Android Lollipop: Everything You Need To Know

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Offline arman.ahmed

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Android Lollipop: Everything You Need To Know
« on: October 25, 2014, 11:47:02 AM »
What To Expect From Android 5.0 Lollipop

The Android operating system has come along leaps and bounds since it was first released in 2008. Although initially the red-headed stepchild of the smartphone world, it has since become the leading platform, overtaking Apple’s iOS in popularity, and beating off any new challenge from Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry 10.

But what is the reason for Android’s dominance? Perhaps it’s because of Google’s proactive approach to introducing new features, whilst simultaneously refining existing ones on a regular basis. And Android Lollipop is no different, bringing to the table some incredible refinements of the OS’s look-and-feel, as well as features that are sure to delight users.

You can get some of Lollipop’s best features right now, but here are the five most important we’ll be seeing.

Material Design

One of the biggest criticisms of Android has been that it simply isn’t all that nice to look at. Sure, that was certainly true prior to the release of Ice Cream Sandwich. Since then, it’s undergone a number of revamps of its aesthetics and its usability that have drastically improved the Android user experience. The latest iteration in this process is something called Material Design.

This standardizes how third-party applications function, making the aesthetics of said apps a bit more uniform. It also standardizes how Android should look across devices, from tablets to phones. In short, it makes the platform even more beautiful, and even more usable. For further reading on this fascinating topic, we recommend you read up on the design details of Material Design in our in-depth look.

Revamped Notifications

Have you ever found yourself rudely awoken in the early hours of the morning by the chime of your phone whenever someone sends you a Facebook message? It’s annoying. Thankfully, Android Lollipop solves this once and for all, with its revamped notifications system.

You’re now able to easily adjust your settings, ensuring that only specific notifications from specific services go through. You can also set your phone to turn notifications off entirely for a set period of time. And you don’t even need to use a third-party app, like Echo, the lockscreen replacement app.

Handy if you’re in bed, trying to get some shuteye, in an important business meeting, or in class.

More Developer Goodies

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are used by developers to create the third-party applications you love to use. Part of the reason why Android has been so successful is the openness of the platform, and the ability for developers to extend and enhance it as they see fit.

That’s not about to change, as Android Lollipop introduces over 5,000 new APIs for developers to use, including support for OpenGL ES 3.1 and tools for taking advantage of the more powerful cameras found in high-end Android phones. Happy coding!

Drastically Improved Battery Performance

The battery lives of smartphones are notoriously short. Sure, there are ways to make this less of a problem. You can buy an external battery or a solar charger. You might even want to turn off mobile data entirely, to squeeze an extra few hours out of your phone.

Android Lollipop tries to fix this with a new battery saver feature. Switch it on, and you get another 90 minutes before you have to plug your device in. Developers are also able to invoke this battery feature from within their code, thus minimizing the impact applications have on your battery life.

Revamped Accounts

For a while now, sales of PCs have been falling. The reason? They’re being replaced by tablets, which are often cheaper, easier, and come with a smaller risk of malware. Google is very much aware of this and has enhanced an already existing feature that makes Android Lollipop function much like a PC does. User accounts.

Much like Windows Phone’s Kids Corner, you can restrict access to applications and private files, depending on who will be using your device. Android Lollipop also supports guest sessions, so you can let people use your phone or tablet without having to give them your password or resorting to any inelegant hacks. Cool, right?

Arman Ahmed
IT Officer