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Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Update: 5 Things to Know Now



It’s been more than a month since its release and Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update is still on the minds of many Nexus 7 users. With Android 5.1 problems plaguing Nexus 7 users and with a Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update seemingly on the way, we want to take a look at what Nexus 7 users need to know as we push into the month of May.

Last month, Google announced an all new Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Nexus devices. The update, Android 5.1 Lollipop, was (and still is) a major incremental update for Nexus smartphones and tablets. Instead of a short list of bug fixes, Android 5.1 Lollipop delivered tons of bug fixes and feature enhancements to owners of the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10.

Throughout the month of April, we’ve seen Google push its Android 5.1 Lollipop update to Nexus devices including the Nexus 7 2012 and the recently discontinued Nexus 7 2013.


The Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop started rolling out in early March though it just recently rolled out to all Nexus 7 users. The update should be available on all Nexus 7 variants right now. Now, just because the roll out is complete doesn’t mean that the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update story is over. Not even close. We’re still seeing details, problems, and more emerge from Nexus 7 users and from Google itself.

With the month of May approaching and another Android 5.1 release looming for owners of Nexus smartphones and tablets, we want to take a look at some important things we think Nexus 7 users need to know as we push deeper into the year.

Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Reviews: One Month Later

We’ve been using the Nexus 7 2012 Android 5.1 update for about a month. We’ve been using the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1 update for a few weeks. And while we’re seeing a number of problems with the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 update, we haven’t seen the same problems on either the Nexus 7 2012 or the Nexus 7 2013.

The Nexus 7 2013 is still fast with Android 5.1 on board and we’ve seen a noticeable pickup on the Nexus 7 2012. There’s still occasional lag but Android 5.1 is holding up well on a device that’s going on three years old.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both working fine. We haven’t noticed any abnormal battery drain. And while we’ve seen a few app crashes here and there, it hasn’t been on the same level as the Nexus 5.



At this point though, if you haven’t moved to Android 5.1, we recommend staying put. We aren’t seeing any major issues with Android 5.1 but there are plenty of people complaining about problems. There’s just too much risk involved. If the Nexus 7 is your one and only tablet, you don’t want to expose yourself to Android 5.1’s problems. The feature enhancements are nice but performance is far more important.

Wait for Google to push out another update before making your move. We should see Google roll out new software soon.

Nexus 7 Bricked After Update

We continue to get feedback from Nexus 7 2012 users and Nexus 7 2013 users. And while we have heard positive feedback from some people, we’ve also heard a lot of complaints about the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update on both devices.

One problem in particular that we want to point out is a Nexus 7 bricking problem that surfaced after the arrival of Android 5.1. We first heard about this issue weeks ago and Nexus 7 users continue to complain. The problem isn’t affecting every single Nexus 7 user but it is impacting more than just a couple of people. This is a much bigger problem than abnormal battery drain or problems with Facebook.

Unfortunately, Google hasn’t confirmed a fix for the problems and it’s not clear if Android 5.1.1, Google’s next Nexus update, will bring these lemons back to life.

Other Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Problems Mount

The bricking problem isn’t the only Android 5.1 problem that Nexus 7 users are complaining about. As we push away from the roll outs, complaints about the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update continue to grow in size on various Android forums including Google’s own Nexus Help forums.

Nexus 7 users are complaining about screen orientation problems, lag, various problems with connections, random reboots, touch screen problems, severe battery drain, and more. Those are just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately.


If you haven’t updated to Android 5.1 yet, keep these problems in mind. If you’ve already made the move to Android 5.1 and you are experiencing Android 5.1 problems on your Nexus 7 2012 or Nexus 7 2013, take a look at our list of fixes for common Android 5.1 problems. They should help.

Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Update All but Confirmed

Fortunately, it looks like bug fixes from Google are on the way. Google is rolling out an Android 5.1.1 update to the Nexus Player and the company is expected to expand that Android 5.1.1 release to several other devices including the Nexus 7.

As of right now, there’s no word on when that expansion will take place and it’s clear that the company is taking its time. One Google employee had this to say about the Android 5.1.1 update and its roll out process:

I totally understand the frustration of N9 owners who are hitting issues but because of that its even more important the 5.1.1 update for Nexus 9 actually fixes these problems. So I think it’s the right step to prepare an update that actually improves quality and fixes the issues that have been reported instead of rushing out something that doesn’t help the majority of customers. And I don’t think it’s in the interest of anyone if we’d artificially hold updates to other Nexus devices that are ready to go in the meantime.

Android 5.1.1 is a bug fix update, not a feature update, so it’s important for Google to get it right. It’s impossible to say how long the testing process behind the scenes will take but we’d be shocked if Android 5.1.1 wasn’t available for at least one Nexus 7 model before the end of May.

The Android 5.1.1 change log outlines its bug fixes and it appears that at the very least, it’s going to tackle the random reboot and app crashes that have been plaguing Nexus 7 users.

Start Preparing for Android 5.1.1 Now

Google’s Android 5.1 update came with a ton of fixes and some nice feature tweaks. However, it also brought tons of problems to Nexus 7 users. Point is, even the best and brightest updates can cause issues. There’s a very good chance that Android 5.1.1 will bring its own collection of problems. And that’s why we always tell people to start their preparation ahead of the release.


We’ve put together a game plan for Nexus 7 users that includes steps to take ahead of the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release. It also includes some release day tips that we think Nexus 7 users will find helpful as the company works to get its Android 5.1.1 update out.

The more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be. There’s no way to guarantee a smooth, bug-free Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update but if you’re smart about it, you should be able to lower the risk.



  1. Steve

    04/30/2015 at 6:20 am

    My Nexus 7 goes to sleep prematurely and has trouble starting. I did not have these issues before I installed lollipop 5.1. I have tried to sell several times and it gets returned because of the issues mentioned.

  2. ciph3ro

    04/30/2015 at 6:47 am

    That sucks. I have been using my 7 2013 since 5.1 came out and it’s amazing.

    It’s like a whole new tablet and 5. has so much polish and the animations feel so nice and smooth. Even battery life and especially standby times got better. Going to 5.1 is definitely worth it.. the OS has advanced to the point where it feels almost futuristic.

    Same thing on my Nexus 5.. it’s amazing. Haven’t had crashes except very rarely.. rarely enough that I don’t remember them. lol

    The only problem I have is on 5.0.2 with Cyanogen on my OnePlus One.. all sorts of settings got messed up but they were messed up before upgrading from Kit Kat.

  3. v1nce

    05/03/2015 at 4:54 am

    While you do mention the widespread bricking of Nexus 7’s due to Lollipop there is no mention of Google and ASUS’ silence on the issue which is the other most alarming thing to happen besides widespread bricking of N7’s and some N5’s. Why not jump on this, it’s IMPORTANT.

  4. hiroober

    05/12/2015 at 8:16 am

    It just bricked my Nexus 7 2013, and the worse thing is I can’t get it flash back to any version. It just get stuck on the google boot screen. Gosh I soooooooo regret to have tapped the “system update is ready” message this morning….

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