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

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.

19 Comments

  1. Rob Forrester

    12/10/2014 at 2:41 am

    My advice for anyone who likes their Nexus device in a working state is don’t update! Its called Lollipop for a reason, it sucks! My Nexus 5 as well as several colleagues have found their devices unusable. Slow WiFi, impossibly slow mobile data, calls that won’t answer ,1/2 my apps just don’t work, battery is appalling, mobile signal disappears or shows signal, but prompts with no mobile network when calling out. Don’t do it. How this can have got this far us unbelievable on Google’s own products! I’ve ordered a new phone, so I can downgrade this and still work.

    Reply

  2. Chris Aguilar

    12/10/2014 at 9:49 am

    I agree with the author’s assessmetn of 5.01 on a stock Nexus 7 (2013) with one caveat. After updating to 5.0.1, I made sure to do a hard reset on the device and allow all my apps to re-download/install from scratch. So far, absolutely no issues at all and battery life seems improved.

    Unlike the author, Google Play Movies is working flawlessly for me over wifi. Just now tested several films and all streamed without issue.

    Reply

    • Rob Forrester

      12/10/2014 at 10:35 am

      So not really an upgrade then! Its OK if you can start again from scratch…wow, what progress Google have made. Although I appreciate the information, as at least we know devices that have shipped with it should be OK. However, my Nexus 5 has the same issues even if you clear the app data and cache, uninstall, reboot and reinstall. A factory reset is just not realistic for me (and many others), until I get my new phone which will be staying on KitKat for the foreseeable.

      Reply

      • Chris Aguilar

        12/10/2014 at 7:34 pm

        Of course it’s an upgrade. I started with android 4.4 and ended up with Android 5.0. which is working out fantastically for me.

        Reply

        • Rob Forrester

          12/11/2014 at 12:06 am

          And reset your device as part of it! Many people rely on their devices and cannot spare a day or two getting everything back as it should be. It’s only an upgrade in the way of trading in you Ford Focus for an M5. In which case the upgrade has worked for me too. My Nexus 5 was “upgraded” to Lollipop, and now I’m getting a Z3 Compact running KitKat. :)
          For me, and many, an upgrade should keep your device working as it did before, but maybe with a new look/feel and extra features. It shouldn’t be hope and pray, wipe and play, to get Lollipop to not suck big time!

          Reply

          • Chris Aguilar

            12/13/2014 at 7:47 pm

            A day or two? After the reset, I just let the system autoinstall all my apps (over a hundred) while I slept. I spent about 30 minutes above and beyond that (mostly logging into a few apps/site with my passwords) and all was well.

            A very small price to pay for an excellent upgrade.

            And even so, no one is forcing the update on you. You’re welcome to stay with 4.4 Kitkat.

          • Rob Forrester

            12/14/2014 at 2:38 am

            I use my phone so, lots of data to copy off, and back on. I also use several Android devices and so don’t want all apps downloading back on. Then there are Home Screen tweaks, and organisation. Plus Some conversations and call history. It all takes time, which when the incline upgrade fails you can understand my loathing to perform all the above to see if that worked!

            You’re right though, stay on 4.4.4. Had I known, I would. I’ve now upgraded my phone to a new one with 4.4.4 on. Flashed my old Nexus 5 phone back to 4.4.4 and selling it. If Google cannot test their own upgrades on their own devices, I’ll rely on another brand to test updates they release. In 10 years with smartphones this is the worst upgrade I’ve come across. Google should be embarrassed!

  3. shelley stevenson

    12/10/2014 at 1:49 pm

    So annoyed right now.. got the 5.0 update a few days ago and had no problems whatsoever.. then around an hour ago got the 5.01 update and my nexus 7 2013 (wifi) is now a useless brick… cant connect to any wifi netwoks at all which makes it unusable,.. since its wifi only… what now?

    Reply

    • Cory Gunther

      12/10/2014 at 2:25 pm

      Try a factory reset.. which wipes data, but should fix problems.

      Reply

  4. Dignan

    12/10/2014 at 1:52 pm

    The update was terrible at first, but since installing the update all of the problems I had with the first Lollipop seem to be gone. I don’t have playback issues and all my apps are working smoothly.

    I personally didn’t see a need to get lollipop in the 1st place, as my Nexus 7 was virtually perfect, but oh well. My 2013 device works fine again, so I’m not complaining.

    Reply

  5. Red Woods

    12/10/2014 at 2:30 pm

    I am 75 years old and really enjoy all the newest features with 5.0.1 on my N7 wireless only 2014 model. The upgrade was simple, installation and installing compatibility with 225 apps was flawless. NO problems noted at all. As usual, Google did it right of old folks. Too bad the youngsters had troubles. :-)

    Reply

  6. D Guise

    12/10/2014 at 4:34 pm

    This youngster is having massive problems with 5 – why do you think they released 5.0.1 so quickly? Perhaps in 3 yrs when I reach your age it will fix itself . Can’t understand why the keyboard doesn’t appear when you swipe to unlock – the extra tap to bring up the keyboard is unnecessary.

    Reply

  7. gm3

    12/10/2014 at 7:35 pm

    ios 8, now that was a fiasco … already at 8.1.2

    Reply

  8. Tsukasa

    12/10/2014 at 10:22 pm

    No update for 2012 edition so far, and that is desperately for so many people. Original 5.0 totally broke those devices, made them almost unusable.

    Reply

  9. SC Mishra

    12/11/2014 at 7:49 am

    Received ota update 5.0.1 today in India on nexus 7

    Reply

  10. leslie payne

    12/11/2014 at 11:33 am

    Lollipop 5.0 worked OK on my nexus 7 2013 but some apps that I used on kit kat wouldn’t install ,did the update yesterday to 5.0.1 and now the apps seem to install and work OK but the home screens are not smooth ,they are jittery ,but if that’s the only thing that’s not working properly I can live with that .

    Reply

  11. lolipop sucks

    12/11/2014 at 8:55 pm

    I have restored my nexus 7 2012 to 4.4 instead of 5.0, it was so slow, almost unusable ! I tried to wipe the cache, deactivate animations, reset, etc… Almost no effect. Now it’s OK but i have to download all the apps again. No more update for me Google, i stay un 4.4 !

    Reply

  12. Mark

    12/15/2014 at 9:31 pm

    My Nexus 7 2013 suffered slowness with some games (eg. Spiderman Unlimited) after upgrading to 5.0. Same problem even after factory reset and reinstalling apps. Rolled back to 4.4.4 and buttery smooth again.

    Reply

  13. Douglas scott

    12/16/2014 at 10:19 pm

    Not the same results for me. Lost open office app altogether. One app lost all stored mp3s, another lost a library of magazines. It runs significantly slower, many apps ( launcher, process program, apps) fail . fb and G-/ email stop randomly…
    My nexus is so squirrely I hesitate to use it any more. I came here to see if there is a fix.

    Reply

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