| This post was edited by sianman at 09:00, Oct-16-2014 |
It started life as Android L preview in June, but it has since matured into a full-blown release, ready to hit millions of Android devices over the next weeks and months. Android 5.0 Lollipop is here!
In a blog post published minutes ago, Google announced the biggest update to Android since Ice Cream Sandwich, a major change that is reflected in the version jump to Android 5.0. We’ve spent ages on Android 4.x and jumping to 5 marks the beginning of a new era in the history of our favorite operating system.
Most of the changes and new features in Android 5.0 have been introduced with the L preview, available on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013). Expectedly, there are some small changes and surprises in the retail release, however.
Here’s a brief look at what’s new in Android 5.0 Lollipop and stay tuned for more in-depth coverage in the following hours.
Visual changes in Android 5 Lollipop
When booting up an Android Lollipop device, most users will be struck by the visual changes first. Android 5.0 brings many refinements to a user interface that’s quite mature at this point, with many small changes rather than radical departures from the past.
Some of the most visible updates are the revamped navigation bar, which now features the more abstract triangle-circle-rectangle icon set, and the status bar, which can now be colored or transparent (depending on the app) and features refreshed status icons.
The lockscreen now displays rich notifications instead of just icons, which include details about the message – it should make quickly checking messages or game notifications easier and faster than before. Speaking of notifications, there’s now heads-up mode, which we’ve seen activated in CM and other custom ROMs – this feature basically shows you a rich floating notification on top of whatever you’re doing on the phone, and lets you check and dismiss it without interrupting your activity. The lock screen also now gives you access to the caller through a rightward swipe.
Multitasking has been refreshed, and is now focused on documents instead of apps, meaning that you can have more than one card for each app – for instance, you could have a Gmail card and a separate card for sharing through Gmail that won’t disrupt your original Gmail card. The activity cards themselves are now arranged in 3D, with a smooth rolodex-style animation.
The quick settings received a refresh and got some new features, like Do Not Disturb mode and adaptive auto-brightness.
There are many other smaller changes throughout the UI that we’ll be detailing soon.
Google launched Material Design as the new “official” design language for apps and the web. Material takes its name from the metaphor of a magical piece of paper that can change color, size, and shape instantly, existing in a space that has a Z-axis (depth), not just length and width.
Material is all about clean typography, bold and bright colors, and restrained, but delightful animations. We’ve already seen many examples of Material design in action, and Google will probably update its major apps to meet the guidelines soon.
New features in Android 5 Lollipop
There’s a multitude of small features and under-the-hood changes that should enhance the user experience and open new avenues for app developers to offer new and delightful experiences. Do Not Disturb Mode, keyboard selection icon in the nav bar, smarter battery consumption and charging estimates, RAW image support, better accessibility features are just a few of the small improvements to the feature set of Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Developers can look forward to a much needed revamp of the Android Camera API, which will make it easier to support features like burst mode and fine settings tuning, OpenGL ES 3.1 support, smarter power management features, improved microphone latency and more. In fact, under the hood there are more than 5,000 new APIs for developers to take advantage of!
Android 5.0 Lollipop update
Android 5.0 Lollipop will come loaded on the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and the new Nexus Player. What about older devices? The Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and all Google Play Edition devices will be among the first products to see the update. No exact timeframe for when that will happen, other than the “weeks to come”. If we had to take a guess, we’d say early November, but that’s really just speculation on our part.
For a full rundown of Android 5.0 Lollipop, be sure tocheck out Google’s official page!
Update: Here’s the full change-log fr0m Google, if you still haven’t heard enough:
New Quick Settings
Runtime and Performance
Device Set Up
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