Google Android 5.0 Lollipop’s test version review

November 1, 2014

The latest version of Android brings a completely new experience and has battery-saving features as well as native multi user support for phones and tablets.This is easily the biggest Android update in 3 years and is a confirmation of progress in the Android world. Google had earlier announced the next version of Android at the Google I/O in June this year.At that point, Google did not give an official name to the next version of the Operating System back by merely referring to it as Android L, but the world now know that the L is known as Lollipop and is finally on the verge of being released.Past OS update have all been incremental updates to the Jelly Bean version of Android, running from version 4.0 to 4.4 in that span.The new update brings a long list of new features and improvements to the table. Changes to the Android ecosystem with Lollipop will be Material Design, which will be the new design language across Android and Google as a whole. According to Google, Material Design is a comprehensive guide for visual, motion, and interaction design across platforms and devices. Aside from the use of eye catching pastel colours, Material Design is meant to impress by using transitions and animation to make the apps more appealing and engaging to users. Another interesting addition is the ability to set up new devices easily.

Google has also added another feather to Near Field Communication functionality that allow users to set up new Android by just tapping old device with the new one and restoring apps from old devices to new ones is now a cakewalk with Lollipop. The fact is that it has been rolled out slowly to existing Google Apps and doesn’t matter whether you’re on the latest version or not. The most obvious example will be the Google Play Store and Chrome browser, which are noticeably different visually and more apps will get this upgrades in the coming days, weeks and months.Lollipop is set to bring is improvements in notifications and testing version I’ve been using seems to offer new ways to control how and when I can receive my messages. I vividly recall how Android 4.1 Jelly Bean came with expandable notifications that are viewed and responded from the notification bar, Lollipop now allow one to do the same directly from lock screen. I must admit that the ability to customise my notifications mean that I can also set it such that incoming calls will no longer interrupt what am doing on my Android. This is especially useful when someone is in the midst of relying on a navigation app in an unknown area. Lollipop also offers Google’s own power management capabilities in the form of Project Volta. This have a battery saver feature that was able to extend battery life by up to one and quarter hours in my testing.

Interestingly, the time left before the device requires charging was also displayable and that is the time required to finish charging the device once the charger is plugged in. Those of us paranoid about the security of content lost on stolen smartphones, Lollipop offers an encryption to help protect data on such devices. The addition of a “factory reset protection” serve as a deterrent to possible theft and this will also to non-android fanatics.What this feature does is that no factory resets unless a password is inputted, thus making it more difficult for criminals to trade off stolen phones. Incredibly, the introduction of Android Smart Lock helps users manage their lock screen security by bypassing the lock screen when paired with a trusted device, such as car music system or smart-watch. Once disconnected from the device, the lock screen security is automatically re-enabled.Lollipop is also making it easier for users to share their phone with others.Screen pinning feature is very useful and locks the pinned app so that its possible to lend your Lollipop device to someone else and be less concerned about that person tampering around with your privacy. Your blogger is still conducting more test with his Nexus 6 and will share another review in coming weeks.

Contador Harrison