Android 5.1 Lollipop: here's what's changed in the newest and sweetest version of Google's OS

After numerous cameo appearances on various Android One devices, Android 5.1 Lollipop is finally as official as it gets. The factory images are already up and available for download, and just as you might imagine, we updated our trust resident Nexus 5 with the newest version of Android as soon as we could, eager to point out the differences that it bears over the previous version of the OS and determine if it's another step in the right direction.

Officially, Google stressed upon on just a few new features - support for multiple SIM cards, Device Protection and HD voice calls on compatible phones, as well as improved quick toggles. The nitty-gritty of this update are the numerous bug fixes, which are detailed in roughly 14,700 lines of code (you can check out the full Git changelog right here). The majority of these regard under-the-hood improvements and fixes - most notably, it seems that the memory leak issue is no more!

From the brief time we spent with it, we can safely say that Android 5.1 feels noticeably smoother than the previous Lollipop installments. The Material Design philosophy itself is slightly perfected, bringing many more subtle animations here and there that don't affect the user experience much, but are a nice interface touch. Call it a placebo effect, but our Nexus 5 now feels more stable; what's more, performance seems to be improved a bit, which is always a welcome, isn't it?

However, we noticed many other small changes in the newest take on Lollipop. We've summarized the more noteworthy ones right below.



1. brar.arsh

Posts: 202; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

We need to know more about memory leak bug than all this.

3. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Won't know about that until they get it out to enough of a sample size. Obviously they'll fix it but will it cause another issue, no one knows.

9. rihel_95

Posts: 305; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

I was actually waiting for 1 and 7 to be fixed! Now it seems I have to wait for 5.1 update on my Moto G2

20. vincelongman

Posts: 5730; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Actually Moto already fixed the memory leak for their 2013 Moto G, so I'd assume its already fixed for the Moto G2 as well!

7. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

If you read the article they mention the memory leak. I've been using 5.1 for a few hours now and it feels smoother and memory management seems better. They've added a splash screen to Play Music which is nice. In 5.0 it took a good two to three seconds for the app to open when pressed. They should add a splash screen to YouTube. When you press on the app it's still not instant if it's not in memory.

17. mmmanuuu

Posts: 403; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Seriously google? A bunch of minor "TWEAKS" and it became the next version? There must be something really important too. Either PA doesnt know about it or the guy who wrote this doesnt know about it. Somethings wrong somewhere.

22. vincelongman

Posts: 5730; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Here's the changelog (also in this mentioned in this article) There's 66 memory leaks that are fixed Finally, Google should have fixed these before officially releasing 5.0 We'll know for sure in the next day or so (the memory leaks in 5.0 took about 48 hours to build up)

2. XaErO

Posts: 353; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

New features are always welcome !!

4. meeaaoon

Posts: 25; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

Great Improvements

6. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Nothing groundbreaking, still playing catch-up just like Apple to Metro aesthetics.

8. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

They've passed the aesthetics of iOS and Windows. They're competing with themselves now.

13. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Windows Interface and aesthetic are mutually exclusive from its very existence.

14. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 892; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

You like keeping your senses closed to the world... Well done

10. TruthSpeaker unregistered

I don't know if vanilla Android is doing this anymore, but I don't think they are? (Actually Android seems to be moving away from external SD altogether?) Anyway, I've just read that the Sony Lolipop skin, which is apparently rolling out next week. Will allow moving apps to the external SD. Which, personaly, is a feature I haven't seen in a while. Hope it's true..

11. Donotnameme

Posts: 47; Member since: Jul 01, 2014

some (midrange-ish?) sony phones got a "move apps to external SD" feature when they were updated to 4.4.4 iirc

12. Leandronb

Posts: 86; Member since: Jun 03, 2014

the first one is the worst. in priority mode the led would no light up so i can sleep fine without a bright led lighting up the room, now another app is needed to control led.

15. Rhinoface

Posts: 179; Member since: Dec 05, 2014

Lmao when I had my Z3v the LED on that thing kept me up all night.

16. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Forget the aesthetic. Fix the memory leak bug.

21. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

"The majority of these regard under-the-hood improvements and fixes - most notably, it seems that the memory leak issue is no more!" Didn't even bother to read the article, did you? You just ran to the comments to make disparaging remarks. You won't change anything, iOS will still be a distant second.

24. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That's what they said last time.

27. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Well, they can't squash every bug each time like Apple...wait...what?

19. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

About time...

25. Odiin

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

Still no option to remove ugly google search bar. Why/When Google why/when?

26. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

I know it's not a solution, but rather workaround, but why not use launchers like Nova/Apex? It looks like Google Now launcher, with added features (a lot of them) and the option to change the google search bar styling or remove them altogether. Google will always promote their own products, and the google search bar is one way they do that.

30. Odiin

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

Thanks for the reply, but i like stock, dont wanna use any kinda launchers.

28. Venan

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

Hi PA, i have found bug in new 5.1 version. I installed it yesterday and found it after 10 mins. When you install app from play store which has widget, it's not int the "widgets menu". It appears only after restart phone. Until then, there are only pre-installed widgets. Same situation after every new app with widgets. Can you please check if you have same problem/bug ? i tried factory reset several times, no difference.

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