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Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 Update: What You Need to Know



After a few weeks of waiting, yesterday Google finally started pushing the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update to users. The Android 5.0.1 update comes just a few weeks after Google’s initial Lollipop release, aimed at fixing a few small problems with the initial software rollout last month. With the Nexus 6 update incoming, here we’ll go over a few things owners will need to know about the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update.

Back in June Google debuted Android L, which is now known as Android 5.0 Lollipop that the company fully revealed in October and launched in November on the new Nexus 9, Nexus 6, and Nexus Player. Over the past few weeks it’s arrived for many additional smartphones and tablets, but now a bug fixing Android 5.0.1 update is headed to users.

Read: Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 KitKat: What’s New in Lollipop

The Android 5.0 Lollipop update delivered a number of new features detailed above, as well as tweaks and enhancements to the overall look and feel, along with tons of animations and neat visual effects for Nexus and Android users. Shortly after the release problems started to emerge for many Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 owners, and now Android 5.0.1 is rolling out to curb most of them. The Nexus 6 update started yesterday, and here’s what you should know.


Last week news surfaced that a few Nexus devices and Google Play Edition smartphones were already receiving Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, full of all the fixes, and those with the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and new Nexus 6 were left out. However, yesterday two sourced confirmed it’s officially here. One of those being T-Mobile.

Android 5.0.1 was initially released for the Nexus 7 2013, Nexus 9, and the Nexus 10. Then shortly after it hit multiple other handsets like the HTC One and One M8, as well as the Nexus 5.

Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 Update

T-Mobile and Sprint both announced the Nexus 6 on their networks would start receiving Android 5.0.1 Lollipop as of yesterday, December 15th, and over the next few days this staggered rollout will eventually arrive for all owners. This means that all those with a Nexus 6 on each of those carriers can expect it soon, as Google’s officially started the update push.

That being said, we’ve yet to hear from Google themselves, or Motorola for that matter, and the update could be for those carriers and not the AT&T Nexus 6, or those bought from the Play Store. However, most likely all Nexus 6 owners can expect the update to arrive sometime this week. The leaked Sprint Nexus 6 document said 5-10% by the 15th, and 50% by today, then all remaining Nexus 6 owners should see Android 5.0.1 Lollipop before the 18th.


Meaning the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update should be complete before the end of the week. This staggered approach wasn’t confirmed by T-Mobile, but most that are waiting should expect a similar result.

Slow Arrival

Just as a reminder, this is a slow and staggered update. What this means is that Google and its partner carriers aren’t pushing the update out to all user at once. If they did the process would take longer for downloads to complete, and if any problems arise they won’t be able to stop it before millions of owners get the update.

As a result, Google does staged or staggered rollouts in small percentages, then bigger quantities, and finishes off the remaining 50-100% of users after 2-4 days of rollouts. This prevents further problems, keeps the update process running smooth, and ensures the best experience.

We know waiting can sometimes be a hassle, especially if your device has a few bugs you’d like addressed, but the update should be here soon enough. This is an over the air update (OTA) and owners can expect a notification to appear sometime over the course of the week. Simply accept, download, and let it reboot and complete the update, and you’re all set.

Android 5.0 Problems

The release of Android 5.0 Lollipop was the initial software debut, and as expected a few small bugs needed to be addressed. Once millions of users got it, more reports surfaced that got Google working on a fix. And while there will likely be a few small issues with Android 5.0.1 Lollipop too, it should fix a majority of the problems Nexus users have been facing.


Nexus 7 devices have struggled with video playback and reboot issues, the Nexus 5 had some batter issues, and the Nexus 6 Android 5.0 release saw complaints about freezing, battery drain, app restarts and reboots, as well as a few other minor problems that should hopefully all be addressed in this software improvement and stability update.

Again, owners can head into settings > about phone > software updates > and tap check for updates to pull down the over-the-air software update, then just follow the on-screen prompts to complete the download and installation.

Get Android 5.0.1 Early

If waiting for the slow staggered update or tapping the “check for updates” isn’t something you’re interested in, don’t worry, because you can get it early. Right now in fact. As usual, Google’s released what the company calls factory images for the updates. These will wipe the phones data and information, and put it back to a completely stock “out of box” state. Meaning you’ll lose all the content on your device. A quick backup can solve this when you restore everything from Google’s servers, but this route isn’t the best option for beginners.

Owners have two choices: flash the factory image and wipe their smartphone, or flash the OTA update file that’s been pulled from Google servers. These both take some technical know-how, and are for advanced users.

Read: How to Install Android 5.0 Lollipop Right Now

The guide above is a general guide for flashing Android 5.0 to the Nexus 5, but the same steps can be followed word for word when flashing the Nexus 6 factory image of Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. Just use the appropriate images from Google’s page, and you’re all set.

On the other hand, flashing the OTA update file won’t erase any user data, but requires ADB setup to sideload the file, or a custom recovery in Android to apply the Again, this is for advanced users.

With the Android 5.0.1 update for the Nexus 6 expected to be on all devices by the end of the week, it’s advised that most owners just wait for the update to hit their device, rather than taking the steps above.

Final Thoughts

The Nexus 6 is available on Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, the Google Play Store,, and Best Buy in the United States. Verizon is the only carrier yet to offer the phone, but should announce availability eventually. We’re not sure if carriers are controlling the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update, but in the past Nexus devices are all handled directly by Google.


All said and done, the update should be here sooner rather than later. If the news from Sprint was accurate, all Nexus 6 owners should see it arrive before the end of the week. That being said, there could be a few Android 5.0.1 problems that arrive too, so take precaution and update over WiFi, with at least 75% battery remaining on your device.

Flashing the factory image will yield the best results, as it’s a clean install, but the over the air update being delivered all week long should be perfect for the majority of users. Have patience, as it’ll be here soon enough.

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