After months of testing and previews, Android codenamed “L” has finally been released. Android Lollipop – the official name – might as well be the biggest upgrade of Android so far, with an outstanding change in the User Interface brought by Material Design, new voice interaction and more than 5,000 new APIs for developers.
At Mobile Jazz, we want to share with our readers the most important features of Android Lollipop so they can use the platform to its full potential.
What is Material Design?
Material Design groups the new design guidelines of Android bringing vivid, vibrant colors to the platform as well as a cleaner visuals and animations, all of which will help to direct the user’s focus on what’s important. It also represents an initiative by Google to unify the design language across applications and especially devices, offering a seamless Android experience on a smartphone, tablet, browser, smart watches or even a car.
You can see it in action here.
New features in Android Lollipop
As well as the radical change to the UI, Lollipop also includes other significant changes.
The new notification system gives more control over when and how notifications are displayed plus it gives the ability to respond directly from the lock screen. It also has the capacity to learn how to prioritize notifications based on how you interact with them.
The new version of OK Google has improved voice capabilities that can be accessed even if the screen is locked. It offers better interactions and responses.
Sharing and Connectivity
Lollipop offers more flexibility for sharing devices among friends and family while safeguarding a user’s data and privacy by limiting access to content. It also comes with a more powerful Bluetooth capability that will be able to automatically sense a paired device or verified connection nearby.
Battery and Performance
With the new Android runtime ART, Lollipop promises improved application performance and responsiveness. The battery will come with a saver feature that will allow up to 90 minutes more use.
Google has also included many other new features meant to improve the platform, such as enhanced security, better audio and video capabilities, improved accessibility options, more languages, etc.
Check out this nice animated gif that demonstrates how Android has evolved in time.
With the release of Android Lollipop also came the presentation of new Nexus devices, namely the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player.
The new 6’ Nexus 6, built by Motorola, comes with Quad HD display, dual front-facing speakers for a stereo experience in addition to a 13MP camera and a more powerful processor (Snapdragon 805 quad-core). It should be available from November.
Manufactured by HTC, the Nexus 9 is an 8.9″ tablet with a 64-bit processor, HTC BoomSound speakers and an 8MP camera. It will be available for pre-order in the US from 17 October and it will be in stores from November.
This is the first device to run Android TV, Google’s platform designed for TVs and set-top boxes. Unlike Chromecast, it has a full on-screen user interface, simpler than what was available on Google TV. It should be available for pre-order from 17 October and available in stores from November.
Lollipop and Material Design come with many changes that might feel like a challenge to incorporate. Don’t worry! With its highly skilled design team and experienced Android developers, Mobile Jazz is there to help you adapt your existing applications and develop awesome and powerful new ones.