Google has officially announced Android 5.1, bringing a number of bug fixes and minor changes to the operating system.
The update will first rollout to the Google Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, and should eventually make its way to other devices too.
"Today we are rolling out Android 5.1 - an update to Lollipop that improves stability and performance and offers a few new features like support for multiple SIM cards, Device Protection and high definition (HD) voice on compatible phones," said Google in a blog post.
The update clearly isn't only for bug fixes, bringing support for multiple SIM cards as well as HD voice, a feature that has started rolling out through mobile providers such as Sprint and Verizon. Verizon, of course, still has to actually release the Google Nexus 6; however the company is planning on releasing the device on March 12.
"Get crystal clear calling with HD Voice between compatible Android 5.1 devices like the Nexus 6 on T-Mobile or Verizon," said Google.
Support for multiple SIM cards is also quite a big deal especially in Android One markets where prepaid services are the norm.
Perhaps the most important new feature, however, is Device Protection, which is Google's answer to Apple's Activation Lock. The feature is essentially designed to make your stolen phone useless to whoever stole it.
"With Device Protection, your lost or stolen device will remain locked until you sign in with your Google account - even if someone resets your device to factory settings," continued Google in its blog post. "This feature will be available on most Android phones and tablets shipped with Android 5.1 in addition to Nexus 6 and Nexus 9."
Android 5 Lollipop is Google's latest mobile operating system, and is radically different than any other Android operating system before it. First of all, Google has completely changed the design, offering much more vibrant colors and animations for almost every touch on the device. Unfortunately the rollout of the operating system has been a little slow, as is to be expected from such a fragmented platform. Google's Nexus devices are always among the first to get the update, followed by device makers that offer devices with stock Android, or near stock Android. Stock Android is essentially Android as Google intended it, without any overlay by other companies, such as Samsung or HTC.
With many companies still rolling out Android 5.0, it will likely be a while before many users get the 5.1 update. For Nexus users and Google Play Edition users, the update will roll out over the next few weeks.