Three months after the launch of Android 5.0, Lollipop, version 5.1 is on its way. The update is already available on Android One smartphones that have launched this week in Indonesia, and is set to begin its rollout to Nexus devices in the near future.
Android 5.1 retains the Lollipop name. In the past x.1 version updates have normally been reserved for the annual revision, often accompanying new hardware.
In this instance Google no doubt feels as though the changes warrant something more than a minor bump to 5.0.3 (5.0.2 has already been released for certain devices).
Android 5.1 changelog
There’s no official changelog for Android 5.1 at the time of writing. A report from Android PIT in December flagged the forthcoming update and listed the following fixes and new features:
- 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 used 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)
Based on this information it appears as though 5.1 will address most of the major concerns about Lollipop that users had.
Of particular note are the promised improvements in RAM management. Many users had experienced overly aggressive memory management with 5.0, resulting in apps closing in the background and frequent sights of the home screen redrawing and widgets reloading after switching away from certain apps.
The return of Silent Mode will also be welcomed, following its absence in 5.0. Previously turning the sound down would leave vibrate mode turned on, and the only workaround was to set the ringtone or alert to the Silent option.
Who will get Android 5.1?
Naturally, the question about who will receive Android 5.1 will highlight the slow adoption of Lollipop.
The latest figures from Google show that Lollipop is installed on just 1.6% of Android devices, less than a quarter than are still running Gingerbread from 2011.
It seems unlikely that forthcoming updates for devices like the Galaxy Note 4 will be able to be switched to 5.1, and new devices set for announcement at Mobile World Congress at the start of March, such as the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9, will probably also launch without the latest OS.
Check back soon for information on when Android 5.1 will begin rolling out to Nexus devices.