Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 Release Details Arrive

While the Android 5.1 update probably won’t be hitting the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4 anytime soon, it does appear that the rumored Galaxy Android 5.1 Lollipop update will be hitting at least one device in the near future.

Last year, Samsung started rolling out its version Android 5.0 Lollipop to its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. While the company’s initial roll out started with Android 5.0 and the Galaxy S5, we’ve seen Samsung roll out Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop to a number of devices including the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note Edge. Google released the Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop updates to fix initial Lollipop problems.

In March, Google started rolling out a brand new Android 5.1 update that replaced Android 5.0.2 and Android 5.0.1. Android 5.1 is a massive bug fix update that also introduces some small but important features. Samsung hasn’t rolled out Android 5.1 but rumors suggest that the company has an Android 5.1 Lollipop update in the works. While updates for mainstream devices are probably weeks, if not months, away, it does look like one Samsung device will get the Android 5.1 update in the near future.

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According to SamMobile, Google and Samsung are prepping a Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 5.1 update for the Google Play Edition version of the device. It’s not clear if the regular version of the Galaxy S4 will get the update.

The publication claims that the Galaxy S4 Android 5.1 builds for the Google Play Edition model are ready to go which means that Google could start rolling the update out at any time. A specific release date for Samsung’s first Android 5.1 Lollipop update isn’t known.

Google’s other Google Play Edition devices have already received the Android 5.1 Lollipop update and the Galaxy S4 is among the last in line. It’s not clear if this will be the last update for a device that was among the first to Google’s new Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. It’s also not clear when Samsung plans to push Android 5.1 Lollipop to its other devices.

The Galaxy S6 Edge software is easy to use and nicer than previous models.

The Galaxy S6 Edge software is easy to use and nicer than previous models.

Rumors suggest that Samsung is working on a Galaxy S6 Android 5.1 Lollipop update, a Galaxy S6 Edge Android 5.1 update, and an Android 5.1 update for the Galaxy Grand Prime. These are the only updates that are rumored to be in testing but that doesn’t mean that Samsung will keep its Android 5.1 Lollipop release limited to four devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 release date for the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, and Galaxy Grand Prime remains missing in action and it could be several months or more before the company is able to get its new version of Android out to its current devices.

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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While the Galaxy S4 GPE Android 5.1 update will likely mirror Google’s Android 5.1 update for Nexus devices, we’re still not sure what the company’s other Android 5.1 updates will bring.

Several weeks ago, a user on Reddit outlined potential plans for Samsung’s Galaxy Android 5.1 Lollipop update. The user cited information gleaned from a Samsung representative in Europe and claimed that Samsung could use Android 5.1 Lollipop to deliver new TouchWiz features to older devices.

Samsung is well known for bringing new TouchWiz features to older devices and it’s possible that Android 5.1 will be the update that brings new features to older devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5. While these rumors are credible, the company hasn’t confirmed any plans to bring Galaxy S6 features to its older stable of devices.

Despite the presence of Android 5.1, Samsung seems content to push out Android 5.0.1, Android 5.0.2 and Android 5.0 to its aging former flagships. The Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and Galaxy S4 Lollipop updates continue to pick up speed as Samsung delivers older versions of Lollipop to customers around the world.