Google Unveils Android 5.0 Lollipop: What You Need To Know
Google has announced the next major iteration of Android, known as Android Lollipop, officially the version 5.0 of the mobile operating system and the 13th major version of the Android. The company also revealed three Nexus devices to run Android Lollipop: the HTC Nexus 9 tablet, the Motorola Nexus 6 smartphone and the Asus Nexus Player streaming media device.
Android Lollipop, formerly known as Android L, brings the most obvious new features in the form of a new design paradigm, which Google refers to as Material Design, first announced at the Google I/O conference on June 25, 2014. The platform introduces visual enhancements and UI improvements that will give Android apps a more smoother and consistent user experience.
The Material Design is aimed to unify the Android experience across various devices, ranging from phones to TVs to smartwatches, or anything else. So any device running Lollipop should have interface that feels part of the same Android family, making the transitions between devices more fluid.
The new version of Android has also brought about a notable change to the Notifications area. Notifications are now directly displayed on the lock screen where they can be expanded to see more details, without the need to unlock the device.
So a user can, for instance, read an email message then delete it without having to actually open up the Gmail app. But if you don’t like this direct access feature because of security concerns then you also have an option to lock away the detailed info.
Moreover, Lollipop allows users to limit notifications to a few specific people in certain conditions, for example, when they are in a meeting or on other personal time. Lollipop also includes a new battery saver mode that extends your Android device’s battery life by as much as 90 more minutes between charges thanks to Google’s Project Volta.
Lollipop is also the first Android version that will offer 64-bit CPU support, which means hardware manufacturers will be readying to crank out 64-bit Android smartphones and tablets. This will open doors to a number of new features, which are currently not possible to land on our Android devices due to the limitations of 32-bit architecture.
Android 5.0 also offers new ways to enhance the security of your device. It includes Smart Lock feature to let users keep their phones unlocked via trusted Bluetooth connections, such as smartwatch. Lollipop also features Factory Reset Protection, which allows users to remotely lock their phone by making it require a password before it’s reset.
This makes Lollipop devices in compliant with California’s Kill Switch law for smartphones that makes them useless when stolen.
Though some of these features have already been incorporated by Android device makers in their own mobile products, Google is now making sure they become a part of the core of Android OS.
Android Lollipop will also make its way to the Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and Google Play Edition devices in the coming weeks. There is no word yet about when it will be released for other popular Android devices.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.