When Android 5.0 Lollipop was released last year, it was filled with bugs and customer complaints started to pour in. Google rolled out Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop to try to fix the issues, but those were not enough.
Google started rolling out Android 5.1 Lollipop in March, as a bigger maintenance update that looks to address the several issues that plagued the initial release of Google's latest mobile operating system.
Android 5.1 Lollipop improves the overall stability, battery life and performance of Android devices compared to the previous release. Most of these changes are under the hood, but there are also several new features that Android 5.1 Lollipop brings.
The security feature comes with the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and new devices that feature Android 5.1 Lollipop. The feature works similarly to the Activation Lock security feature of Apple, as Android devices that are reported lost or stolen remain locked, even after a factory reset, unless the user signs in with his or her Google account.
The update allows users to now access the quick settings drawer by swiping down from the top of the device's screen, even while the device is locked. Settings that can be accessed here include switching on or off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, activating the flashlight and adjusting brightness. The options shown in the quick settings drawer can now also be customized, with a long press on an option hiding it from showing up in the drawer, whereas previously in Android 5.0 Lollipop, users do not have the ability to remove the options.
Dual SIM support
Dual SIM cards are now supported with the new Android, which is a feature geared towards international travelers and users in developing nations. The dialer app allows users to choose which SIM card to use, with the interface coming with color coding to make users aware of which SIM card is being used.
Priority Mode alarm
In Priority Mode, users shut down audible notifications for a certain time period, such as when the user is asleep. The upgrade to Android 5.1 Lollipop ties in the mode with the device's alarm, making the device remain in Priority Mode until the alarm goes off.
Temporary notification dismissal
In Android 5.0 Lollipop, notifications that drop in from the top part of the device's screen had to be acted upon with a tap, dismissed entirely with a swipe, or just stayed there until they disappear. With Android 5.1 Lollipop users can swipe up to temporarily dismiss notifications, but they will stay in the notifications bar.
HD audio calls
The upgrade to Android 5.1 Lollipop also adds HD audio call capabilities, though users will need to have compatible devices and compatible networks to take advantage of the feature.
These are just some of the changes that Android 5.1 Lollipop brings to improve the Android experience. Users should upgrade from Android 5.0 Lollipop to the latest version of the mobile operating system the first chance that they get.