The full changelog is out, and a trio of “pure Google” devices joins the Android One ranks.
Lollipop’s first (semi-) notable makeover, version 5.1, saw daylight unusually early after the initial 5.0 rollout, which is probably the main reason why it was limited to a handful of low-cost Nexus substitutes in parts of Asia this past month.
But the cat is now decidedly out of the bag, thanks to a public announcement on the Android Official Blog, and a few 5.1 factory images already uploaded to Google’s dev-friendly servers. Of course, you don’t have to be a professional software engineer to pull the updates ahead of the over-the-air spread.
Caution is advised nonetheless, and be careful to not mix up the specific goodie packs for the Nexus 5, Wi-Fi-only N7, and Nexus 10. Rocking an N6, 9, 2013 N7, Nexus 4 or cellular-enabled OG N7 instead and eager to leave the buggy Android 5.0 build behind? Unfortunately, you’ll need to give it a few more days. Weeks, even.
Wondering if it’s worth the wait? We certainly hope so, given the complaints filed by Android users of late. Memory bleeds and general system instability have headlined most of the criticism, so we’re sure glad to see Google focused on bug fixes first and foremost.
That’s not all 5.1 is about, and also bundled in, you have multiple SIM card support (standard, with no need for third-party manufacturers to do extra “optimization” work), HD voice capabilities for compatible phones (the N6 on T-Mobile and Verizon, for instance), and most importantly, Device Protection.
That last add-on sounds vague and potentially gimmicky, but it’s actually really handy anti-theft technology. Very simple to use as well, blocking muggers from unlocking your gadget even after performing a factory reset. The key is in your Google account credentials, so be sure to keep them on the hush-hush.