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Android 5.1 Problems: 7 Things Nexus Users Should Know Now



Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update continues to roll out bringing a collection of feature tweaks and bug fixes to Nexus users. And as the roll out picks up speed, we continue to hear about Nexus Android 5.1 problems. With that in mind, we take an updated look at Android 5.1 Lollipop problems, fixes for those problems and more.

In early March, on the same day that Apple confirmed its iOS 8.2 release, Google confirmed a major update of its own. Android 5.1 Lollipop is the company’s new Lollipop release. It’s a much larger update than the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop updates that came before it as it brings a laundry list of bug fixes and some feature enhancements to owners of select Nexus devices. It also brings some problems of its own.

Since its arrival, we’ve seen Nexus users provide a ton of feedback about Android 5.1 Lollipop. We’ve also offered some Android 5.1 Lollipop feedback of our own. And while some of what we’ve seen and heard has been positive, Nexus users continue to complain about a number of Android 5.1 Lollipop problems. Some of these issues are affecting Nexus devices in our possession.


With Google’s Android 5.1 release expected to expand in the future and Android 5.1 problems continuing to swirl, we want to take a look at some of the most important things we think Nexus smartphone and tablet owners need to know now about Android 5.1 issues. This mini-roundup will catch you up to speed with the latest Lollipop issues.

Android 5.1 Memory Leak Problem Still a Major Problem

The first thing that you should know is that Android 5.1’s memory leak issue, the issue that was fixed internally at Google several weeks ago, is still a major problem for Nexus users.

Google’s Nexus Help Forums are full of complaints about random reboots and app crashes and we’ve seen similar issues on our version of the Nexus 5 after getting the Android 5.1 update on board. The problems have been so bad that they’ve forced us to tell Nexus 5 users to stay put on Android 5.0.1 or below until Google fixes this problem.


While a majority of the complaints have come from Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 users, it’s a system-wide issue. That means that those of you who are keen on downloading the new Nexus 4 Android 5.1 update will want to be extra careful.

Dig around for feedback before installing the software. We haven’t seen Nexus 4 users offer much yet but that will change once the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 roll out picks up speed.

Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Camera Problems

While we haven’t seen this issue on our versions of the Nexus 5, it looks like more than a few Nexus 5 users are running into problems with the camera app after installing the Android 5.1 update.

Android Police notes that the problem occurs when third-party applications attempt to access the device’s stock camera application. It appears that the issue is affecting the Smart Unlock feature as well. We’ve heard from several Nexus users experiencing issues with Smart Lock and it looks like you’re not alone.

Unfortunately, it’s not clear if Google has fixed this issue internally. In the meantime, it appears that a simple restart has the potential to fix the issue though only temporarily. The issue tends to come back at some point.

Other Nexus Android 5.1 Problems

Of course, these aren’t the only Android 5.1 problems plaguing Nexus users. Google’s Nexus Forums is just one place where Nexus users are complaining and over the past month, we’ve seen its list of bugs and issues continue to grow.

Nexus users are complaining about bricked devices, Wi-Fi problems, battery drain issues, Smart Lock problems that appear to be affecting quite a few people, data connection issues, problems with texting, terrible performance, push notification problems, and more. These are just a small sample from one forum where Nexus users are posting feedback.

Many of these problems are isolated though the random reboots, battery drain problems, and issues with Smart Lock seem to be impacting more than just a few Nexus smartphones and tablets.

Not Everyone Is Having Problems

It’s important to note that not everyone is having problems with Google’s Android 5.1 update. In fact, we’ve been having a fantastic experience on our version of the Nexus 6. We haven’t seen any of the random reboot problems or app crashes that many other Nexus users are seeing nor have we seen extensive battery drain. Android 5.1 has also been a revelation on our Nexus 7 2012 variant.

This Nexus 4 user says that he’s seen improvements and some Nexus 5 users say that they haven’t encountered anything catastrophic after making the move to Android 5.1. Other than the random reboots and app crashes, our Android 5.1 experience on the Nexus 5 has been very solid. We haven’t encountered any major battery drain or any issues with connectivity.


What we’re trying to get at here is that you absolutely must dig around before making a decision about Android 5.1 Lollipop, especially if you’re not familiar or comfortable with dropping back down to an earlier version of Android 5.0. It’s hard to predict whether or not issues will strike your device and that’s why we highly recommend undertaking prep work ahead of the update.

You absolutely need to prepare yourself and your device for Android 5.1. We have some tips here and here that will help you if you’re still sitting on Android 5.0.2 or below.

Android 5.1.1 Release Still MIA

Earlier this month, a reference to an Android 5.1.1 release emerged in the updated Android SDK. Its appearance probably wasn’t an April Fools joke though we still don’t know when Google plans to release this update, if it plans to release this update or what it will have on board when it arrives.

Some people believe that it will have a fix for the memory leak problem on board (at the very least) but that’s still not confirmed. What is confirmed is that many Nexus users need Google to roll out a new update to alleviate Android 5.1 problems. Just remember that Android 5.1.1 or whatever is next could bring some problems of its own.

Fixes for Android 5.1 Problems

In the meantime, if you’re struggling with Android 5.1 problems, we’ve put together some resources that we think will come in handy.

We recently cooked up a list of fixes for common Android 5.1 Lollipop problems that should help. We’ve also pieced together some useful Android 5.1 battery life tips that will almost certainly help in the event that your Nexus starts showing rapid battery drain. Keep those resources bookmarked and search around other sites for other fixes.

Android 5.1 for Nexus 9 & Nexus 7 2013

One last thing. If you own a Nexus 7 2013 or a Nexus 9 and you’re dealing with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop problems, know that Android 5.1 is confirmed for both of those devices. It’s still not clear when the updates will roll out or if they’ll be Android 5.1.1 instead of Android 5.1 but it’s clear that something is in the works behind the scenes.


Google rarely announces release dates so if you’re dealing with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop problems, you’re going to have to be extremely proactive especially because there’s a potential for Android 5.1 to deliver more problems to your tablet.

Tread carefully.



  1. ciph3ro

    04/16/2015 at 9:24 am

    I have none of those problems on my Nexus 5 and 7.

    Android 5.0.1 did have wifi issues but they are not fixed and they have better battery and much much smoother scrolling in all apps somehow.

  2. Liz

    04/16/2015 at 3:53 pm

    I have 2 nexus 7 2012 and since the 5.1 update they both run like a bag of shit. Slow loading,constant freezing,battery leak. Had enough. We also have an Asus notepad which hasn’t had the update and runs sweet. Sort it android :-/

  3. Eric Tobias

    04/18/2015 at 6:26 am

    I have tried to upgrade Lollypop 5.0 to 5.1. It downloaded okay but when it tried to install I received an error notation. Any suggestions?

  4. Al Weigand

    04/19/2015 at 7:46 am

    Find I can’t access flash function with native app on Nexus 5. The function works properly on a Nexus 4 in our family. Hoping for a patch soon.

  5. Daniel Diego

    04/21/2015 at 1:59 pm

    Got the notification that the update was ready to download, so I try it, and since about 5 hours ago, it’s still stuck on the “Waiting to download” screen. Tried rebooting several times now, continues to get stuck on the same screen, what gives?

    • Eric Tobias

      04/21/2015 at 2:09 pm

      My problem is that I was able to download but I got an “Error” notation when I tried installing.

      • mehardin

        04/25/2015 at 5:54 am

        Same here. I’ve downloaded the update a dozen times, but it never successfully installs on my Nexus 4. Installed just fine on my wife’s Nexus 4, and on my Nexus 7 2012. I’m thinking the problem may be that my N4 is rooted, and the other two aren’t.

        • Eric Tobias

          04/25/2015 at 8:54 am

          My son and I were unsuccessful while my wife was successful. All with Nexus 4. My son think that the problem may be caused that we both tried to update 5.0 to 5.01, unsuccessfully. That is the common denominator. Did you try to do that update?

  6. nishtha

    04/22/2015 at 9:00 am

    My applock is not working since I have updated 5.0.1 android version. Whichever app I open it doesn’t ask for password.

  7. nexus45

    04/24/2015 at 2:14 am

    Both my N4 n N5 are running smoothly on 5.1. The N5 on 5.0.2 had app crashes especially gmail frequently but that had been resolved on 5.1. The N4 was updated only a day n running smooth, yet to observe any major problems.

  8. Juergen |

    04/29/2015 at 12:36 pm

    Not for mine! “Android 5.1 has also been a revelation on our Nexus 7 2012 variant.” The upgrade to Android 5 made my Nexus 7 (2012 model with 32 mb storage and 3G) basically unusable for the purpose I bought it for in the first place!
    I use my tablet foremost for offline navigation (Scout/Skobbler or Navigator Apps) in my overland vehicle. With 4.4.4 Lollipop I can drive all day (up to 12 hours, tablet plugged into cigarette lighter) and have some 20-30 percent charge left at the end of the day. With the new Android 5 I can’t even use the tablet for 3 hours (under the same conditions) and the battery is so far down that the tablet shuts off!
    What an “improvement” – not! I had to go through a time and bandwidth consuming reset (in which I also lost some data I forgot to back up). Grrr!

  9. kaishnexus5

    06/08/2015 at 8:52 am

    my nexus 5 is giving a lot of problem after updating it to 5.1.1….it gets restarted by its own..when it restarts then it shows a line saying ‘Android is starting’…it starts the system after a long time then again it gets restarted..i am not able to work on my device..this is draining out my phone and irritating me a lot…any solution for this…..

  10. Shahnaz

    06/14/2015 at 9:28 am

    After the updates I cannot find the screen shots anywhere, plz let me know as the old ones and now when I take new ones they are all gone. Before the updates they were always stored safely and easy to find, I have searched everywhere but in vain :(

  11. bassguy

    09/29/2015 at 7:31 am

    “Other than the random reboots and app crashes, our Android 5.1 experience on the Nexus 5 has been very solid.” Are you kidding?? Random reboots and crashes do NOT a “solid experience” make!

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