In Depth: Android 5.0 Lollipop release date: when can I get it?
Google, HTC, Samsung and Sony
Android Lollipop is now out in the open and it includes a hat full of new features, a visual overhaul and numerous under-the-hood improvements to make if faster, more efficient and lighter on your battery, but while we know all about it, it’s not yet available for public consumption.
Even once it does launch it will be down to individual manufacturers to port it to their devices, so chances are you’ll still be waiting a while to get it on your phone and tablet (unless you’ve gone full Nexus already) and most companies haven’t yet been all that forthcoming with details of when they’ll bring it to their phones and tablets.
But we do know some things and we can take educated guesses at others, so read on for all the information and theories on when you might see Android Lollipop on your device.
Whilst Android Lollipop was announced at Google’s IO event, it was simply known as Android L. Since then there were a lot of rumors swirling about that sweet-themed name Google would go for.
The Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 will be Google’s first devices to come with Android Lollipop, but these aren’t the only Nexus products which will get the latest sweet treat.
Android 5.0 Lollipop will also be available on the Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.
HTC has been more forthcoming with its update plans than most manufacturers and it’s no surprise given how quickly it plans to bring the update to users. In a statement the company said:
“HTC is excited about the new features in Android Lollipop and we can’t wait to share them with our customers. We are committed to updating our flagship HTC One family as fast as possible.
“We will begin rolling out updates to the HTC One (M8) and HTC One (M7) in regions worldwide within 90 days of receiving final software from Google, followed shortly thereafter by other One family members and select devices.”
Doing the mathematics that means the company’s most recent two flagships should get Android Lollipop either at the end of the year or possibly in January of next year.
We’re going to go ahead and assume that most other HTC handsets released in the last year or so will also get the update at some point.
As a general rule the more recent and high profile a device is the more likely it is to get an update, so the HTC Desire Eye will almost certainly be near the front of the line.
The HTC One Mini 2, the HTC One Mini and perhaps the HTC One Max and some of the other recent Desire handsets are likely to get the update too, though probably not until sometime after the One M7 and the One M8.
Samsung is yet to shed any light on when it will be bringing Android Lollipop to its phones, which is a shame, given just how many people are walking around with a Samsung handset. We can take an educated guess though.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 arrived too early to launch with Android Lollipop, but it will likely be updated quickly. The Galaxy S5, Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 3 are also likely to get the update very shortly after it launches, probably within the same sort of several month timeframe as HTC is operating under.
Other Samsung handsets may have to wait a little longer, however we’d expect that most high profile devices released in the last 18 months to 2 years will get the update, including the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy S5 Mini.
We doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S3 or anything older will get Android Lollipop. It’s a device that’s already over two years old and some versions of it didn’t even get Android 4.4.
Samsung doesn’t seem great at updating its tablets either. There’s a good chance recent slates like its Note Pro and Tab S ranges and even the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 will get Android Lollipop but anything older or low end is iffy.
Sony has openly declared that it will be “bringing Android 5.0 Lollipop to the entire Xperia Z Series.”
It’s even published a full list of handsets which are in line for Android Lollipop, so here we go…
Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1S, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3v, Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.
It’s worth noting that the Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition will be first in line, but Sony is yet to reveal an exact date for the update.
As to when Sony will start rolling out the update to its main line of devices, the manufacturer has said “We’ll start the upgrade at the beginning of 2015 for the core Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2 series – continuing thereafter for all remaining devices above.”
LG, Motorola, OnePlus, Huawei and ZTE
LG has told us that it currently has no update “on if / when Android Lollipop will be coming to the LG G3.” That ‘if’ doesn’t fill us with confidence, but we’d be very surprised if the company’s flagship didn’t get the new version of Android.
Not only would it be a strange decision not to, but the LG G2 got updated from Android 4.2 to Android 4.4. The update started rolling out roughly four months after Android 4.4 launched, so if the same thing happens again then you can expect the LG G3 to get it early next year.
Other Motorola handsets that will get Android Lollipop are the Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini.
The release schedule for the Android Lollipop update hasn’t been revealed by Motorola yet, but you can check its software upgrade website for updates.
Motorola’s UI is very close to stock Android as well so it shouldn’t be as much work to get new versions up and running and back when the company was owned by Google it was pretty prompt with updates, unsurprisingly.
Things might be different now that Lenovo’s in the driving seat, but we doubt there’ll be too long a wait for Android Lollipop on any recent Moto handsets.
The OnePlus One is still bizarrely hard to get hold of thanks to the requirement for an invitation, but if you have managed to get your hands on one you’ll be pleased to know that the company plans to upgrade it Android Lollipop (or a CyanogenMod build based on Android Lollipop anyway).
In a statement posted to the OnePlus forums a staff member confirmed that not only would its first and only handset be getting Android Lollipop, but that it would arrive within three months of Google releasing a final build. So the same time frame as HTC in other words.
Like most manufacturers, Huawei hasn’t yet shared any details on its Android Lollipop plans. Unfortunately it’s not always the quickest at updating its phones either as it only fairly recently started rolling out Android 4.4 to the Ascend P6 for example and the Ascend G6 is still waiting for it.
The company’s latest flagship, the Ascend P7, shipped with Android 4.4 and we imagine it will probably get Android Lollipop, but possibly not any time soon. We’re less sure whether any of the company’s other phones will get it, but fingers crossed.
If you’re one of the relatively few with a ZTE handset you might be wondering if and when Android Lollipop will be arriving for it. Unfortunately so are we and this is one case where it’s very much an ‘if’ rather than a ‘when’.
Nvidia might not be high on most people’s radars when it comes to Android devices, but gaming fans might be interested in knowing if and when the Nvidia Shield will be getting Android Lollipop.
Nvidia told us that “we’ve worked hard to support every official Android release in the past, as you can see with our SHIELD portable and our software team is always working hard to bring new features and the latest updates with no delay. We try to make sure that updates come as close to their announcement as possible.”
So while it didn’t go so far as to confirm anything it sounds very likely that the Nvidia Shield will get Android Lollipop and probably quite soon after launch.