Google’s rolling out a brand new version of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to its Nexus devices and its list includes the Nexus 7. Today, we want to take a look at everything Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 users need to know about this new version of Android 5.1.1.
In April, Google started rolling out a brand new version of Lollipop dubbed Android 5.1.1. Google’s Android 5.1.1 update was, and is, a bug fix update that’s aimed at solving Android 5.1 problems and lingering Lollipop problems on Android phones.
Nexus devices were the first devices to get the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update. The Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and others started getting Android 5.1.1 in the weeks after the initial release and it appears that they’ll stay there until Apple releases its upcoming Android M update.
In late July, Google confirmed plans to roll out a new Android 5.1.1 build to Nexus devices. Slowly but surely, these new Android 5.1.1 builds have started hitting key Nexus devices including the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 10, and the Nexus 7.
The new Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 release is one of the more interesting updates as it’s still extremely limited and evidently won’t be coming to one of Google’s Nexus 7 variants. With that in mind, we want to take a look at five things Nexus 7 users need to know about the August Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update and release.
Nexus 7 2012 Won’t Get It
If you own the Nexus 7 2012, Wi-Fi or cellular, know that you probably won’t be getting this security update or any other Android updates in the future.
When Google posted factory images of its latest Android 5.1.1 builds, it did not post any factory images for the Nexus 7 2012. We’re not expecting that to change any time soon and it looks like the Nexus 7 2012 is finally at the end of its rope. Both in terms of security updates and major system upgrades.
This August Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 release is coming to the Nexus 7 2013. Google’s uploaded the factory images for both the Wi-Fi and LTE versions of the device and it appears that the Nexus 7 LTE’s Android 5.1.1 is starting to roll out Over-the-Air. The Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi’s update should start rolling out OTA very soon.
Because this is such a small update for the Nexus 7 and other devices, it appears that it might roll out a little quicker than most updates. For instance yesterday we, and tons of others, got Google’s new Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 build.
Google’s Android roll outs typically take up to two weeks to complete but given their size and what’s on board the update, our guess is that the OTAs will complete within a week or so. If you haven’t received it yet, be on the look out this week and next.
You Can Skip The OTA
If you don’t want to wait for the August Android 5.1.1 OTA and its fixes, you can manually install the update right now.
If your bootloader is unlocked, you can install Google’s Android 5.1.1 factory images. Head here and find the appropriate file for your Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi (Build LMY48I) or the file for the Nexus 7 LTE (LMY47V).
This file is for the LTE model only and it brings the device from LMY48L to LMY47V. Those of you who aren’t adept at installing files manually will want to wait for the OTAs.
Google’s latest Android 5.1.1 build comes with an important fix for the Nexus 7. This August Android 5.1.1 release patches up the Stagefright vulnerability.
In case you missed it, the exploit was first announced back on July 21st by mobile security Zimperium. And while the vulnerability hasn’t impacted any Android devices thus far, Google and its manufacturers aren’t taking any chances.
This is the focus of this new Android 5.1.1 build, a build that will likely serve as the last Lollipop update before Google’s Android M release.
We’re still not sure if the Nexus 7 2013 will get Android M but the door certainly remains open at this point. We should know more in a few weeks.
It Won’t Fix Your Other Lollipop Problems
Finally, it’s important to note that this August Android 5.1.1 update for the Nexus 7 probably won’t fix any of the other major problems plaguing your device. Its change log consists of the one security patch and that’s it.
It could potentially have a negative impact on performance (Wi-Fi, battery life, Bluetooth) so you’ll want to search around for feedback if you’re feeling nervous.
First things first. If the Nexus 7 Android M update, and yes it is an "if" at this point, it will likely be coming sometime in late Q3 or early Q4. Here's why.
Google's confirmed the Android M release for later in the third quarter. This likely means late August or September. Q3 spans from July to September. The company maintains that it will hit this deadline so there's no reason to believe that the release will be held up. It depends on testing but thus far, everything has gone according to plan.
Google typically staggers its Nexus Android releases. What we mean by that is, we usually don't see all the updates roll out at once. Sometimes, devices get software a few days, even a few weeks after the first batch of roll outs.
If the Nexus 7 gets Android M, there's a good chance that it will get the update in Q3. The Wi-Fi model. The cellular versions of the Nexus 7 are typically off the pace by a few weeks. That's why we're leaving the door open for a Q4 arrival for some devices.