Keep checking your phone and tablet because Android 5.0, Lollipop could arrive any day. For some lucky people, it has already arrived and it can be downloaded and installed. There are a few things you need to consider before upgrading and there are some techniques for making the upgrade smoother.

Check for updates

If Android 5.0 becomes available for your device, you will probably see a notification. Pull down from the top of the screen and check. You can also manually check for updates by going to Settings, About, System Updates. Tap the Check now button.

Android 5

You will be notified when Android 5 is available. The dark grey text on the black screen is hard to read, but this device it is 311.2 MB. Just tap the button to install it.

Android 5.0 Lollipop

Before you install Android 5.0

There are some tasks to perform before upgrading Android and the first is to make sure that everything else is updated. A new version of the operating system can cause compatibility problems with old apps that were designed for previous versions. Open the Google Play Store app, tap the menu button in the top left corner and select My Apps. Update any apps that have updates available.

Free up lots of space. Although the update is not very big, just 311 MB on my device, Android sometimes performs poorly when the amount of storage space free is getting low. There have been reports of Android 5.0 Lollipop running very badly on the Google Nexus 7 and this is probably partly due to a lack of space.

Backup all your photos, music and videos online. Online drives provide lots of storage space for these, so get them off the device. You should also lighten the load on the system by uninstalling apps you do not need. Go to Settings, Apps, tap an app, force stop it, clear the cache and data using the buttons, then uninstall it.

A really good way to freshen up an old Android device that is running slowly and does not have much space left is to perform a factory reset. If you have everything backed up, such as photos, music and videos, and you use web mail like Gmail, online storage for files and so on, you can reset an Android device with very little loss.

Go to Settings, Backup and Reset, Factory data reset. When the device restarts you just sign in to Google and your other accounts to restore access to your email, files, music and so on.

I have been running Android 5.0 on a Google Nexus 7 – the original 8 GB version – with no problems at all (so far, touch wood). I wouldn’t call it fast, but it isn’t bad and it is certainly usable. Reports of it not working on a Nexus 7 are common,  but if you clean up the device, Android 5.0 works OK.

Android 5.0 Lollipop . Android 5.0 Lollipop

I did have a problem getting into the tablet when it restarted after installing Android 5.0. After swiping left to right for years to unlock phones and tablets, I could not understand why it would not unlock. I eventually realised that you now swipe up to unlock. That was confusing.

Pulling down from the top of the screen is different too. You used to pull down over the left side of the screen for notifications, and the right side of the screen for system functions and a button to access Settings. Now you pull down half way for notifications, then keep pulling to expose an extra panel at the top with system functions. Again, it took a minute to realise that.

So my Google Nexus 7 is now running Android 5.0 Lollipop and it looks great. No idea when Samsung will get around to updating my Galaxy S4. Maybe next year, maybe never. It is certainly an advantage to have a Google branded device when it comes to OS updates.

Android 5.0 Lollipop