We first got a taste of Android 5.0 Lollipop back in June at the I/O developer conference. Now, after a long wait, the newest version of Android is finally here, Google is releasing it.
This new release comes almost a year after 4.4 Kitkat was rolled out. So what do we get after a year? Lots! The new Android 5.0 Lollipop has a brand-new design in the whole operating system. Most notable of what’s new in Lollipop is how it will change the way you do multitasking and how the notifications are enhanced. There are a number of features that are new too and we’ll get to them one by one.
The first thing that users will notice in Lollipop is the aesthetics of the design, it looks fresh and really new. They call it “Material Design.” Android now looks sleeker and more minimalist with the clever use of bright colors and better use of shadows that enhance the depth in the interface patterns. It looks more spacious because there is now bigger white space around the text. The touches have become more transparent. When you interact with the screen it feels somewhat magical because of the ripples of colours while you are doing the interaction. It looks like Android has gone to the beauty parlor and got its long awaited makeover. And it looks really good.
The Lollipop is also having some changes in the notification setup, although it looks like it is borrowed from iOS: the notification cards are now in the middle of the locked screen. Users can now respond to the notification even if the screen are locked. You can set the kind of notifications that comes to to the cards to protect your privacy. The default notification settings will prioritize those that are deemed by Google as more important than other notifications.
When you are doing something on your device like watching a video or playing a game and a notification comes up, the new Heads Up feature will let you take a peep at what’s coming, you can see the tip of the head of an email, a text message, or an incoming call. You can choose to respond to the notifications without leaving the video or game you are playing because there is no need for you to open the notification drop down menu. If you are too busy with what you are doing you can simple swipe the notification into storage for retrieval later.
Now your multitasking habits will change with the new menu called “Recents” which allows you to see what apps are running in the background. You can see it now as stack cards and not as a list. It feels like browsing open tabs on Chrome’s Android app. It is easy to switch between apps by just scrolling through the stack.
The Lollipop has also brought changes to the swipe-down quick settings. You can now get to the controls for hotspot, screen casting, flashlight, and more useful feature by just swiping down with two fingers from the top of your screen.
There is also a new battery-saving feature that’s added to this new version of Android. When you are running low on power the CPU will be clocked down and background data are turned off. This feature can be turned on manually if you choose to have it that way or you can have it programmed to turn on automatically when power is running out. This will give your battery an extra 90 minutes of life.
Lollipop will roll out with Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet. In the coming days other devices like The Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, HTC One M8 and Moto G will also get the new Android.