One of the benefits of using an community developed open source software for smartphones is that I don’t need to wait for someone’s blessings before I get to use it on my phone. Like on my OnePlus One right now, I have Android 5.1.1, using the nightly build of CyanogenMod 12.1 ROM. Fresh out of the build servers.
CyanogenMod was a little later than usual readying their Lollipop ROM. The underlying Android software had changed significantly enough between KitKat and Lollipop that made merging of the CyanogenMod source more complex than expected.
But once the developers got the Lollipop ROM out of the door, moving from Android 5.0 (5.0.1 actually) to 5.1, and then to 5.1.1 happened really quickly.
Google officially released Android 5.1.1 on 21 April 2015, and it’s mainly a bug fix from Android 5.1. The biggest highlight is the fix of a nasty memory leak. Android 5.1 itself introduced some features that, to me, aren’t all terribly useful, except the last one:
- Multi SIM card support. My phone doesn’t support multiple SIM cards.
- Device protection. Device remains locked even if reset to factory settings, until owner signs into their Google account.
- HD voice calls. Available only between compatible devices.
- Improvements to the notification priority system.
Then, prior to 5.1, there was an important improvement in how Android handles internal alarms which apps use to schedule tasks.
A couple changes deal with how Android handles internal alarms, which apps use to schedule tasks. In particular, Android is now better about waking the CPU when alarms need it to. There’s also a fix for an incomplete feature that was supposed to prevent simultaneous alarms from competing for system resources. (source)
For OnePlus One owners, if you need to know, you can get the nightly ROMs from CyanogenMod Downloads. The changelogs, to make it easier to follow what has changed, but clearly needs some technical understanding, can be found at http://www.cmxlog.com/12.1/bacon/.
While all this living on the cutting-edge of software may be fun for some people, I appreciate that for some others, they’d be just happy to have a phone that works as expected.