How Different is Android 5.0 Lollipop?

November 3, 2014
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We’ve been describing Android Lollipop obviously because of the name but is it really sweet? That question we already answered by saying that it is a tough candy.

Behind all the “sugar and spice and everything nice” front, Lollipop is actually strong. Google has added new screen locking and unlocking mechanisms that work best with NFC or Bluetooth. With the Android 5.0 platform, the search giant also enabled device encryption by default for the new devices. Google also improved on its security framework which we first saw in Jelly Bean: the SELinux implementation. And of course, there's also the new kill switch feature for smartphones.

We’ve established that Android 5.0 Lollipop will be more secure than ever. It’s not exactly what ordinary phone or tablet users will appreciate because the device will be a challenge to root. Toughened security? Thanks but no thanks. The Lollipop will be the most challenging Android platform for modders and hackers.

One of the major features we’ll see on the Android Lollipop is Google’s Material Design. The new visual language is expected to be followed in all of the company’s future services and products across all platforms and devices. Android 5.0 Lollipop will just be the first to show off the changes that will bring about a more unified experience.

Soon enough, we’ll see Android on phones, tablets, smartwatches, glasses, gaming gears, TV, and even cars. Android 5.0 will slowly introduce new things. Notifications have been enhanced. Users are provided with new ways to control notifications like viewing and responding to messages right on the lock screen. Notifications can also be scheduled or turned on/off easily for lesser interruptions.

Android Lollipop will allow incoming phone calls without interrupting your current activity. This means you can continue on with what you’re doing, whether you’re playing a game, wasting time away on a social media app, or actually doing work, and then still be able to answer the call. So others won’t see your important notifications, you can control them by hiding sensitive content or you may set ranking based on the type, important, and the sender.

Android Lollipop also promises improved battery life for your devices, thanks to a battery saver feature that shows current battery level, estimated time to full charge, and estimated time before you need to recharge the phone or tablet.

Google added a more flexible sharing feature with family and friends. This includes multiple users for phones, guest users, and screen pinning. Getting to settings quickly is possible with two swipes down from the top of the display. Also included are toggles for location, Bluetooth, and WiFi plus brightness control, hotspot, flashlight, cast screen controls, and screen rotation.

Enhanced internet and more powerful Bluetooth connectivity every time can be expected. These two features are followed by a smoother user interface and a new Android runtime. Other sweetness of the Android 5.0 Lollipop include improved media (audio, video, and camera) capabilities, USB Audio support, multi-channel audio stream mixing, new professional photography features, OK Google for easier access to information, Android TV support, Tap & Pay, Print preview, and a new device level feedback for Nexus devices.

Android 5.0 Lollipop compared with the past versions of the mobile platform is no doubt more powerful than ever. Developers have worked hard to make Lollilop the best Android to date, if not the sweetest. The new version will start to rollout before the year ends to a number of devices from Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, ASUS, NVIDIA, and more.

Google ingeniously named, more like sweetly named, Android versions since the Cupcake was released in 2008. The naming convention follows the letters of the alphabet. From C we are now at Android L. Obviously, next year the Android will start with the letter “M” which could be Muffin and then “N” for Nutella and “O” for Oreo (NOTE: Just a guess) as hinted in a special ad.

Android as a platform has definitely come a long way. Here’s a short review of the past Android versions:

CUPCAKE, Android 1.5 (September 2008)

The software keyboard was introduced in the first-ever dessert-named Android. It was during this time that touchscreen phones were introduced. Google followed Apple, the first company to introduce a full touch smartphone which we all know now as the iPhone. The first Android phone was the HTC Dream and then Google immediately made a follow up with the Nexus device.

The first SDK for Cupcake was released seven months later in April 2009. It was also considered as historic being the first to bring YouTube and Picasa uploading services, support for folders and widgets on home screen, camcorder functions, and Bluetooth support.

DONUT, Android 1.6 (September 2009)

The second version of Android was based on Linux kernel 2.6.29. New features include voice and text entry search, multi-lingual speech synthesis, full integration of camcorder/camera/gallery, support for WVGA screen resolution, turn-by-turn Google navigation, and easier searching and ability to view screenshots in Android Market.

donut

ÉCLAIR, Android 2.0 (October 2009)
Also based on the Linux kernel 2.6.29, the Android Éclair included more new features like expanded account sync, Microsoft Exchange email support, new camera features, improved typing on virtual keyboard, enhanced calendar agenda view, better Google Maps 3.1.2, and live wallpapers.

Two more Éclair versions were released: Android 2.0.1 and Android 2.1.

eclair

FROYO, Android 2.2 (May 2010)

The ‘frozen yogurt’s release happened earlier than expected. The Android team must have finally managed to systematize platform and app development around this time. Notable features were Android Cloud to Device Messaging support, push notifications, integration of Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine into the Browser app, Wi-Fi hotspot and USB tethering, quick switching between different keyboard languages, support for Bluetooth-connected car and desk docks, and Adobe Flash support.

Three more releases were made: Android 2.2.1, Android 2.2.2, and Android 2.2.3.

froyo

GINGERBREAD, Android 2.3 (December 2010)

Google didn’t wait for next year to release a new Android version. Features include improved copy and paste functionality, Near Field Communication (NFC) support, intuitive text input in virtual keyboard, native support for SIP VoIP internet telephony, Download Manager, and multiple camera support.

Numerous versions of Gingerbread were also released, from Android 2.3.1 to Android 2.3.7, each one adding bug fixes and improvements.

ginger

HONEYCOMB, Android 3.0 (February 2011)

Only a couple of months after Gingerbread and its many releases, Google introduced the Honeycomb. It was around this time that tablets were becoming popular so tablet support was optimized. The developers added a System Bar, Action Bar, a redesigned keyboard, multiple browser tabs, and quick access to camera exposure.

Android 3.1 and Android 3.2 were released to bring support for more USB accessories and Google TV.

honey

ICE CREAM SANDWICH, Android 4.0 (October 2011)

Major improvements include the “Holo” interface”, widgets separation, create-drag-drop folders, pinch-to—zoom, Face Unlock feature, new gallery layout, Android Beam, and WiFi Direct.

Android 4.0.2 to 4.0.4 versions followed.

ice_cream

JELLY BEAN, Android 4.1 (June 2012)

The Jelly Bean version boasts of user-installable keyboard maps, Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam, multichannel audio, and one-finger gestures to expand and collapse notifications.

Android 4.2 and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean were released with bug fixes as usual.

jellybean

KITKAT, Android 4.4 (September 2013)

It was the first time Google partnered with a popular brand for its Android platform. The KitKat was released more than a year after Jelly Bean was introduced. Key features include wireless printing capability, NFC host card emulation, new framework for user interface transitions, Storage Access Framework, and built-in screen recording. Android 4.4 KitKat was updated with wearable extensions.

kitkat

After nine desserts and dozens of minor updates, Google is set to change the Android mobile industry with the Lollipop. It may be sweeter but it’s also very tougher in terms of security. Each Android version is different from each other but Google just keeps on offering a better platform with every release.

We still have more letters in the alphabet from M to Z. Here are wild guesses: Mud Pie, Nougat, Oreo, Pudding, Quaker Oats, Rainbow cake, Snickers, Tiramisu, Upside down pancake, Vanilla Cream Pie, Whip cream, Xugar Cookies, Yellow cake, and Ztrawberry. Okay, I was just kidding about X and Y. We'll see how the Android team will name next versions.


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  • Brandon

    Very tougher? Really?