Good news if you have an LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition tablet: The Android 5.1 software update is in the air, waiting to be installed on your device. Android Police notes that the new version became available for the slate on Monday. Google updated and posted the software for many of its own Nexus devices a few weeks ago. If you have one of those, you can download and install the Android 5.1 factory image directly from Google here.
Carrier devices still aren't getting Android 5.1, but Motorola said last week that its older phones from 2013 -- the Moto X, G, and E -- will bypass Android 5.0 and go right to the newer software. The company started pushing Android 5.1 to the Google Play Edition of the Moto G 2014 just yesterday. It's going to take time for network operators to test the software before the carrier-branded versions receive it, however.
So what's inside Android 5.1? Google addressed some of the issues found in Android 5.0, for sure, saying there are general stability and performance improvements. There are new features too.
Google added native support for multiple SIM cards in Android 5.1, likely due to its Android One project. Android One brings standardized hardware requirements to low-cost phones -- think sub-$100 -- for regions where multiple people share a single phone. This could help with dual-SIM phones used by employees though: One SIM for work calls and one for personal.
From a security perspective, Android 5.1 adds a Device Protection feature: lost or stolen devices stay locked until you sign in with your Google account. That's handy for consumers and businesses who want to protect their locally stored data.
The new software should make those conference calls a little more enjoyable too.Android 5.1 adds HD Voice with wideband audio codecs, allowing for much clearer conversations on networks that support it. Joining a Wi-Fi network at the office or on the go gets a little easier as well: You can do so right from the Quick Settings screen in Android 5.1.
Google says that its newest software platform also brings more support for its Android at Work initiative; a way for enterprises to build and use apps that designed for safety and security.