As expected, Google is rolling out the first factory image for Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. However, it's not for any of the more popular Nexus devices. The Android 5.1.1 update is released first for the Nexus Player.
Google has released the factory image to flash Android 5.1.1 Lollipop on its new Android TV set-top box manufactured by Asus. Users who would like to update their Nexus Player to the latest version of Google's software can download build number LMV47V and flash the image to their devices using our comprehensive guide to installing Android Lollipop for Nexus devices. Or they can wait for the over-the-air (OTA) update to hit their set-top boxes once Google decides to release it.
Developers who are working on apps for the Nexus Player can also download the binary hardware support files for the device on the Android Open-Source Project.
We first caught a glimpse of Google openly referring to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop on its Android Audio Latency page, where Google's flagship tablet Nexus 9 and the 2013 Wi-Fi version of the Nexus 7 were both seen running on Android 5.1.1 build numbers LMY47S and LMY47W respectively.
To date, the Nexus 9 is still running on Android 5.0.1, and the 2013 Nexus 7 still hasn't received the OTA update to Android 5.1, although users can already start flashing the factory images for its Wi-Fi and cellular versions. The latest Nexus device to get the Android 5.1 treatment was the Nexus 4, which started to receive the OTA update last week.
The arrival of Android 5.1.1 for Google's not-so-popular set-top box may be annoying for some, but it sure signals the coming of the update for the rest of the Nexus line.
Little is known about what Android 5.1.1 brings to the table, but the software update is not expected to offer any new features. Instead, Nexus owners are hoping that Android 5.1.1 finally brings the much awaited bug fixes and improvements to major and minor issues plaguing devices updated to Android Lollipop, including the prominent memory leak problems that have rendered many Nexus devices, including the un-updated Nexus 9, useless.
Android 5.1.1 is also expected to provide support for the Android Wear update released by Google on Monday. The latest version of Google's wearable platform includes new features such as handless gestures, the ability to draw emoji on the watch face and send it as an SMS, and offline functionality even when users left their smartphone behind.