Once one of the slowest to update its Android handsets, Samsung is leading the pack with Android 5.1.1. The company is pushing the latest software update to its flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones.
SamMobile says that T-Mobile customers are the first in the U.S. to get Android 5.1.1; other carriers will likely follow after their own testing and certification processes are complete. Google's own Nexus 5 and 6 phones received the update in late May.
Obviously, big changes are coming later this year with thenext major release of Android, dubbed Android M.
That version was announced last month at Google's I/O developer event and includes finer control over app permissions, longer battery life and a number of other changes. So you won't see those with this software update.
You will, however, get a big camera improvement based on a sneak peek of an early Android 5.1.1 build for Samsung's latest smartphones.
Other improvements are relatively minor but welcome. You can, for example, disable the parallax wallpaper effect, easily reorder applications in your launcher and modify some of the Samsung-specific features.
It wasn't that long ago when Samsung seemed to take forever to get Android updates out to its users, or it would skip some minor upgrades entirely. Along with other reasons, that caused me to move away from Samsung devices; I generally stuck with the Google Nexus phones and later opted for Motorola handsets.
This time around, however, my Moto X is still waiting to get a boost from Android 5.0. Samsung has beat Motorola to the punch here; at least by a small margin since Android 5.1 is currently undergoing a limited soak test and will likely arrive officially later this month.
Well done, Samsung. Well done.