As we push further and further away from October’s Android 5.0 Lollipop launch date, Nexus 5, Nexus 10, Nexus 7, and Nexus 4 users are starting to wonder about their next Android upgrade. Today, a couple of days rumored Android 5.0 Lollipop release date, we want to make some bold predictions regarding Google’s upcoming Android 5.0 Lollipop release.
The Android L update was first announced as Android 4.4 KitKat’s successor back in June at Google I/O. At the event, Google did not confirm an Android L release date or name though it did outline many of its features and offer a pre-release version to select Nexus users. In the weeks after the early beta release, we saw features teased and release dates rumored and last month, Google finally spilled the beans on Android L.
As expected, Android L is called Android 5.0 Lollipop. The update will be accompanied by two new Nexus devices including a Nexus 9 from HTC and a Nexus 6 from Motorola. Both devices will help usher in a new era for Google and its Android operating system. Problem is, Google still hasn’t confirmed a specific Android 5.0 Lollipop release date for owners of older Nexus smartphones and tablets.
Earlier this month, the company confirmed several Android 5.0 Lollipop updates for arrival including updates for the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 2012, and Nexus 10. And while those updates are confirmed, the Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date for each of those devices remains out of reach, at least for right now.
With that in mind, and rumors swirling, we want to make a few bold predictions about Google’s upcoming Android 5.0 Lollipop release for Nexus smartphones and tablets.
Brief Announcement, If Any
I have a feeling that we’re going to see the Android 5.0 Lollipop release kicked off by a brief announcement from Google that doesn’t share much or silence. I envision the roll out combining aspects of last year’s Android 4.4 KitKat release which saw Google announce some updates and not others and this past week’s Nexus 6 pre-orders which took place without any kind of warning.
If Google does announce something, it will almost certainly be on the day of and perhaps a few short minutes before the actual roll outs begin. Don’t expect anything sooner than that at this point given what we’ve heard about the update’s release date.
First Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Next Week
Rumors suggest that the first Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release will take place this coming Monday. That date isn’t confirmed though it appears likely. Google’s Android roll outs tend to push out shortly after a Nexus hardware launch. The Nexus 9 is scheduled to be released next week which means that the timing for an Android 5.0 push is perfect.
Even if Monday isn’t the day, we have a feeling that the Android 5.0 Lollipop update, which Google says will arrive in the “coming weeks,” should roll out next week barring any unforeseen problems in testing. Testing can wreck even the soundest of plans and given the turmoil that’s often enveloped Nexus releases, we expect Google to do all that it can to ensure a smooth delivery.
That said, after a beta process and with the final beta release currently available to developers, we think that we’re close and we should see the first updates touch down in the first week of November.
Wi-Fi Nexus Models First
A leaked document suggests that the Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 Wi-Fi only will be the first to Android 5.0 Lollipop. This makes a lot of sense. For years, updates for cellular models have followed their Wi-Fi counterparts. Testing for Wi-Fi and cellular data is typically far more involved. So, it makes sense that Google would start with these devices and then take its time with the more problematic cellular devices.
Cellular Models Next
Needless to say, we expect the cellular Nexus devices including the Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 to be next in line. We have a feeling that their Android 5.0 Lollipop releases will take place next month as well though we may see a gap of a couple of weeks as Google works to get its testing done on its smartphones and cellular powered tablets.
Nexus 7 LTE Dead Last
The Nexus 7 LTE has been very problematic from the start. First, consumers had to deal with a lengthy delay for Verizon. Then, Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat rolled out extremely slowly with Android 4.4.4 KitKat rolling out several weeks after the other upgrades. It’s clear that this device is giving Google problems and we would not be shocked if it was the last Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop update.
We sincerely doubt that it’s going to be weeks or even months behind the rest of the pack but we would not be surprised if it was the last of Google’s Nexus Android 5.0 roll outs. The odds are pretty good.
Staggered Lollipop Releases
Look for Google to roll all of these updates out slowly. We’re talking over the course of a week or more. Many moons ago, Android engineer Dan Morrill explained Google’s process:
Rollouts are conducted in phases. Typically they start at 1% of devices for around 24 – 48 hours; we watch the return rates and resulting device checkins and error reports (if any), and make sure nothing looks wrong before sending it to more. Then typically it goes to 25%, 50%, 100% over the course of a week or two.
What the percentages mean is that when your device checks in, it has a 1% chance (for example) of being offered the OTA. If it doesn’t (randomly) get an offer, it will never get an offer until the next batch.
IOW, once your device checks in and gets turned down, that’s it until the next batch. Mashing on the “check for updates” button just causes your device to check in again, and get automatically turned down again. Think about how that makes your device feel! WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE PHONES?!
That said, once the new batch does start, hitting that button does give you a new roll of the dice — but once. Since devices usually only check in for system updates every 24 hours (I think? Certainly on a many-hours basis) this can get you your shot sooner than it would happen on its own.
So, mash away. :) Just be patient, and mashing on it more often than once or twice a day isn’t going to gain you anything.
Edit: also, keep in mind that this isn’t first-come/first-served. You’re not racing other devices to get your slot in the current batch, or something.
With Android 5.0 Lollipop set to bring about some massive changes for Nexus devices, we think Google is going to take a very cautious approach. Not just for one device either, for all of these devices. Staggered releases happen with all Android updates, not just the major ones like Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Android 5.0 Release Complete by December
With all of that in mind, Nexus Android roll outs rarely stretch out over two months. We typically see Google get the upgrades rolled out within a few weeks. With Android 5.0, we think that means a completion by the end of the year and more specifically, the beginning of December. That’s for all devices, not just the ones rumored to get the upgrade in early November.
Usual Array of Bugs
Get ready Nexus owners because I am willing to bet that Android 5.0 Lollipop is going to come with a host of problems. The beta testing should help but Nexus software updates are almost always buggy. Trust me, I’ve been a Nexus user for years and I’ve seen many an Android update wreck havoc on my devices. I’m not the only one.
Typical Nexus Android update issues include battery life problems, slow charging, broken Wi-Fi, broken cellular connections, bad Bluetooth, and random crashes. I have a feeling all of those will strike Nexus users in the days ahead. I’m also confident that there will be an assortment of other bugs that Google and its Nexus users will have to deal with in the weeks after its release.
Nexus Android update bugs are a fact of life and no software update is perfect. You’ll want to head into the Android 5.0 release date as prepared as humanly possible to help minimize the damage.
Bunch of Fixes for Android 4.4.4 Problems
Now, I don’t think it will all be bad. In fact, I have a feeling that the Android 5.0 Lollipop update is going to fix a lot of issues that are currently on board Android 4.4.4 KitKat. There are Android 4.4.4 KitKat problems on board current Nexus devices. Believe me, I’ve heard from countless Nexus users, many of whom have been complaining since the summer.
So, if you’re dealing with Android 4.4.4 KitKat problems, you’re going to want to absorb as much information about Android 5.0 Lollipop that you can on release day. There’s a very good chance that it will help solve some of the issues that are on board Android 4.4.4 KitKat. You’ll just want to make sure that the fixes outweigh the problems.
Android 5.0.1 Before 2015
This is a bold one but I’m willing to bet on an Android 5.0.1 release before the end of the year. Nexus software updates are typically troubled and Nexus users are typically extremely vocal about their problems. Google typically rolls out at least a couple of bug fix updates and the first of those usually arrives in the weeks after release to tidy up a little before the major bug fix hits months later.
We would not be surprised if Google rolled out at least one Android 5.0 Lollipop bug fix to Nexus users before 2015 hits though like all Android updates, it will probably bring some issues of its own along with it.
Last Major Update for Nexus 4 & Nexus 7 2012
The Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 2012 Android 5.0 Lollipop updates came as a bit of a surprise given their age. Google used to uphold a strict 18 month software support policy though it appears to be breaking its own rules with these two upgrades. The Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 2012 are now two years old and very rarely do we see Android devices live until the three year mark.
If we had to guess, we’d say that the Android 5.0 Lollipop release will be their last official upgrades from Google. Of course, thanks to thriving development communities, these devices should live on well past their final upgrade. Developers will always find a way to port new software and its features to older devices, especially developer devices like the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7.