What’s new in Android 5.1 Lollipop

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 10 Mar 2015

image Android 5.1 handset

Earlier today, Google announced the rollout of Android 5.1 Lollipop for its Nexus devices. The latest build of Lollipop comes with quite a lot of bug fixes and enhancements to fix usability issues that were present in the Android 5.0 build of Lollipop.

Since Google has not provided any detailed change-log of the update, we list down all the changes that we have come across in Android 5.1 below.

  • Stability and performance improvements: Besides fixing tons of minor bugs, Android 5.1 also fixes the dreaded memory leak bug that greatly deteriorated the performance of devices running Lollipop after a couple of days.
  • Android 5.1 supports High Definition (HD) voice calling on networks that support it. T-Mobile and Verizon support HD calling in the United States.
  • Quick Settings enhancements: Users can directly join a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network from Quick Settings in Android 5.1.

Android 5.1 Quick Settings

  • Device Protection: A ‘Reactivation lock’ like feature that disables the device until the user signs in with their Google account after it has been restored back to factory settings.
  • The notification LED on Nexus 5 and other Android devices will now work even when the device is in ‘None’ mode.
  • A swipe up on a Heads Up notification will dismiss the notification, but it will still be present in your notification bar so you can view it later on.
  • Android now natively supports devices with dual SIM functionality.
  • Google has added lots of minor new animations in Android 5.1.
  • Google has revamped the whole Screen Pinning feature to make it easier for newbies to understand. It now contains a useful instruction page to explain users what is exactly going on.

Screen Pinning in Android 5.1

  • There is still no ‘Silent’ mode in Android 5.1, and from the looks of it, its not going to come back as well.
  • Google+ contacts are no longer linked to your normal Contacts.
  • New Material Design inspired system scroll bars.
  • Underlying changes in the Nexus 6 kernel to improve performance. Read more about it here.
  • Full H/W based encryption on the Nexus 6.

A git based changelog of Android 5.1 can be found here.

We will update this post as and when we find more changes that Google has introduced in Android 5.1.

Read: How to flash the Android 5.1 factory image on Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10