nexus 7 Lollipop update to arrive on our review device.

In a move similar to what Apple did in 2013, Android 5.0 is a major change in looks for the Nexus 7 and for other Android devices. We’re already seeing many apps with the new “Material Design” that match the overall look of Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Android 5.0.1 Nexus 7 update arrived on Monday for our review device, and we installed it to find out how the Nexus 7 2013 handles Android 5.0 and Android 5.0.1.

On top of the new look, Google does deliver a lot of new Android 5.0 features like a new lock screen, changes to notifications, quick settings, a new keyboard and more.

The Android 5.0.1 update fixes a specific bug that could cause a Nexus device to unintentionally factory reset and it may fix other Android 5.0 problems.

See how the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update performs on the Nexus 7 2013.

See how the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update performs on the Nexus 7 2013.

We’ll share a more in-depth Nexus 7 Android 5.0 review after using Lollipop for a longer period on the Nexus 7 2013, and when we finally receive the update on the Nexus 7 2012. For now, you can read our early review of Android 5.0 on the Nexus 7.

Android 5.0 Installation

My Nexus 7 2013 model never received the Android 5.0 update, but this week the Android 5.0.1 update arrived and downloaded after I rebooted my Nexus 7. The file downloaded quickly and I was able to install it fairly quickly. The Android is updating your apps part of the Android 5.0 installation took a while, with 151 apps to update, but it updated correctly.

I did not need to sign in to accounts or apps again, which has happened to me with earlier Android updates that failed the final part of the update.

Android 5.0.1 Lollipop on Nexus 7 Performance

After installing a major update like this on aging hardware there is a chance for major problems, but so far everything seems to be working well. There are five key areas that Gotta Be Mobile tests after installing a new update like this; apps, WiFi & bluetooth, battery life, speed and bugs and issues. Sometimes we do not run into problems during a small update like this, but after using the Nexus 7 for a longer period a bug or issue may appear. Keep that in mind as you read our early Android 5.0.1 review on the Nexus 7.

Apps

This is our early Nexus 7 Android Lollipop review.

This is our early Nexus 7 Android Lollipop review.

I use many apps on the Nexus 7 and overall they seem to be working just as before the update. There is one oddity, where some apps show an Android icon instead of the app icon. This happened with Nest and Audible, but not all of my apps. The apps open and continue to work, but I had to replace my home screen shortcuts to get the icons back.

Google Play movies does not work correctly, showing an unhelpful error when trying to stream video over WiFi.

I was able to stream movies on Netflix without any problem, surf the web, use all of my Google apps and a variety of others without any major problems after the Android 5.0.1 update. If you run into problems, make sure you update your apps right after updating your tablet.

Nexus 7 Android Lollipop Battery Life

Overall the Nexus 7 Android Lollipop battery life is good. In a day of use there is no fast draining, which we would expect if there was a battery life bug or problem. The Nexus 7 standby battery life is also very good, with only a minor drop overnight. The NExus tablets traditionally do not offer the best standby battery life for my use.

WiFi & Bluetooth

Connectivity is a major area of concern after any update, especially a large one like this. After installing Android 5.0.1 Lollipop on the Nexus 7 2013 I can connect to multiple WiFi networks and surf the web without any problem. Bluetooth is also working just as it was before the update, though it is broken for some Android 5.0 users. I connected a pair of Bluetooth headphones and watch part of a movie.

Bugs & Issues

There is a streaming error when I use Google Play movies.

There is a streaming error when I use Google Play movies.

The most troubling bug is that Google Play movies will note stream over WiFi. This is a major problem for users who rely on this tablet for entertainment. Restarting fixed this, at least temporarily.

Although I am not experiencing any major Android 5.0 bugs or issues, it is possible that other problems will surface as I use the tablet more in the next several weeks.

Speed

There is no slow down after installing Android 5.0.1 on the Nexus 7 2013, even though it is an older device. Everything still runs smoothly including the starting and switching apps. So far the Android 5.0.1 speed on the Nexus 7 2013 is great.

Should You Install Android 5.0.1?

If you are on Android 5.0, this is a good update, otherwise you may want to wait.

If you are on Android 5.0, this is a good update, otherwise you may want to wait.

If you are already on Android 5.0 on the Nexus 7, this is an update you should install. It delivers an important bug fix that will keep you from accidentally erasing your Nexus 7 and there are not a long list of new bugs with Android 5.0.1.

For users still on Android 4.4.4, this is still a question. I would wait to see if the Google Play error comes back, if you use that service and for any news on fixes for common Nexus Android 5.0 problems.

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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