Google has launched Android 5.0 Lollipop alongside the new Nexus 6 phablet, its latest version of the world’s most popular mobile operating system. It comes with a whole new look and some fantastic features. So here’s what’s new in Android Lollipop.
WHAT IS IT?
Android Lollipop is Google’s latest mobile operating system and will replace Android 4.4 KitKat as the software that runs your smartphone or tablet.
HOW DO I GET IT?
Your phone or tablet will give you a notification when Android Lollipop is ready to be installed. But you’ll have to wait for the company that makes your device to customise it first.
WHEN CAN I DOWNLOAD IT?
Android 5.0 Lollipop for the Nexus 5 and Nexus tablets is coming within weeks, so you should get a software update in early November.
A BEAUTIFUL NEW DESIGN
Android Lollipop comes with a brand new look and feel. Google has called it Material Design and it looks a lot more mature. It’s colourful and looks like everything’s made up of layers of paper. Different parts of icons look like they sit on top of each other, like they would in the real world. That lets everything move really naturally as the layers glide independently. We love the new look, but take a look for yourself in the teaser video below.
One of the coolest features of Android Lollipop is personal unlocking. It lets the phone automatically bypass the lock screen if it knows you’re the one using it. Your phone will look at Wi-Fi networks, known Bluetooth devices like smartwatches or speakers and even listen to your voice to check that it’s in a safe place. Then it’ll make a decision whether to ask for a pattern, PIN or password. And for extra security, phones running Android Lollipop will encrypt themselves when you set it up so no one can get to your information.
BETTER BATTERY LIFE
Android Lollipop also comes with lots of new improvements to help battery life. The main thing you’ll notice is the new battery saver mode. It’ll turn down screen brightness, processor speed and background updates, which Google says will give you an extra hour and a half of use. There’s also loads of stuff that you’ll never see, but you’ll really notice when you don’t have to charge your phone as often.
EASIEST SET UP EVER
If you get a new phone running Android Lollipop that has NFC, like the Nexus 6, it’s really easy to set it up with all your accounts and data. The phone just asks you to tap it against your old NFC enabled phone and it’ll do the rest. Then you just need to enter your Google password and you’re done.
MULTIPLE USER LOGINS
If you’ve got kids that are always on your phone, or your other half thinks your phone’s games are better than theirs, you’ll like this new feature. Android Lollipop will let you create an account for all the people that use your phone. That means they can have their own apps, emails and other stuff and all your information can stay private. There’s even a guest mode for when one of your friends needs to borrow your phone.
The notification system on Android Lollipop is all new too. You’ll get your most important notifications on your lock screen, with the less important ones hidden, and you can respond to them from there without opening the full app. And if you’re doing something on your phone and get a message or call, you’ll get a pop-up notification so you can easily decide if you want to respond instantly or keep using the app.
A HIDDEN TREAT
Google has always put Easter Eggs in its software, fun hidden extras that are well worth looking for. The main one is an animation that’s always hidden in the settings. From the settings menu, go to About Phone and keep tapping Android Version. A nice Android-based picture pops up and if you tap on it a few times before long pressing it, you’ll find a very addictive game. But we’ll leave the details as a surprise.
ANDROID LOLLIPOP IS A 64-BIT OPERATING SYSTEM
This might sound a bit techy, but Android Lollipop is now 64-bit. That doesn’t mean a huge amount right now, but it’ll let phones in the near future have more than 4GB RAM. And RAM is what you need to run powerful apps and games and multitask smoothly.
We’ve loved playing with the early version of Android Lollipop and we honestly can’t wait for the final version to be released. It looks beautiful, runs more smoothly than ever and has improved every app that’s part of the software. We’re sure you’ll agree Android Lollipop doesn’t suck (unlike our puns).