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Friday, October 17, 2014

Android 5.0 Lollipop: 10 features you should know about Google's latest Android iteration - Tech2

Android 5.0 Lollipop: 10 features you should know about Google's latest Android iteration - Tech2

Android L is finally here – and it’s not Key Lime Pie or Licorice.
Google has named it “Lollipop”, keeping up with it’s dessert-name trend.
The new Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system has landed first on the
latest Nexus devices – Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player.

Android chief Sundar Pichai had earlier said this is the largest and
most ambitious release on Android to date. Here are best features
announced in the latest Android OS:

1. Pick up where you left off: Similar to Continuity in iOS 8,
Lollipop lets you pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos,
apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be
immediately accessed across devices.

2. Multiple device compatibility: Lollipop will
support devices with different screen sizes including wearables such as
smartwatches, TVs and cars. According to Google, it is designed to be
flexible, so that it can work on all your devices and customised for
your needs.

3. Material Design: In order to maintain a
consistent design experience across all Android devices, Lollipop uses
the Material Design interface across devices it runs on.With Material
Design, elements can dynamically shrink and expand, there’s more white
space between elements, and gives a 3D appearance overall. While we are
yet to try it out ourselves, Google claims that the new design is more
intuitive and transitions between tasks are more fluid.

New, improved notifications
New, improved notifications
4. Updated camera: Lollipop makes it easier to
support features like burst mode and fine settings tuning. You’ll be
able to capture full resolution frames around 30fps, and shoot in raw
formats like YUV and Bayer RAW. There’s also support for UHD 4K video
playback, tunneled video for high quality video playback on Android TV
and improved streaming. Lollipop adds professional features to control
settings for the sensor, lens and flash per individual frame.

5. Battery settings: There’s a new battery-saver
feature that extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes—helpful
if you’re far from a power outlet. It’s also easier to manage your
power usage. The OS adds a feature which gives the estimated time left
before you need to charge and, when it’s charging, it tells you
approximately how much time it will need to charge before it’s ready to

6. Improved security: Share your device securely
with guest user mode, create multiple user accounts to enable friends to
log in on your device. In either case, no one will be able to access
your private files. There’s Android Smart Lock to secure your phone or
tablet by pairing it with a trusted device like your wearable or even
your car. Google has enforced the SELinux security module for all apps
to give better protection against vulnerabilities and malware.

7. Updated notifications screen: You can now view
and respond to messages directly from your lock screen, or hide
notifications for sensitive content. Turning on Priority mode through
your device’s volume button will allow only certain people and
notifications get through.You can also choose to avoid calls from
interrupting the game you are playing or the movie you are watching.

8. New Quick Settings: The updated Quick Settings on
the notification screen has new handy controls such as flashlight,
hotspot, screen rotation and cast screen controls. While these settings
were not on older stock-Android devices, they may already be present on
other customised Android devices. Similarly, you can manually adjust
the brightness for certain conditions, while adaptive brightness will
kick in based on ambient lighting.

9. Smoother experience: Google uses a new runtime on
Android (called ART), which claims to improve app performance, battery
life and responsiveness. Google claims that the new OS improves
Android’s performance by four times. It compacts background apps and
services so you can do more at once. There’s also support for 64-bit
chips now.

10 Tap and Go: Tap and Go for NFC devices lets you
set up your new Android phone or tablet instantly by simply tapping it
to your old one. Whenever you get a new Android phone or tablet, you can
sync your apps from Google Play automatically from any of your old
Android devices.

As with all OS updates, there are minor improvements on the camera,
video and audio experience, along with better multitasking, performance
and battery life. Overall, Lollipop will provide a smoother user
experience, more usable apps and services and help you manage bloatware.
Google has also announced it will re-enable microSD card writing
support and segmentation of firmware for older devices.