Today, Google confirmed an Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update for Nexus devices with a release for its Nexus Player. Google’s Nexus Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release is now underway and we want to take a look at a few things we expect from Google and its brand new Lollipop update for its Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system.
Late last year, Google finally rolled out its Android 5.0 Lollipop update to Nexus users. As expected, the update brought tons of changes to its stable of smartphones and tablets including the company’s all-new Material Design. The Android 5.0 Lollipop update also brought lots of problems to owners of Google’s Nexus smartphones and tablets and in the months since the initial release, Google’s been trying to squash those issues.
First came Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and its list of bug fixes. Next, it was Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and its solutions. And then, in March, Google rolled out an Android 5.1 Lollipop update with an extensive list of bug fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. Problem was, Android 5.1 Lollipop didn’t fix everything and it delivered a nasty memory leak issue to Nexus users.
Android 5.1 problems have been a problem for several weeks now though Google now has a possible solution on the way. Earlier today, Google confirmed its Android 5.1.1 release with a Nexus Player Android 5.1.1 factory image. While the roll out is currently limited to one device, the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop roll out has finally begun.
Unlike Android 5.1, Google hasn’t made a big deal about the Android 5.1.1 update and the update’s changelog is still missing in action. With interest from Nexus users (and not just owners of the Nexus Player) starting to skyrocket, we want to help set expectations for Google’s Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release. Here are 10 things that we expect from Google’s Nexus Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release going forward.
The Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update isn’t expected to be as big as the Android 5.1 Lollipop update that came before it. While we don’t have a full change log just yet, Nexus Player users and owners of Google’s other Nexus devices shouldn’t expect Android 5.1.1 to be more than a small bug fixer aimed at tackling the memory leak issue that’s plagued Nexus owners for weeks on end.
Don’t expect the update to be loaded up with feature tweaks and you shouldn’t expect it to come with hundreds of bug fixes for Lollipop problems either. This isn’t Android 5.2 Lollipop.
More Nexus Android 5.1.1 Updates
While the Nexus Android 5.1.1 release is starting with Google’s Nexus Player, the update is all but confirmed for two other Nexus devices, the Nexus 9 and the Nexus 7 2013. The Nexus 7 2013 just got an upgrade to Android 5.1 while the Nexus 9 and Nexus 9 LTE are both struggling on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, an aging version of Android 5.0.
At this point, these are the only three Android 5.1.1 Lollipop updates that have popped up though we would expect to see Google roll out Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to more Nexus smartphones and tablets including the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6. Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 users have been complaining about random reboots and app crashes for weeks and if Android 5.1.1 really does squash the memory leak problem, you’d expect Google to deliver the firmware to those devices as well.
If you own a Nexus 9 or a Nexus 7 or another Nexus smartphone or tablet, you should expect your update to closely mirror the update for Google’s Nexus Player. There’s a chance that Google will tack on some device specific fixes or enhancements but we expect the updates to be extremely similar, just like the company’s Android 5.1 update, Android 5.0.2 update and Android 5.0.1 update.
Google to Stay Quiet
If you own a Nexus device and you’re looking to get Android 5.1.1 Lollipop on your device, you should expect to have to depend on the Android community for information about your Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release. We don’t expect Google to make a big deal about this release today or at any point in the future. The most you’ll probably get is an announcement of some type on its Nexus Twitter account. Google’s Nexus Help Forums might shed some light on the company’s release plans but there’s no guarantee.
Google usually doesn’t talk about its release plans during the release itself so those who aren’t part of the initial batch of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop updates will likely be left in the dark until Google pushes the updates into AOSP or until the OTA process begins. Just don’t expect Google to be in daily communication about Android 5.1.1, that’s not how this works.
Slow Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Roll Out
We can’t tell you exactly when you’ll see your Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update roll out but what we can say is that the process is probably going to be extremely slow.
Typically, Google’s updates take about a week, sometimes two, to complete. The previous Android 5.0 Lollipop roll outs (Android 5.0, Android 5.0.1, Android 5.0.2, and Android 5.1) all took their sweet time and we expect Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to do the same.
A Way to Get It Early
You can expect a way to download and install these updates early. That’s the beauty of the Nexus program. Once the files are discovered on Google’s servers or released onto AOSP like the Nexus Player’s Android 5.1.1 update, they’re fair game for those that know how to sideload software.
The Nexus Player’s Android 5.1.1 factory images are already available which means that those with the knowhow can download the software and its changes right now. Expect all of the company’s Android 5.1.1 Lollipop updates to be made available ahead of the OTA process. That’s why right now is a great time to take a look at the sideloading process.
We expect most of the initial Android 5.1.1 problems to come from people who have no business sideloading. After every single release, Google’s Nexus Help Forums are filled with complaints from people who sideloaded the software. These users, many of whom should have waited for the OTA, usually see a number of different issues including installation errors.
Here’s the deal. If you are an impatient novice user and you go into the sideloading process with no experience, there is a very good chance that you’ll run into problems. If you haven’t researched the process ahead of time, avoid the sideloading process. We always see people run into problems and we don’t expect anything less from the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release.
Android 5.1.1 Problems
We haven’t seen any complaints just yet but that’s because the Android 5.1.1 update is available for one niche device. We expect to hear about Android 5.1.1 problems once the update starts moving.
Every single Android update that we’ve covered has brought its own set of issues to Nexus users. We don’t expect Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to be any different. We expect it to bring fixes but we also expect it to bring its own collection of bugs and problems to the table. We also wouldn’t be surprised if it leaves some older Android Lollipop bugs lingering around.
We’re expecting the usual complaints about Bluetooth, abnormal battery life and Wi-Fi but don’t be surprised if there are some other issues that pop up in the days, weeks and maybe even months after the initial Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release for Nexus devices. Smaller isolated issues always seem to pop up after Nexus Android updates.
Fixes for Android 5.1.1 Problems
We also expect there to be fixes for many of these problems. Over the years, we’ve collected a number of well known fixes for common Nexus Android problems and many of those remedies continue to work for Nexus users. Just in case, you’re going to want to bookmark that list of fixes or at the very least, commit some of them to memory so that you’re prepared for Android 5.1.1.
If you run into a smaller, less common bug, you’re going to need to rely on the Android community at large. Google’s Nexus Help Forum is a great place for you Nexus users to start and we recommend getting acquainted with them before your Android 5.1.1 release.
Last Update for Awhile
Finally, we’d expect Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to be the last Android update for a little while, unless it breaks something major on board Google’s devices.
Android 5.1 Lollipop was a massive bug fix update that took months. Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is a small but necessary update that is probably aimed at memory fixes. Unless there’s an issue that needs an imminent fix, we wouldn’t be surprised if Google took a break from bug fix releases to focus on another bigger update.
Google isn’t known for rolling out masssive bug fix after massive bug fix so there’s a very good chance that the next big update for some Nexus tablets and smartphones will be Google’s next big update to Android, an update that should come later this year accompanied by new hardware.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Google rolled out another small fixer to clean the software update ahead of its next big release but we’d be surprised if we saw something substantial roll out anytime soon.