It’s been more than a month since its release and Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update is still on the minds of many Nexus 7 users. With Android 5.1 problems plaguing Nexus 7 users and with a Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update seemingly on the way, we want to take a look at what Nexus 7 users need to know as we push into the month of May.
Last month, Google announced an all new Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Nexus devices. The update, Android 5.1 Lollipop, was (and still is) a major incremental update for Nexus smartphones and tablets. Instead of a short list of bug fixes, Android 5.1 Lollipop delivered tons of bug fixes and feature enhancements to owners of the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10.
Throughout the month of April, we’ve seen Google push its Android 5.1 Lollipop update to Nexus devices including the Nexus 7 2012 and the recently discontinued Nexus 7 2013.
The Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Lollipop started rolling out in early March though it just recently rolled out to all Nexus 7 users. The update should be available on all Nexus 7 variants right now. Now, just because the roll out is complete doesn’t mean that the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update story is over. Not even close. We’re still seeing details, problems, and more emerge from Nexus 7 users and from Google itself.
With the month of May approaching and another Android 5.1 release looming for owners of Nexus smartphones and tablets, we want to take a look at some important things we think Nexus 7 users need to know as we push deeper into the year.
Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Reviews: One Month Later
We’ve been using the Nexus 7 2012 Android 5.1 update for about a month. We’ve been using the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1 update for a few weeks. And while we’re seeing a number of problems with the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 update, we haven’t seen the same problems on either the Nexus 7 2012 or the Nexus 7 2013.
The Nexus 7 2013 is still fast with Android 5.1 on board and we’ve seen a noticeable pickup on the Nexus 7 2012. There’s still occasional lag but Android 5.1 is holding up well on a device that’s going on three years old.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both working fine. We haven’t noticed any abnormal battery drain. And while we’ve seen a few app crashes here and there, it hasn’t been on the same level as the Nexus 5.
At this point though, if you haven’t moved to Android 5.1, we recommend staying put. We aren’t seeing any major issues with Android 5.1 but there are plenty of people complaining about problems. There’s just too much risk involved. If the Nexus 7 is your one and only tablet, you don’t want to expose yourself to Android 5.1’s problems. The feature enhancements are nice but performance is far more important.
Wait for Google to push out another update before making your move. We should see Google roll out new software soon.
Nexus 7 Bricked After Update
We continue to get feedback from Nexus 7 2012 users and Nexus 7 2013 users. And while we have heard positive feedback from some people, we’ve also heard a lot of complaints about the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update on both devices.
One problem in particular that we want to point out is a Nexus 7 bricking problem that surfaced after the arrival of Android 5.1. We first heard about this issue weeks ago and Nexus 7 users continue to complain. The problem isn’t affecting every single Nexus 7 user but it is impacting more than just a couple of people. This is a much bigger problem than abnormal battery drain or problems with Facebook.
Unfortunately, Google hasn’t confirmed a fix for the problems and it’s not clear if Android 5.1.1, Google’s next Nexus update, will bring these lemons back to life.
Other Nexus 7 Android 5.1 Problems Mount
The bricking problem isn’t the only Android 5.1 problem that Nexus 7 users are complaining about. As we push away from the roll outs, complaints about the Nexus 7 Android 5.1 update continue to grow in size on various Android forums including Google’s own Nexus Help forums.
Fortunately, it looks like bug fixes from Google are on the way. Google is rolling out an Android 5.1.1 update to the Nexus Player and the company is expected to expand that Android 5.1.1 release to several other devices including the Nexus 7.
As of right now, there’s no word on when that expansion will take place and it’s clear that the company is taking its time. One Google employee had this to say about the Android 5.1.1 update and its roll out process:
I totally understand the frustration of N9 owners who are hitting issues but because of that its even more important the 5.1.1 update for Nexus 9 actually fixes these problems. So I think it’s the right step to prepare an update that actually improves quality and fixes the issues that have been reported instead of rushing out something that doesn’t help the majority of customers. And I don’t think it’s in the interest of anyone if we’d artificially hold updates to other Nexus devices that are ready to go in the meantime.
Android 5.1.1 is a bug fix update, not a feature update, so it’s important for Google to get it right. It’s impossible to say how long the testing process behind the scenes will take but we’d be shocked if Android 5.1.1 wasn’t available for at least one Nexus 7 model before the end of May.
The Android 5.1.1 change log outlines its bug fixes and it appears that at the very least, it’s going to tackle the random reboot and app crashes that have been plaguing Nexus 7 users.
Start Preparing for Android 5.1.1 Now
Google’s Android 5.1 update came with a ton of fixes and some nice feature tweaks. However, it also brought tons of problems to Nexus 7 users. Point is, even the best and brightest updates can cause issues. There’s a very good chance that Android 5.1.1 will bring its own collection of problems. And that’s why we always tell people to start their preparation ahead of the release.