Android 5.0 Lollipop is finally here! Google’s latest version of Android, previewed under the name Android L at this year’s Google I/O conference, was officially revealed on October 15th alongside the new Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices. Here is everything you need to know about Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Google broke the news via its official blog with the tagline “be together. Not the same”, where the search giant discussed its approach to Android as an open-source platform. This new motto is echoed throughout the new OS's operation, where Google has made attempts to make the between-device experience more intuitive than ever before. Picking up where you left off, be it with photos, videos, or searches, will work seamlessly between different devices thanks to Android 5.0 Lollipop. Check out some of the new features at a glance in the video below before we delve deeper.
Android 5.0 Lollipop release date:
Android 5.0 Lollipop was officially alongside Google’s latest devices, the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9. Both of these devices will be available in November, with Nexus 9 pre-orders starting on October 17th, and being released in-store on November 3rd.
The Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK has been made available to developers as of October 17th, meaning manufacturers now have the opportunity to start working on the Lollipop update for their devices. Many developers have suggested a "90 day" turnaround for pushing out the new update, so you may seen Android 5.0 running on your device before the end of January. You can head to our which phones are getting Android Lollipop and when article to find out when it's expected to arrive on your handset.
If you can't wait until January, the Nexus 9 is looking like it will be your first chance to go hands-on with the new OS, but Google has stated that Lollipop will come to the Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices "in the coming weeks".
Android 5.0 Lollipop features: notifications, multi-tasking and access
Android 5.0 Lollipop features include a revamped notifications system, which puts notifications on the lock screen, prioritizes them according to how often you interact with them and also enables you to take action without leaving the app you’re using, so for example you can swipe notifications away if you’re in the middle of something else or respond from where you are and continue what you were doing.
Android Lollipop features some nifty access features too. If you’re using an (Android!) smartwatch you can use it to keep your phone unlocked, and if you aren’t you can set your phone to automatically unlock when it knows you’re at home or when it hears your voice.
- Android 5.0 Lollipop has a hidden Flappy Bird Easter egg
Android 5.0 Lollipop design and interface
The most dramatic and obvious change in Android Lollipop is the new Android Lollipop user interface, which is based around what Google calls “Material Design”. It’s a flatter design than we’re used to, but it makes extensive use of shadows and 3D views to make on-screen elements distinct from one another. The Roboto system font has been tweaked too, and all new animations including touch feedback and transition animations between apps.
In addition to appearing in Android 5.0 Lollipop, the new Material Design language will make its way to Google’s various apps on the web too. There are already a number of Google has also updated the Play Store to incorporate Material Design, giving the app a much flatter look.
Android 5.0 Lollipop: system performance and battery life
There are really big changes under the hood of Android Lollipop. The trusty Dalvik runtime, Android’s app engine, has been replaced by the ART runtime. That doesn’t sound like a big deal but it makes a big difference: ART supports the latest 64-bit processors, pre-compiles apps when you first install them for faster app launching, and according to Google it runs at twice the speed of Dalvik.
That’s not all. Google has put a lot of work into improving power usage, which should mean significantly improved battery life and the same extreme power saving options we’ve seen on 2014’s Android flagships becoming available to every compatible Android device. Google has also made huge improvements to the graphics engine, with particular emphasis on HD gaming.
Will Android 5.0 Lollipop work on my phone or tablet?
Android Lollipop backwards compatibility means it should be released first for the Nexus 4 onwards as well as supported Motorola devices with a rapid rollout. HTC says it’ll bring Android 5.0 L to the One (M7) and One (M8) and Samsung, Sony and LG are expected to bring it to their recent devices too - although as ever with Android updates, we’ve no idea how quickly they’ll do that.
- Android 5.0 Lollipop arriving for Galaxy S5 and Note 4 as early as November
- How to get Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Nexus 4
- Lollipop look with just one app!
Android 5.0 Lollipop: Google Play Services and security
Android 5.0 Lollipop should keep you safe: Google Play Services’ six-weekly updates will deliver the latest malware definitions, system patches and the much-wanted “kill switch” to remotely disable or wipe a lost or stolen device. System updates will happen via Play Services rather than via firmware updates, which means an end to the frustration of waiting for manufacturers and/or networks to get round to releasing crucial fixes.
Android 5.0 Lollipop introduces another useful feature: a sandboxed personal mode, enabling you to use one device for both personal and work stuff just like Samsung’s Knox system. You’ll also be able to manage all of your app privacy settings in one place thanks to Universal Data Controls.
Android Lollipop will have encryption turned on by default for any device that has been updated to this version of Android. Encrypting your personal data will protect it from leaks, hackers and outsider invaders, which means that your videos, pictures, and other personal matters will be kept private.
“As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won't even have to think about turning it on.”
-Google spokesperson Niki Christoff
Android 5.0 Lollipop: Android Wear, Google Fit, Android Auto and Android TV
As you’d expect, Android 5.0 Lollipop, Android Wear and Google Fit have been designed to be one big happy family. Android Wear and Google Fit essentially do the opposite of each other: Android Wear takes stuff from your smartphone and displays it on your wearable device, while Google Fit takes data from your wearable device and sends it to your smartphone. The result should be a whole range of notifications on your smartwatch and a whole stack of movement and health data for apps to analyze.
Wear and Fit aren’t the only ways in which Android 5.0 Lollipop interacts with the wider world. It’s designed to work with Google’s Android Auto system for in-car entertainment and Android TV, which is Google’s replacement for Google TV.
We will have more Lollipop news as we get it, but until then, what else do you still want to know about Android 5.0 Lollipop? Are then any other feature you wish Google had added?