Android 5.0 Lollipop Review

Android 5.0 Lollipop Review

Wesley MurchisonThursday,20 November 2014

The Snap:

The reviews of the current build of Google’s Android version 5.0 paints a picture of a more comprehensive mobile experience than previously considered. Named Lollipop, Android 5.0 is Google’s most forward thinking and aesthetically thought out version. Starting with the visuals, Lollipop incorporates a new philosophy called “Material Design” that recognizes the importance that sensual cues play in artificial environments. Improved battery life, notification transparency and added security or just a few things that make Lollipop something to get excited about.

The Download:

To the average consumer, the idea that Google would develop a design philosophy sounds trivial. But Google knows that in an artificial environment form is critical to translating function to the average user. Spend a few moments reading the principles of Material Design prior watching videos of the new OS, and you might get an appreciation for the proper, long-term implications for “this living document,” as Google calls it.

Instead of mere tiles, icons, buttons or widgets, Google wants to incorporate material that is “grounded in tactile reality, inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic.”

What was once applied casually, drop-shadow now becomes a physical cue that brings a feeling of weight and dimension to an object. As our lives become more digitized and we spend more time staring at screens, translating the physical world to the digital will become a more important area that cannot be a mere afterthought (Windows) or simple luster (Apple).

Animation also plays an important role in bringing to life the artificial world. Things are moving on and off the screen to continue that real-world experience. Swiping notifications right or left and springing the app drawer from the bottom are just a few examples. Now everything is coming from somewhere. Even when clicking the sleep button, the screen subtly fades to a black background and white images.

As for features, Google has packed them in. On the privacy and security front, all Lollipop devices now come encrypted by default. Then there’s Smart Lock that lets you unlock your device when paired to other, trusted device running Lollipop. (Smart Lock might sound limited until you learn that Lollipop is the most hardware friendly Android platform, ever. It’s not just for phone and tablets anymore, but also wearables, TVs and automobiles.)

Good security need not undermine convenience, either. Now Android users can get notifications on locked screens. Plus, Lollipop comes with a guest account if you need to lend your phone for a day. The ability to create multiple user accounts has been extended to phones. If setting up and switching to a separate account just so kids can play their favorite games, then parents are in luck. Pin apps prevent users from leaving that app without a passcode.

These features and many more in the LPX 13D build — the first build to be called Lollipop and not just the codename “L” — is sure to excite loyal Android users and protect Google from the competition, especially Windows. But Android still has a lot of work before it convinces Apple users to switch. For that, Google and the hardware manufacturer been to develop an OS inviting to high-end developers that investing in making heavy-duty apps and not just toys.

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Hat Tips:

Google, Android Developers, Image Credit: Flickr

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