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Google Releases Android 5.1 with Device Protection & HD Voice Calls

Google has announced the arrival of Android 5.1 – an update to its current Lollipop OS for smartphones and tablets. The firmware boost will not only deliver the usual improvements to stability and overall performance but will also be an opportunity for Google to roll out a few new ‘tasty additions’ including Device Protection.

Device Protection will offer Android owners an additional security feature, and more importantly peace of mind, should their gadget get lost or stolen. If your smartphone falls into the someone else’s hands unlawfully and they attempt to factory reset it for their own use they will be asked to enter the original users Gmail account before the device can be set up as new. Hopefully you’d also remembered to pin or password lock the device as well so all your personal stuff stays locked down.

(Resellers of pre-owned Android devices should be aware that Device Protection is something that would need to be disabled, otherwise the device might be useless to the next user. We suspect this feature will be accessible under the Security section of the Settings menu on smartphones and tablets updated to Android 5.1.)

Another nifty new feature allows high definition voice calls to be made between Android 5.1 compatible smartphone through HD Voice and the latest update also brings support for dual-SIM use on devices that boast two SIM ports. So if you share a mobile with someone else or have a couple of usage plans you can switch between them easily without the need to pop out and swap the SIMs. As well as these additions updaters will now be able to join Wi-Fi networks and control connected Bluetooth devices from the Quick Settings menu without need of accessing the full settings.

As the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 are Google branded, the press release for Android Lollipop 5.1 highlights these as frontrunners to receive the update. Others will follow soon after with release dependant on the smartphone or tablet manufacturer but those eligible should receive notification when the update is available for their respective devices.