As Google is expected to launch the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system (OS) by the end of September, Samsung has begun rolling out Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to a new set of devices. Owners of the Samsung Galaxy 4 8.0 and Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 under Verizon as well as Galaxy S5 Mini on US Cellular are now able to upgrade their devices to version 5.1.1.
The said Android Lollipop OS is the most recent consumer version of Android presently available. Verizon posted separate support pages for the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0's and Galaxy Note Pro 12.2's firmware upgrades. The tablets are launched in 2014 with very different price points and both of them previously ran Android 4.4 KitKat.
Meanwhile, the compact version of Samsung's 2014 flagship, the Galaxy S5 Mini, is also being seeded with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. However, US Cellular is the only carrier sending out the OS to the said model. The new firmware will update the device's build number to G800R4VXU1BOI1.
As the updates follow the usual gradual roll out, it may not arrive to all owners of the aforementioned devices at the same time. While update alerts usually appear whenever a new OS is available, users can manually check if Android 5.1.1 is ready for download by heading to Settings > About Phone > and select Software Updates menu.
One of the most notable changes that Google has carried over via its Android Lollipop OS is the new Material Design user interface. Other notable features include the new Quick Settings and an improved notification system.
The arrival of version 5.1.1 to Galaxy model introduces Samsung-specific features and improvements such as the Galaxy Apps auto installation feature when signing in using the default Samsung Account. It also brings a new Download Booster which combines Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connections so users can download files much faster.
Once the OS has been installed, it will greatly improve the devices' multi-tasking feature as it will offer multi-windows icons for better access and control over all the recently opened applications. The new Floating Action Button gives users the option to add new tasks, notes and reminders from various screens likes Calendar, Contacts, and other similar apps.
The search giant will be holding a press event on September where it is predicted to unveil the 2015 editions of its Nexus 5 and Nexus 6, made by LG and Huawei, respectively. The two handsets are thought to be the first models to offer Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. Samsung's move to distribute version 5.1.1 to more models, similar to what other manufacturers have been doing, is seen as a preparation for rolling out version 6.0 to its own devices.