Who had Lollipop?
Suggestions such as lemon drop, liquorice and even lava cake have been floating around our office – but yesterday Google announced that the latest version of Android 5.0 is called lollipop. Confectionary speculation started in June at the Google I/O as to the name of the update after releasing the updates first initial ‘L’. So now we know what it’s called, but what’s new? Here’s a brief run through of some of the new features.
Look & Feel
The 5.0 update will drastically change the aesthetics of Android. Perhaps most interestingly, they are bucking the trend in terms of the 2D standard way of displaying graphics. The lollipop update looks ‘both 2D and 3D’ with every function being shadowed and gradients.
Android is also placing importance on the continuity theme. To improve usability, the Lollipop update will allow users to start listening to a song on their phone, move into another room and finish listening to the song on their tablet device. Essentially the entire interface has been improved to allow much smoother interaction. This is true of the design aspects also. Google is unifying design across web, mobile, and everything else. You should already start seeing their changes if you go to sheets or docs on google drive.
Behind the Scenes
Even though the most striking of updates will be the look of Android, Google has also put a considerable amount of work into the underbelly of Lollipop. The optional runtime ART which is featured in Android KitKat is now obligatory. This means everything is slicker, faster and generally more efficient.
Battery Life Improvements
There is now a function which lets you identify the power hogging apps so you can make your battery last longer. In addition to this there is also a new battery saver mode which can lengthen your power time for up to 90 minutes.
Lock Screen & Notifications
Big changes have been made to the operating system to now allow you to personalise what notifications you receive from what applications. Furthermore you can now tailor your notifications, so only the most important alerts will show up on your lock screen. This means you can select what people and what applications can interrupt your locked device. This feature has also got smart – it will learn from your preferences and prioritise notifications accordingly.
The lock screen itself also has big improvements, the most interesting of which is the fact that should you have a location set up or are wearing a bluetooth device, your phone will unlock automatically.
So, when can I get it?
Lollipop will be released in the ‘coming weeks’ according to Google, but if you’re planning on buying the new Nexus 6 or 9, you will be able to preorder Android 5.0 from November (or get it on November 3rd if you’re in the US.)
We’re looking forward to having a go and making our own minds up about lollipop, but until then we’ll be keeping ourselves busy by taking early bets on the name of the next sweetie update…