This post was published 2 years ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.
Rumours have been pointing to an February release for Android 5.1 for some time but until now there was little to substantiate the claims. However, with Google’s launch of Android One in Indonesia, the Android One land page has been updated and now includes many references to Android 5.1 Lollipop. What’s more, it would appear the devices are actually already shipping with it pre-installed.
Android Police actually has a selection of photos of a couple of Indonesian Android One devices: the Nexian Journey and the Evercross One X, both running Android 5.1. Here is one of these, clearly showing the 5.1 version number in the About Phone screen of the Evercross:
Also, the following tweet from Google’s official Twitter account announcing the Indonesian Android One launch, includes an image of Android One devices running Lollipop with the time set to 5:10.
For those of you who don’t fully appreciate the significance of that, before Google releases a new major Android release, their official screenshots always have the version number reflected in the time. For example, screenshots of Lollipop prior to the Android 5.0 release showed the time 5:00. 5:10 would naturally indicate Android 5.1.
— Google (@google) February 4, 2015
Nexus 6 & 9 devices running several builds of 5.1 have also been spotted in the server logs of the Android Police website so it looks likely that a full Nexus roll-out is just around the corner. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for OTAs and updates to the factory images but expect the release to towards the latter end of this month, quite possibly accompanied by updates for several of the Android Wear devices as well.
It is also possible that some of the devices which have had their Lollipop updates pushed back slightly (such as Sony’s Xperia Z lineup and the HTC One M7 & M8) may have been delayed with the intention of skipping straight to 5.1 from KitKat. So even if you don’t have a Nexus, this update could soon been on its way to you.
While we don’t really know for certain what exactly will be included in the new update yet, the larger jump in version number suggests this will be a more significant change than the past few updates from 5.0-5.0.2 so you should notice a difference in one way or another.
Android Pit ran a story in December claiming Android 5.1 would include the return of a traditional silent mode option and improved memory management along with a few other tweaks and detailed in the below changelog:
- Silent mode added after missing on Android 5.0
- General improvements in system stability
- Improved RAM management
- Fixes for sudden app closures
- Improved battery management
- Excessive consumption of network devices when using Wi-Fi fixed
- Issues with wireless connections fixed
- Problems with Okay Google function solved
- Notifications problems solved
- Some sound problems experience by certain devices fixed
- Other improvements and changes
- Changes in the Material Design color palette (after users complaints, possibly for a higher version though)
We feel these are pretty plausible inclusions but don’t believe there will be too much that immediately jumps out at people. After all, this is still Lollipop and not a whole new Android flavour. We imagine that this release will mainly contain bug fixes and stability improvements (likely some of those mentioned as well as a bunch of other more minor ones) and certainly wouldn’t expect many major changes to the interface or feature set.
If we hear any more details about the 5.1 Lollipop update, we’ll be sure to let you know!