There haven’t been many changes since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But, Android 5.0 Lollipop comes with considerable changes with design and yet, Android experience is retained. Google has come with an aesthetic design for Lollipop that’s similar to iOS 8, but unique. Besides, major extras are added by Google like mobile payments, though the core features like ability to search and install external keyboards are enhanced.
Material is the considerable change in aesthetic design, in Lollipop. Everything about Android from the way it looks, to app drawer, set up menu, icons and even animations are changed. Even so, the significant changes are more visible in Nexus, as smartphone manufacturers who rely on Android platform use custom skins to make alter looks and feel of Android.
Material feels more dynamic, responds to touch better, animations are improved and also, the color palette is better with rich and bright colors. It adds a casual look and feel, something that’s missing in iOS. Also, the most colorful changes and stunning illustrations make Calendar and Gmail all the more better, in Lollipop.
Notifications play a very important role in Android, though they’re neatly tucked in a swipe screen that could be scrolled down or up, per user preference. Lollipop sticks to the basics, though notifications are added to lock screen, like iOS and Moto alerts. This can come in handy, as you don’t have to unlock your phone when the notifications aren’t really important.
A new addition to Lollipop, Priority mode is more like “Do No Disturb” mode. By enabling this mode, you only get notification for important events calls, text messages and alarms. When you enable Priority mode, you could choose to receive alerts from select contacts, or even choose “none” when you don’t want to be interrupted at all. This is a handy feature when you are in a business meeting, or catching a short nap after a hectic day, etc.
This is a new addition, where small pop-up alerts show up at the top of your phone screen. You can choose to ignore or interact and don’t need to use the drop-down menu for opening the notifications.
Multitasking has undergone great revamp in Lollipop. Instead of “recent apps” menu, you now have Overview that shows current running apps. This makes browsing through apps faster and better. The only downside with Overview is that there’s no way you can clear recent history with one swipe!
With more kids wanting to use gadgets, many users (especially parents) tend to share their instruments. Android Jelly Bean made multiple user creation possible with smartphones, so you can have different profiles and dictate access limitations for each. Also, the Guest mode allows restricted access to your tablet or phone.
Yet another interesting feature is pinning, where you lock an application and handover the device. They cannot migrate from the app, till you change it. This is great when you want to handover the device to your kids for playing, but worried about they accessing other stuff. You can remove the limitation by entering the password, etc.
Lollipop comes with Battery Saver mode, which reduces CPU usage by reducing backlight brightness, vibration, etc. This means, your device will hold up longer, without needing a recharge and adds about 90 minutes of battery life.
Smart Lock, a new feature in Lollipop, offers a different way to unlock your phone. It works with any compatible Bluetooth device and helps unlock your phone when you aren’t near it.
Needless to say, every new OS comes with additions and changes. There are many new features added to Lollipop, including professional photography features, print preview, etc.
So, When Can You Lay Hands on It?
Google has announced that Lollipop will be up for grabs with Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet. Like other updates, wait for a month or two patiently – it is really worth the wait!
Overall, the design changes, material and everything about Lollipop have paid off. It has also eliminated the complaints that the design isn’t cohesive, etc.