Although the Nexus 9 is one of Google's two newest devices, the 8.9-inch tablet is not getting the rightful flagship treatment it deserves.
The Nexus 9 is the only device in Google's line of Nexus smartphones and tablets that remains with the buggy, laggy Android 5.0.1, while a handful of other devices, including the first and second-generation Nexus 7 Wi-Fi versions, the Nexus 10, and the Nexus Player set-top box, have jumped ahead to Android 5.1.1 with the release of the factory images for these devices.
That, however, is going to change, and many hope, soon enough for disgruntled Nexus 9 owners whose tablets are beset with plenty of software problems causing poor performance and, in some cases, completely unusable Nexus 9s.
Android engineering program manager Sascha Prüter says the Android 5.1.1 OTA updates for the Nexus 9 "aren't far out" and users can expect to get some relief in the near future with the release of bug fixes and new features that Nexus 9 owners have long been missing out on. However, Prüter admits he is not working directly on the tablet and does not offer a more specific timeline on when to expect the OTA update.
"I don't know the timeline (because I'm not directly working on the N9) so saying anything would be speculative and not helpful at all," he said. "The team is battling with some last-minute bugs and once these are addressed we will roll the update out as fast as possible."
Just a little over two weeks ago, Tech Times reported that Android 5.1.1 for the Nexus 9 and the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi version were spotted on Google's Android Audio Latency information page, indicating that indeed Google is working on bringing the latest version of its software to the Nexus 9. However, plenty of Nexus 9 owners were disappointed when last week, Google's first Android 5.1.1 factory image for a Nexus device was for the Nexus Player.
News of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge receiving Android 5.1.1 updates further angered Nexus 9 owners, since one major draw to buying a Nexus device is supposedly being the first to receive the latest versions of Android.
Part of the reason Google is taking so long in releasing updates for the Nexus 9 is the NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-bit processor running on the tablet, since Google is used to injecting Snapdragon processors into its devices. That's just speculation, though, and Google might not even become open about what causes the update delays for the Nexus 9.
In the meantime, all we can do is wait.