We’ve had iOS 8, it’s time for Android to step up right? And boy has it. Rolling out on Nexus 6 and 9 in November as the first design, Android Lollipop is finally here and with a whole host of new features, next month can’t come around quick enough.
Android L for short, the operating system will be first to the Motorola devices, before being updated on HTC and released on other yet-to-be-announced smartphones and tablets.
For the Android purists, there are a fair few changes compared to the previous KitKat system, making it sleeker than ever before. Announced in June this year, Nexus 5 and 7 owners can already install previews on their handsets, and what they’ll find is pretty special.
Lollipop has over 5,000 new APIs working behind the scenes, but it’s perhaps in the visuals where the changes will be most noticeable. The display is set to be much more animated with Google taking inspiration from pen and inks, with every icon having a definition.
The makeover continues with the home screen, and pull-down menu matching the new look and being much cleaner in their approach, whilst every Google app will also eventually mirror the new sophisticated look.
A major upgrade is in the notification area. Where now you have to unlock your devices to check, respond, or dismiss notifications, but with L, they’ll appear as Google Now type cards which can be dealt with directly from the lock screen.
Which makes the system much more efficient, and when looking at its new features it’s exactly the same. The Google Now-style cards will allow you to jump between between open apps, whilst its personalised locking is perhaps one of the standout new elements to Lollipop.
The system effectively searches for familiar Bluetooth gadgets, Wi-Fi networks, or locations, letting you jump straight into your phone when you’re nearby, making it quicker and easier to get into your phone.
Performance wise there are some big changes. The move from Dalvik runtime to ART means Android now speaks a lot more languages and will work on more CPUs than previous operating systems, which will massively improve how it works.
And that implies to the DirectX 11-level graphics too. Making its way onto Android for the first time it’s going to improve gaming unbelievably whether that be on racing games such as Asphalt 8 or Royal Vegas Canadian online casino games. Which is a major bonus. Gaming has become a key selling point in smartphone sales over the last few years and with a smoother performance it’ll be right up there competing toe-to-toe with iOS devices when it’s released next month.
Google have also gone and improved battery life too, developing a battery saver mode which will see the system disable certain features when your battery is low to preserve it, meaning we’ll get an extra 90 minutes life without changing how we use our phone at all. And that in itself is well worth the Lollipop update.