Google began rolling out its new Android 5.1 update on Monday, which includes new features and plenty of improvements. It could take a while to reach all Nexus devices, but if you don’t want to wait, you can now download the factory images now and flash them manually.
Not only do factory images allow you to upgrade your Nexus device before the latest software reaches you over-the-air, but they also provide a quick and easy way to reinstall Google’s stock firmware if you’ve flashed custom ROMs or other tweaks on your device.
For now, Android 5.1 factory images are available for the Nexus 5, the 2012 Nexus 7 with Wi-Fi, and the Nexus 10 — and they can be downloaded from Google’s dedicated webpage via the source link below. We expect other Nexus devices to be supported very soon, so keep an eye on that page if yours isn’t just yet.
Flashing factory images requires an unlocked bootloader, so ensure your device has this before you attempt to install Android 5.1. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to perform that process first, but bear in mind that it will wipe your device, so be sure to backup your data.
Android 5.1, the first big update since Lollipop made its debut late last year, includes support for HD voice calling, as well as the use of multiple SIM cards. It also irons out more bugs and makes Lollipop more stable.