The Android 5.1 Lollipop update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and other supported devices will apparently start rolling out soon. Android 5.1 was mentioned a couple of times already when Google launched the Android One program in Indonesia and the Philippines earlier this month. Now, for the first time, we have an ETA for the new update.
Since we are talking about a Maintenance Release, all the members of the Nexus family which received Lollipop support will get upgraded to Android 5.1: Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013), Nexus 9, and Nexus 10. Of course, the new update will also be released for the Google Play Edition devices.
Apparently, the Android 5.1 Lollipop update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and other supported devices will be released in March. The information comes to HTC's Mo Versi, who said on Twitter that Google's next Android Maintenance Release will be made available in March.
If the reports prove accurate, then the Android 5.1 update will not bring any new features as it's mostly aimed to improve the overall system performance and to fix some bugs. It seems though that in Android 5.1 the WiFi and Bluetooth toggles in Quick Settings will behave differently.
Those of you who owning Android 5.0-powered devices already know that pressing the "Wi-Fi" or "Bluetooth" text in Quick Settings opens the respective menu pages. In Android 5.1, tapping the "Wi-Fi" or "Bluetooth" words will open a list of nearby Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth devices in a menu that's similar to the one of the "Cellular data" toggle. If you want to go to the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth settings menu, you can press the new "More settings" button at the bottom of the list. Naturally, if you press the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth icons you can toggle the functions on/off.
The Android 5.1 Lollipop update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 will be pushed to users in stages. Of course, the latest Nexus terminals, Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, will also be in the first wave of devices that get upgraded to 5.1. Since not all users will get it in the same time, some of you might have to wait longer before the OTA hits your device. Fortunately, the new update can also be flashed manually using either the factory images or the OTA ZIPs.
As a refresher, Lollipop is the biggest update Google's mobile platform has received in a while. Android 5.0 has introduced Material Design, which relies on realistic 3D effects and shadows to make the UI more intuitive. The new design philosophy also arrives with more vivid colors and fluid transitions. Android 5.0 also comes with performance boosts, native support for 64-bit-enabled chipsets, and ART (Android Runtime) instead of Dalvik.
The Overview menu, formerly known as Recents, has a card-based interface and brings "document-centric multitasking." This means that some apps can display multiple cards in Overview. For example, Chrome can have one card for each opened tab.
Lollipop also arrived with redesigned Notifications bar and Quick Settings area. The Quick Settings menu can be accessed by either swiping down with two fingers from the top of the screen, or by swiping down twice from the top. For less interruptions, Google also introduced Heads-up notifications.
One of my favorite Lollipop features are the Lock Screen notifications. I remind you that you can select which apps can show lock screen notifications, you can choose the priority level for each notification, and you can select how much content each notification is allowed to display. The new update also introduced multi-user support for phones, Screen Pinning, and Smart Lock. The latter feature can be used to automatically remove the lock screen security when your device is in a Trusted Place or connected to a Trusted Bluetooth Device.
Android 5.0 also arrives with better battery stats. You can now see how much you have left until your battery is completely empty, or how much time you have to wait until the battery is fully charged. The new Battery Saver Mode (turns off battery-eating processes, limits cellular data, and dims display to improve battery life) can be automatically triggered when the battery reaches 15% or 5%.
What are you expecting from the Android 5.1 Lollipop update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, and Nexus 10? The comments section below is all yours.