Android Lollipop Features

Summary: Android has introduced many different changes in this version including new UI design, security changes, higher interactivity, more efficient battery and performance, etc.

Android Lollipop is the latest Android version that was introduced by Google on November 12, 2014. It was initially under the codename Android L, which resulted in a lot of speculation of the name of the version. Sticking to naming its versions after sweet and sultry desserts, Android named its latest version, Lollipop.

Android has introduced many different changes in this version. In addition to the mouth-watering name, the latest design of the UI is just as intriguing. The company has also tried to make the UI and the device itself more user-friendly and has also focused on making the UI more uniform.

The latest Material design goes back to its roots with 2D, but cards built on top of the flat 2D surface. The card-based design is livened up with more bright colors, compared to the dull and boring models from before. The company has focused more on animations and fluid motions to ensure no break in motion of the applications used. Major changes have also been made to the applications and lock screen. The lock screen now offers more motions, allowing the user to access the camera by swiping left, dialer by swiping right and for notifications to show up directly on the lockscreen. It also allows the user to reply directly from the lock screen, saving the user t from having to constantly unlock the phone. However, the user has the power to choose what messages (or rather what kind of messages show up on the notification screen).

Another brilliant feature is the Do Not Disturb application, which empowers the user to decide which important messages show up in the middle of the night, with the spam or less important messages to be silently recorded on the phone for the user to look through at their own ease. Another visible change is the back, home and the recent apps button that are located on the bottom panel of the screen. The buttons have been given a makeover, inspired from the old (now ancient) video players. It now features a triangle, a circle and a square, making it look like PlayStation controller.

The company has boosted the performance of the phone and has launched a new Project Volta, which reorganises background app activity into batches to save unnecessary phone waking. The phone also does not send automatic data requests if it sees a weak signal, waiting for a more powerful signal to connect to the network. The company has also focused on making the UI work seamlessly on different platforms, which means that the user can access the same information on his smartwatch, phone, tablet, etc. Another innovative feature that was desperately required on previous models, is the ability to add multiple accounts on one device. Android 5.0 allows multiple accounts, including a guest account. More changes include settings, connectivity, performance, media, OK Google, Accessibility and Android TV.

A detailed description of the features includes:

 

 Android Lollipop

Release

November 12, 2014

Design

Material: uses a card-based design with 2D features. It has bright colors and animations everywhere. Banks on fluidity

Lockscreen

Swipe up to unlock, left to launch the camera and right to open the dialer. Allows notifications right on the lock screen

Homescreen

New applications, home button, recent apps button and back button have changed been changed in design to circle, square and back, respectively.

Multi-tasking/ Recent apps

3D rotary style that is bigger in size. Allows swiping to the right or left to close, added X button as well. New feature allows tabs of individual cards, not only applications. (i.e.: if multiple tabs are open in Chrome, it will show all tabs individually)

Notification bar

Double sliding on the notification bar allows access to quick settings, which includes screen brightness slider, notifications (including do not disturb), and cast screen. User profile is a small circle on the top right corner instead of taking a tile.

Notifications

Notifications have white background, they are arranged not in chronological order but rather priority. Allow swipe to dismiss but double tap to access the app. Also, allows rejecting a call without having to end the current task at hand. Offers ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode that allows only ‘important’ notifications through

Performance

Upgraded to ART (Android Run Time), which is faster. Allows support for 64-bit processors

Battery life

Has a pre-installed battery saver mode. Project Volta: reorganises background app activity into batches to save unnecessary phone waking, does not send automatic data requests if it sees a weak signal. Increases battery life by approximately 35%.

Security

Location and proximity based features. Allows safe zones, where the phone locks do not kick in. If phone detects Android Wear smart watch, it does not unlock the phone or tablet

Connectivity and APIs

Allows interactivity between different devices of different classes. Built in Android TV. Consistent experience between smartphones, tablets, TVs, and smartwatches. Offers 5,000 new APIs for developers

Settings menu

Light gray Roboto font with green icons on a white ground. Lollipop embeds switches a layer down

Flashlight

Inbuilt application with a button on the notifications bar

User profiles

Allows multiple profiles, including guest profile, which ensures the user can keep certain things secret on their phone

Android Easter egg

Tapping the version in the About section of the phone, allows flappy bird inspired android game

Image Courtesy: knowyourmobile.com

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