Nexus 7 Android L 5.0.2 Update Released for Wi-Fi Edition, Fixing Memory Leak on Android Lollipop 5.0 and 5.0.1

( [email protected] ) Dec 30, 2014 06:15 PM EST
Nexus 7
Google's Nexus 7 2012 wi-fi edition is the first to get the Android 5.0.2 update. Photo: Google

Android 5.0.2 has rolled out for Nexus 7 users, and the latest incremental update aims to fix a few lingering bugs that were still crawling around the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system after launch.

Android 5.0.2 was released to the 2012 wi-fi model of Google's Nexus 7 on December 19, only 17 days after 5.0.1 was released, but the company has yet to release a changelog detailing the exact bug fixes that were included. Luckily for us, many Nexus 7 2012 users have taken to the internet to explain what's new with the update.

This latest patch was created to fix a serious memory leak that was happening with 5.0. Since 5.0.1 was only released to the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus 5, Nexus 4, and Nexus 7 (second generation), the memory leak wasn't spread across all Android devices, but the curious upgrade on the first generation Nexus 7 (that didn't get the 5.0.1 upgrade) has many users confused and frustrated.

As Android Authority reports, many users have taken to Android's issue tracker to voice their opinions on how dissatisfied they are with 5.0.1. "I'm close to abandoning my Nexus 5," one user said while another stated, "Yeah getting my iPhone Monday at least it can multitask."

"The problem is that under certain circumstances Android 5.0 and 5.0.1 leak memory, and when the leak has reached a critical point then Android tries to compensate by forcibly closing apps to free up resources," Android Authority suggests. "What the out-of-memory killer doesn't know is that it is Android itself that is leaking the memory and not the apps.

"A memory leak occurs when Android allocates a chunk of system memory for a task and then doesn't release it again," the article continues. "This means that over time more and more memory will be allocated and none ever given back. Even with 2 or 3GB of RAM, eventually the system will run out of memory, and that is never pretty."

But there has still been no official word from Google about the memory leaks or the latest update's fixes. While the patch numbers don't align with all Nexus devices just yet, Android Authority points out that the latest memory leak has been fixed in the source code, so it's possible to manually repair the problem for advanced users.

GottaBeMobile takes the advice one step further with a helpful list of "9 Tips for Nexus Users" in the site's Android 5.0.2 review. The list includes some common sense advice like keeping the device charged, backing up all files, and not trying to update while on the road, but it also includes some important tips like "Do Not Use This Trick." The trick they're referring to is the Google Framework Services trick that's making its way across the internet. Even Google itself is warning against using the so-called trick.

"Since Google Services Framework deals in the authenticating, handling, and passing of app data, it's possible that the clearing of this framework can negatively impact your experience," Google warns.

But the tech review site suggests that you might want to just be patient for the over-the-air (OTA) update to come to your phone before you try to force it with a manual upgrade. "While the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update is an extremely tempting upgrade, remember, you do not need to install the update right now. In fact, some of you probably shouldn't install the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop when it first arrives."