Android 5.1 is out, already shipping on new phones

Didn’t it used to be that Nexus phones got first access to the latest Android releases? After all, while many Android handsets are still waiting for their first tasted of Lollipop at all, Nexus model have seen the release of not just Android 5.0, but also 5.0.1 and now 5.0.2. So when Google finished work on Android 5.1, we assumed we’d first see it land as a couple factory images for Nexus models, followed shortly thereafter by OTA distribution. Right? Well, apparently not, as in the span of a few short hours, evidence for Android 5.1 on an official Google site has given way to confirmation that the software is shipping on new Android One handsets, to a hands-on report of some of the changes to expect.

This time, the latest Android update arrives via Google’s Android One program, rather than the Nexus family. On the Indonesian Android One page, you’ll find numerous mentions of Android 5.1, and the software’s also been spotted on currently-shipping Android One hardware from multiple OEMs.

While there’s no formal release of Android 5.1 for any Nexus models just yet, server logs suggest that Google’s actively testing the build on the Nexus 5, 6, and 9.

So what’s new? Well, as of now, not a lot of changes have been spotted, but this release is so fresh, we’re bound to hear more in the hours and days to come. The one tweak that’s been reported so far has been a change to how you manage connections to WiFi networks and Bluetooth devices in Lollipop’s notification shade, now presenting users with a drop-down arrow to select new networks or devices without having to jump all the way into the full settings pages for those options.

Now we’re just curious to see if the rest of the rumored 5.1 changes have been implemented.


Source: Google, Android Police

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!