Google pushed out Android 5.1 this week, bringing a bunch of bug fixes and a few helpings of new features to Nexus devices.
The update is targeted specifically at Nexus devices, and it will make a slow rollout to avoid borking anyone’s device. Fortunately, for the convenience of impatient enthusiasts and developers, Google posts the source files. The factory images for Nexus devices are available now for your downloading pleasure.
It’s part of our weekly roundup of major software updates for the biggest devices, including phones and tablets on U.S. carriers, unlocked phones, and even wearables. Making sure your device is running the latest available software is a good housekeeping practice, ensuring you have the latest features with fewer bugs and gaping security holes.
Nexus 5, 6, 10: Factory images are at the ready for these devices, though if you’re patient you’ll see an over-the-air update soon.
Android 5.1 brings a lot of much-needed bug fixes, especially to the memory leak issues that were causing multiple apps to crash. There are some nice new features, however, such as device protection that requires you to log in with your Google account if your phone has been stolen, rendering it useless to a thief.
The update also includes adds multi-SIM support, HD voice, and quick settings for toggling Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth devices.
They’re not there yet for the Nexus 9 or Nexus 7 tablets. We’ll let you know when we see them.
LG G Pad 10.1: The LTE-powered tablet is getting a software bump that squashes some bugs. Be on the lookout for update VK10011A, which fixes some freeze ups with Google Play Movies, improves audio quality in VoIP apps, and nixes some syncing issues with Verizon’s cloud services.
Interestingly, it corrects a misspelling of Verizon’s name, which was listed as “Verzion” on the device.
Nexus 6: There’s a Sprint support page detailing the Android 5.1 update for Nexus 6 phones purchased from Sprint. It was scheduled to go live Wednesday, so it may or may not have hit your device yet. Along with all the optimizations in Android 5.1, it also fixes duplicate SMS messages.