Whenever Google announces their latest OS update they always find a quirky name for it. Now, their latest update Android 5.0 will be called Android Lollipop. Google released Android Lollipop earlier this year in October and it has come to many devices since then. Unlike Android's strongest competitor iOS, they do not release the OTA update all at once but rather in waves.
All of us over here at Gizbot were ecstatic to start using Lollipop, the OS which brought Material Design to Android. We've been using it for a while now and decided it was time to share our experience with the latest marvel from Google.
Android Lollipop will come pre-installed only on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 for the time being. Update wise Nexus 4,5,7,10 have all received the update as well as the moto line of phones. Companies like Samsung and HTC have also received Lollipop but changes have to be made by the company to satisfy their own UI's namely TouchWiz and HTC Sense. By the end of this year it's likely that all devices that are compatible with Android Lollipop will receive the update.
We did our testing on Google's Nexus 5.
Now lets take a look at the changes that Android Lollipop brings to the table.
Let's start off with the first change that we see on powering on the phone, The Lock Screen. Now as you can see the Lock screen is completely changed. To Unlock the phone you now have to swipe up from the bottom, Lollipop now comes with some quick ways to make a phone call or take a picture. The icons on the left and right bottom allow you to swipe it in order to directly open the respective apps. Notifications also appear on the lock screen as banners just below the clock. They can be swiped to either side to remove them or double tapped on to open. Google Now can now be activated from the lock screen by saying 'Ok Google',which is a predominant change for Nexus 5. These are the main changes to the Lock screen and you aso notice how the Lock screen itself looks more clean and refined which points out the new material design by Google.
On unlocking the phone, we think one of the most noticible changes are the three home buttons at the bottom. The home button is now a circle, multitasking is a square and back is a triangle. These kind of buttons represent Sony Playstation's controller buttons, DualShock.
Now lets take a look at the notification panel. On pulling it down we see all the notifications which are also like banners, the background is clear and it looks like the banners are just floating on the screen. When you pull down again you get the quick settings panel. Over here we have settings for Wifi, Bluetooth, Data Usage, Auto Rotate, Flasahlight etc..
When we saw the new design for the notification panel we were utterly pleased. The design brought a new feel to the phone and provided useful in many situations.
Lollipop now also allows us to add a guest to our phone. For example if a friend wants to use your phone but you don't want to log out of all your accounts you can simply add him as a guest so that it does not interfere with your stuff.
One more big change that Lollipop brings is the app drawer. The app drawer now has a white opaque background and also gives the illusion of it floating on the screen. It looks crisp and clean, which is what the new material design aims towards. Folders on the home screen have the same design as well.
Home Screen Customisation
On holding your finger down three options will come out, namely the widget customize option, wallpapers and settings. The buttons look different from the previous version of Android. Android Lollipop also comes with many pre-installed wallpapers to choose from.
The dialer has also changed considerably and has a completely new design. The Speed Dialer almost looks the same with some changes in colours and also where the dialer button is placed. The contacts app has some design changes as well. The call interface now has two parts; the name, information, talktime and the bottom half has the photo and end call button.
Overall Material Design Change
Lollipop has brought about lots of changes with respect to design and the UI experience. We can see this in all the Google apps as well as some third party apps which have released updates. We feel that the whole change gives a completely new experience and to use it was fun to use.
Stay Tuned for the full written review of Android Lollipop