Today Google has announced the release of Android 5.1 Lollipop. The update is said to improve both performance and stability, as well as including a few new features.

The first feature is official support for multiple SIM cards. This feature is likely to appeal to Android users in emerging markets, and will definitely help Google's Android One initiative. Another new feature is support for HD voice calls on compatible networks and devices, with both T-Mobile and Verizon supporting the feature on the Nexus 6. Google has also added the ability to join WiFi networks and pair Bluetooth devices right from the quick settings menu.

In addition to the above improvements, Android 5.1 has one more notable feature, it's called Device Protection. Similar to Apple's Activation Lock, Device Protection means that a device will remain locked until the owner signs in with their Google account. This lock persists even after a factory reset, which should hopefully make stealing Android smartphones a pointless endeavor for thieves. Police departments in some US cities reported significant reductions in iPhone theft after the release of Activation Lock, and it would be great to see the same thing happen with Android devices.

Android 5.1 Lollipop will be rolling out to Nexus and Google Play edition devices in the near future.

Source: Google Android Blog

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  • Novacius - Sunday, March 15, 2015 - link

    Oh god, it's not. But they fixed it now internally, so let's wait again. Reply
  • Pissedoffyouth - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    I get no memory leak on my note 3... Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    Your launcher doesn't have to reload, occasionally?
    On my n4, n5, and n7 that happens all the time.
    Reply
  • Pissedoffyouth - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    Nope Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    "In addition to the above improvements, Android 5.1 has one more notable feature, it's called Device Protection. Similar to Apple's Activation Lock, Device Protection means that a device will remain locked until the owner signs in with their Google account. This lock persists even after a factory reset, which should hopefully make stealing Android smartphones a pointless endeavor for thieves."

    Any details on how that will work? Is it based on the "Android ID", which can easily be changed on rooted devices?* Or is it based on something else?

    * Boot to custom recovery, format all partitions, install new ROM, boot into ROM and you have a new Android ID. When trying to restore apps via Titanium Backup, you are given the option of restoring the previous ID, or continuing with the new ID.
    Reply
  • aryonoco - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    If you have rooted your phone and have flashed a custom recovery, I think it's reasonable to say that you've voluntarily forgone all built-in security measures. Don't see how this is any different. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    What's stopping the thieves from rooting the device to get around the lock? If you say that the lock is supposed to prevent rooting, then realise that most of the time, rooting a device exploits a bug to get root access. This lock had better be bullet proof. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    You're thinking about it backwards.

    It's not "you've rooted your phone so forget about using this feature"; instead, it's "is this feature useful if a thief can by-pass it by rooting the phone and installing a custom recovery".

    That's why I'm asking for more details.
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    It's a hardware feature (probably TrustZone related) since only devices that came loaded with lollipop will get it. Reply
  • keitaro - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    HD voice calling, eh? Hmm... this'll be interesting to see on my the N6. Too bad I probably don't have other people who uses a compatible phone to test this with. *sigh* Reply

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