After several weeks of silence, Google’s finally confirmed a brand new Android 5.1 Lollipop update in the form of Android 5.1.1 for Nexus devices.
In early March, Google rolled out the red carpet for its Android 5.1 Lollipop update, a major bug fixer that delivered some feature tweaks in addition to solutions for lingering Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. Since then, the Android 5.1 update’s rolled out to most of Google’s Nexus smartphones and tablets including the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and Nexus 7.
In the weeks since the Android 5.1 release, Nexus users have complained about a series of Android 5.1 Lollipop problems including a memory leak issue that’s the source of random reboots and app crashes on board various Nexus devices. With Android 5.1 problems swirling, Nexus users have been demanding a new Android 5.1 update from Google and today, Google granted users their wish.
On April 1st, an Android 5.1.1 update was spotted lurking in the company’s new Android SDK. A few days ago, the Android 5.1.1 update appeared in the company’s own Developer Portal. Today, Google finally confirmed the elephant in the room, Android 5.1.1 for Nexus devices.
Instead of an announcement on social media or its website, Google announced the update’s arrival with a release into the company’s Android Open Source Project. Here’s what we know so far about Google’s new Android 5.1.1 update for Nexus users.
Nexus Player Android 5.1.1 Update Now Available
Google’s first Android 5.1.1 release is for its Nexus Player and not a mainstream device like the Nexus 7, Nexus 9 or Nexus 5. The Nexus Player Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update is now available for the Nexus Player through the Android Open Source Project, also known as AOSP, where Nexus Player users can use the factory images to sideload the software ahead of Google’s OTA (Over-the-Air) process.
Android 5.1.1 OTA Hasn’t Started, Yet
While the Nexus Player Android 5.1.1 update is currently available to sideload, Google’s first Android 5.1.1 update still isn’t rolling out OTA and it’s not clear when the company will start pushing it to Nexus Player users.
Historically, Google begins the OTA process a few hours or at most a few days after the arrival in AOSP. The company rarely announces the start of these roll outs so Nexus Player users will want to keep an eye out for the OTA files from Google’s servers. Once those are found, the OTA roll out will be confirmed.
Google’s Android roll outs typically take one to two weeks to complete and the roll outs are completely random and thus, unpredictable. Once an update is arrives OTA, it will show up as a prompt in the device’s notifications. Those who want to install the update as soon as possible are encouraged to check in the About section of the device’s settings a couple of times a day.
Nexus 9 & Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Updates All but Confirmed
Google hasn’t come out and confirmed the rest of its Android 5.1.1 updates but it’s clear that the company plans to release at least a few more Android 5.1.1 upgrades for Nexus devices.
Earlier this month, Google made reference to a Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update for the Nexus 7 2013 and a Nexus 9 Android 5.1.1 update. While the Nexus 7 2013 is currently on Android 5.1, the Nexus 9 and Nexus 9 LTE are both on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, an aging version of Google’s operating system.
It’s not clear when those updates will roll out and it’s possible that Nexus 9 and Nexus 7 users will find out the same way Nexus Player users did: A quick release into the AOSP followed by an OTA.
Thanks to the Android 5.1.1 changelog, we now know that it will probably come to the Nexus 5.
Android 5.1.1 Features
Unlike Android 5.1, Android 5.1.1 doesn’t come with any new features for Nexus smartphones and tablets. Instead, the update comes with a series of bug fixes for Google’s devices. Google typically doesn’t release an easy-to-follow changelog so Android Police took it upon themselves to compile the list of fixes coming with Android 5.1.1.
There are a number of bug fixes, some bigger than others, including a fix for Nexus 5 camera issues that plagued owners of the former flagship after Google’s Android 5.1 update.
It’s Time to Prepare
While the Android 5.1.1 update isn’t a big release, Nexus users should still prepare for the update’s arrival. We’ve put together a series of steps that Nexus Player and Nexus smartphone and tablet users should take ahead of the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release. Google’s release is expected to be unpredictable and random so users will want to take the time to prepare themselves and their device for the update’s arrival.
Google’s Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update is expected to hit most if not all of Google’s Nexus tablets (some of the fixes are a dead giveaway) though it could be several weeks before the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop roll out is completed.