Google has finally let out the OTA update that will bring the Nexus 5 to Android 5.1 land. This follows the release of factory images and binaries for several of the supported Nexus devices. However, if you are quite excited to get the latest and supposedly greatest Android version, you might want to exercise caution, as some users are reporting a rather dreadful bug in this release that causes Android to eat up RAM like crazy, even if you have more than 1 GB of it.
Like other Android update rollouts, things happen in staggered releases and is almost an exercise in users’ patience. That waiting period is finally over at least for one user who is reporting that he has finally received the long-awaited notification that his device will be upgraded to Android 5.1. That notice comes with a handy warning that the update will download a 220.7 MB file, so best to keep Wi-Fi and battery at their strongest.
For others who have gotten the update early, usually via flashing or sideloading the OTA, it was a bittersweet story. More bitter than sweet actually. Some users are reporting an inordinate amount of RAM being used up for no apparent reason. The Nexus 5 only has 2 GB of RAM and yet Android 5.1 uses up more than 1 GB, sometimes leaving as little as 150 MB left before it finally crashes the device due to lack of memory. Google is apparently aware of that issue and even announced that it has already been fixed. The bad news, that’s only internally and they don’t have yet a timeline of when it will be pushed out to the public.
Other than that hiccup though, Android 5.1 is quite a desirable update. For OEMs, it adds built-in support for multiple SIM cards. For some users, it brings VoLTE to supported networks. And for all kinds of users, it offers a Device Protection scheme that keeps your phone locked in case of loss or theft until the authorized user unlocks it. At this point, it isn’t known yet whether the OTA bears the fix that Google mentioned five days ago. All we can advise is to proceed with caution or at least wait until braver souls have tested the waters.