Finally, Google has released the Android 5.1 for Nexus devices. The process to side-load this update (rather than wait for an over-the-air update) is notionally the same as upgrading to Android 5.0 but with some specific caveats – detailed below.
In summary, so far apart from an initial alarm that didn’t go off on the morning after upgrading, Android 5.1 has been a great improvement over 5.0. On the Nexus 4 in particular:
- The camera is much more responsive and doest crash
- Overall UI experience is smoother and less laggy
- The dialler and contacts screens are much more responsive
- No silence audio-bug when making or receiving calls
- Slightly bluetooth audio bug (resolved by deleting bluetooth cache and data)
- SIM Unlock comes up instantly, rather than after a delay before (where you could start to use the phone even if a security PIN was enabled)
Specifics for upgrading from 5.0 to 5.1
You will need:
- OTA image file:
- The latest Android SDK – use this to update your installation: http://developer.android.com/tools/help/sdk-manager.html
- Currently there is an issue where updating from Android 5.0 or later requires Android Debug Bridge version 1.0.32 or later – however the only version avaible from Google in the SDK is 1.0.31 – as noted on the Ubutnu forums
- You will have to search the web to install this newer version which for some reason was released then removed by Google. On Mac OSX / Linux you can use Nexus Tools to install the later version which may install to a different location to your existing platform-tools.
- Follow the instructions from my last post to upgrade