Android 5.1.1 for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge: What’s new?

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Android 5.1 for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge has to be among the most anticipated updates to the OS in history, despite being relatively minor in terms of new features. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important, as it fixes the horrible memory leak issue in Android 5.0 Lollipop. What it didn’t fix is the horrendous memory management on the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, but it does bring a couple of new features and changes/improvements.

Most of these changes are not easily noticeable, so if you’re rocking the Galaxy S6 or S6 edge, here’s a list of what Android 5.1.1 brings to Samsung’s greatest Galaxy S flagships.

New camera features

  • With Android 5.1.1, the camera on the S6 gains a couple of functions that weren’t there before. First, there’s a manual exposure control that now allows you change the exposure directly on the viewfinder by dragging your finger up and down on the screen. It’s a feature that is inspired by the iPhone, and it can sometimes work wonders when you’re targeting a subject with a lot of light in the background or in dim lighting conditions.
  • There are two other features that have been introduced, though these are not visible to the user until they’re using a third-party camera app (like Manual Camera): support for saving RAW images and the option to set the ISO to 50. Both of these options are more useful for advanced users, but they do count when we talk of the major changes in 5.1.1.
  • There’s also a UI change in the camera app. When using voice commands to take a picture, the camera counts down before doing do, and the numerical countdown in this case has been replaced by a radar-like circle. We think the former was better since you knew exactly how much time was left before the picture would be taken, but in terms of the design, the new timer is certainly nice.

New battery power optimization option

You’re probably not alone if you have never been able to get the DETAIL button in the battery usage stats (under the Battery power optimization tab) to work. This option is for detecting apps that use an abnormally high amount of battery, and in our case, we have never actually seen the devices detect any such app.

With Android 5.1.1, that still seems to be the case, but pressing that DETAIL button now takes you to a menu where you can uninstall unused apps and set some background apps to automatically stop running. Hitting the AUTO STOP button will make these apps stop after 10 minutes, a delay that is no doubt there to allow these apps to finish whatever it is they might be doing in the background.

Apparently, an app set to auto stop will always quit running in approximately 10 minutes every time you open them. This should come in handy for apps that you don’t use very often, and even when you do, you don’t need them to keep running in the background once you’re done.

s6-5.1.1-5

Rotate button in the calculator

If you have the screen rotation setting off on your phone, you will now see a button in the calculator that allows you to switch between landscape and portrait mode. This option doesn’t show up if you have screen rotation set to on across the system, which is a nice touch. A rotate option like this would certainly be useful in apps like the gallery as well, for those that keep screen rotation off but have to turn it on when they’re checking out pictures in the gallery, and maybe Samsung will add one to more apps with future updates.

s6-5.1.1-4

A – Z sorting in the launcher’s app drawer

You can now sort the list of apps in the home launcher’s app drawer in alphabetical order, something that should never have been absent in the first place. This sorting can be done by hitting the A-Z button at the top in the app drawer, though this doesn’t still work as it should – you will need to sort the list again after installing or uninstalling any app, which could be a nuisance if you keep trying out new apps regularly.

s6-5.1.1-1

S Finder and Quick Connect toggles in the notification shade can now be disabled

This is probably the best example of a change that is small but is likely to make a lot of users happy. You can now remove the S Finder and Quick Connect toggles from the notification shade and reclaim the space these toggles take up. To do so, just drag down the notification shade, hit that EDIT button at the top right, then uncheck the S Finder and Quick Connect options at the bottom, then hit DONE. You don’t need to disable both – you can disable either of the two, which will make the enabled option take up the entire width of the screen below the quick settings toggles.

s6-5.1.1-2

Motion effect in wallpaper settings

This is another change that doesn’t add anything except for a visual effect. Enabling the motion effect makes the homescreen wallpaper move ever so slightly when you tilt the device left and right or top and bottom, and you can find the motion effect option in the wallpaper selection screen. It’s only available if you’re using the default TouchWiz launcher, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see the option on a third-party launcher.

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Other minor changes

  • The Themes menu now has a big Theme Store button at the bottom instead of just a STORE button on the top right.
  • The app drawer opening animation in the launcher is faster and smoother, making the apps list show up more quickly.
  • As the memory leak has been fixed, performance is more consistent, so your device should be less prone to slowing down after extended periods of use.

As you can see, Android 5.1.1 is pretty much a refinement of the user interface, making things more intuitive in some cases while adding a very small amount of new never-before-seen features (read never-before-seen on the S6 and S6 edge.) Of course, there are things that didn’t make the cut despite having been present in beta builds of 5.1.1, like guest mode or shutter speed control in the camera. Hopefully, Samsung will be addressing the leftovers later through minor updates, instead of just waiting for Android M to come along.


How are you liking Android 5.1.1 on your Galaxy S6 or S6 edge? Did you notice something that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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spigui
2 years 3 months ago
spigui

What happened to guest mode???? There are pictures of it in the betas.
Is there any way to turn on?

gbosar
2 years 3 months ago
gbosar

Last Update Android 5.1.1 Missing features:
Motion Effect
Battery Power Optimization
Poor Battery Life

Please Samsung, move the engineers.

visao
2 years 4 months ago
visao

its the worst update i’ve seen in my life!!!!! emotion efftect not worked. the battery get so poor!! also its not smoothy like 5.0.2!!!

hegdesaspect
2 years 4 months ago
hegdesaspect

The “Battery Power Optimization” has been removed in the update post 5.1.1. This is really very bad. It was very useful and the battery consumption was reduced by 75%. Now the feature is removed, battery consumption is also high.

Samsung should either allow rooting with 5.1.1 or give back the “Battery Power Optimization” feature. Without either of them, it is very bad.

StephenCWLL
2 years 4 months ago
StephenCWLL

It’s still there but you need to go to “Smart Manager”/RAM/Manage Apps

Took me a few weeks to find this 🙂

npu3paka
2 years 4 months ago
npu3paka

When u setup alarm, now shows toast notification with remaining time till the deadline.

andres ross
2 years 4 months ago
andres ross
My S6 is up and running on 5.1.1 better then ever…if I can get 6 hours of heavy use um good and um talking about str8 use that’s good…my fone looses 1 maybe 2% over night with the WiFi on…. So if I don’t use it 6 hours with heavy use it will clearly last all dam day EASILY!!!! SO IDK WAT U GUYS DOIN TO THESE FONE OR JUST DON’T HAVE A LIFE TRYING TO USE THE FONE ALL DAM DAY WITH HEAVY USE COME ON NOW… TOP IT OFF UM USING TOUCH WIZ AND SHIT WORKING FINE… ONLY… Read more »
superlion
2 years 5 months ago
superlion

My S6 EDGE Works much better with 5.1.1. No more lack and battery life is much better. But do a factory reset after updating to 5.1.1 it’s very important!

Krushit Patel
2 years 5 months ago
Krushit Patel

I dont understand samsung galaxy s6 edge has a awesome camera than why we have to use third party app for raw image functionality…. and what about memory management hope they fixed that issue in 5.1.1

akib777
2 years 5 months ago
akib777

when can i get the galaxy alpha SM-G850Y 5.0.2 lollipop update? come on samsung, its been years since the last update. please just give us one more update. we need it badly.

ruzul
2 years 5 months ago
ruzul

When we going to get 5.1.1 for galaxy note edge in india..july is too going to end soon but no sign of the update waiting for it badly an i wish they bring theme option for us too and the camera shutter button on edge like it had in kitkat after lollipop they put the shutter on main screen…just bring the update soon can’t wait any longer.

hanumanbob
2 years 5 months ago
hanumanbob

This is a terrible update. So many things wrong and buggy. The s6 is almost useless now

mustafabarcelona
2 years 5 months ago
mustafabarcelona

bad update
my s6 went bit laggy after the update it was very smooth on 5.0.2

billywongwashere
2 years 5 months ago
billywongwashere

The 5.1.1 is a huge let down. It has made the battery life worst. I was getting on average of 16 to 17 hrs a day. With the new update its around 9 to 10 hrs. Very poor show

mwwm132
2 years 5 months ago
mwwm132

This option is for detecting apps that use an abnormally high amount of battery, and in our case, we have never actually seen the devices detect any such app.
I detect one app called Allconnect.

andres ross
2 years 5 months ago
andres ross

I don’t see no app called allconnect unless u downloaded it…how much battery did it drain???

Wilksie
2 years 5 months ago
Wilksie

The parallax effect where the motion of the wallpaper has been touted so many times as a feature of 5.1.1 here on Sammobile but it’s been available since I had my launch day S6 edge.

There is a button added to turn it off… its not a new feature! Stop saying it is! Mine has done this since launch!

JohnK
2 years 5 months ago
JohnK
Samsung needs to release a new camera app as soon as possible or at least a new pro and more complete addon to compete with other top phones. They should not wait for Apple to release a new camera app with their next Iphone to do same with S6s. I’m already seeing ads in streets from Apple showing various pictures with just that sentence : “taken with an iphone 6”, meaning they feel insecure and will probably throw a lot on the table with their next phone even if it’s only 12MP. So tell to your insiders even if they… Read more »
andres ross
2 years 5 months ago
andres ross

U covered just about all of it…all this needs is raw and shutter speed controls on the main camera and of course FIX THE DAM RAM AND THIS WILL BE A REAL HIGH END FONE DESPITE NO MEMORY CARD OR REMOVABLE BATTERY!!!!!!

omerfcagil
2 years 5 months ago
omerfcagil

Any idea about how many of these features will be on note 4?

kulasse
2 years 5 months ago
kulasse

Hi, I really hope that Samsung very soon added the guest mode. This option lacks a lot. Do you have a release date for the guest mode. Thank you.

n900mixalot
2 years 4 months ago
n900mixalot

I doubt it. But you never know. Make sure you let them know when you are frustrated.

sanayp
2 years 5 months ago
sanayp

no

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