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Android 5.1 has a major bug, beware if you’re on a Nexus 5

by Todd Haselton | March 16, 2015March 16, 2015 7:00 pm EST

Android 5.1 improves on Android 5.0 pretty drastically, but it’s not perfect. Released to the Nexus 6 and other Nexus devices just last week, it offers new features such as HD voice support – which is particularly useful if you’re on T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless – new security features, bug fixes, support for two SIM cards and more.

There’s one bug that’s already been spotted, however, and it could affect your experience with the update.

Threatpost recently noticed issues related to memory problems, and points to several posts on the AOSP website that suggest the issue is widespread. “Users reported seeing their RAM bloat to over 1 gigabyte and leave as little as 150 megabytes free, before their phones ultimately crashed,” the site explained.

We explored the forums and noticed that several users are experiencing the problem. “My system clogged up over 800MB today but my phone was not slow and it didn’t redraw and restart apps,” one user, who apparently didn’t experience a crash, said. Others noticed that apps such as Gmail were “laggy” but that restarting fixed the issue temporarily. Of note: most of the complaints seem to be coming from users on the Nexus 5, so it doesn’t appear to be affecting every single smartphone the same way.

Google has apparently already fixed the bug. Threatpost noticed that the RAM issue had been documented by Google and moved from a “new” bug to a “future release” status, meaning that we should see a fix in a fresh update. The big problem is that Google hasn’t said when that update is arriving. If you’re worried about this affecting your device, you may want to hold off on Android 5.1 for now.

AOSP Threatpost

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...