The latest Android version to be released by Google is 5.0 Lollipop, which is considered the biggest Android update to date. It is expected to become officially available on November 3, 2014 and will be included in the brand new Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 smartphone and tablet respectively. Many of the flagship Android powered smartphones, such as the HTC One M8 and M7, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the LG G3, and tablets like the Nexus 7 and 10 are expected to be upgradeable to the new OS. Along with a whole slew of great new features, Android Lollipop is said to be giving Google’s mobile operating system a considerable overhaul.
Android Lollipop was originally unveiled in June 2014 at the I/O developer conference as “Android L.” There are a number of changes coming to Android as a result of this release, including a completely new design. However, the Android Lollipop features are probably the most important aspects of all in determining whether you want to upgrade your device to the OS. Here are the new details you can expect.
Aesthetically speaking, Android Lollipop offers the fresh new design called “Material Design.” Overall, it gives Android a sleeker and more minimalistic appearance. Brighter colors are used and there is more depth and shadow, similar to what Apple used in iOS prior to iOS 7. There is also a great deal more white space, particularly around text. There is also more transparency and more animation when the user interacts with the screen in any way.
Android Lollipop also brings about a new notification center that includes notification cards at the center of the lock screen. This is similar to what Apple has brought about in iOS. The idea behind notifications is also such that you will be alerted to things that are considered most important, while those deemed less important will remain hidden. The “Heads Up” feature will provide the user with a quick glance of a text message, email or incoming phone call while he or she is doing something else on their device. “Priority Mode” is useful for anything that is the most urgent as it will show notifications when the phone would otherwise be in “Do Not Disturb” mode, similar to Quiet Hours in Windows Phone 8.1.
“Device Sharing” is one of the great new Android Lollipop features that should make everyone in your household happy. This was originally unveiled in Jelly Bean for tablets, but now it is possible to create multiple accounts for your family members, significant other or close friends to allow them to use certain apps on your smartphone. Lollipop even makes it possible to log into another device – one that also runs Lollipop – and access your messages, contacts and photos.
There is better multitasking in Lollipop and you have access to quick settings. A quick swipe down from the top of the screen brings up your most basic functions, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, flashlight, Airplane Mode and more. A very important feature that comes as well is Battery Saver mode. This will turn background data off your smartphone when the battery is running low and you need to squeeze out as much juice as possible.
Keep on the lookout for the 5.0 Android Lollipop operating system in the next few weeks. It is worth updating your older device if you are interested in these great new features.