The HTC One M7 and HTC One M8 have been officially approved to receive Android 5.1 Lollipop and the OTA (over the air) update is reportedly already rolling out to owners of the devices.

In a tweet sent out late Tuesday, HTC vice president of product management, Mo Versi, announced that "approval for both M8 & M7 GPE versions have been granted by Google for 5.1 OS. OTA out shortly!" That means Android 5.1 Lollipop for the Google Play Editions of both of HTC's former flagship smartphones is official.

Reportedly, owners of the smartphones are already receiving the update. The Android 5.1 Lollipop benefits include battery life improvements and stronger security features in order to protect owners of devices that are lost or stolen. A user has to sign in with the registered Google account information, even in the case of a factory reset, in order to get the device to function at all.

The Quick Settings menu has also been enhanced to allow for quicker access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Another highly touted feature of Android 5.1 is high definition calling between devices equipped with the new OS.

The Google Play editions are the pure Android versions of the smartphone without any additional HTC customizations or enhancements. That's one reason why GPE devices are often among the first to receive Android OS updates from Google. There's no word yet on when the Android 5.1 Lollipop update will be released for the regular HTC One M8 and M7. HTC is getting ready to release the successor to both smartphones, The HTC One M9, on April 10. The manufacturer has also confirmed that the new flagship will be running Android 5.1 out of the box.

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