I don’t know about all you other Android users but to me it feels it’s been forever since we last got a major update like Lollipop. Actually it has been more than a year since KitKat broke out of the labs and in internet time that’s basically forever. And if I thought KitKat looked great, Lollipop looks even better. While KitKat was an incremental update to Icecream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, Lollipop is an overhaul and a new version number, which is Android 5.
The best thing about these major updates is that they completely change the look and feel of the phone. It’s like getting a new hardware without actually getting a new hardware. Like unboxing a new device but minus the fresh device smell that you get. It’s still awesome and this version comes with a lot of changes that I can’t wait for.
A New UI
Probably the most integral thing that makes everything feel so new is the redesign of the whole platform. Google has been showcasing Material Design for a while now. You can see it in a few apps such as the Playstore, Docs and Chrome. And honestly everything looks pretty.
If you forgot the concepts behind (how could you though, with it being all over the web now) here’s a YouTube link to one of Google’s first preview into Material Design:
The core beauty of the UI is powered by the everpresent animation throughout the entire system. From all the videos I’ve checked out, it all looks super smooth and I just hope that it runs the same on my two year old Nexus 4 (I think it’s due time for an upgrade).
Lock screen notifications
The lock screen has changed a bit since KitKat. Notifications appear as cards on your screen under the big clock, and swiping down on the card brings up the app. Swiping the card right dismisses it. The lock screen itself is unlocked by swiping up. Swiping left brings up the camera. Check out this random video from youtube to see it in action:
The multitasking function is now called the overview brought up by the square button on the right at the bottom of your screen. All your apps are cards similar to the tabs you have at chrome, and through this overview function you can now pin an app on to the screen essentially locking the screen onto that app. Until you unpin the app again (by pressing Back + Overview), you can’t exit out of it or see the notifications bar.
I can see some use for this but I don’t think I’ll be using this a whole lot. Check this out in action here:
No doubt Android Lollipop will offer a lot more licks until we reach the center and I can’t wait until I get the update. The operating system is really coming together to become one nice warm cohesive experience. Stay tuned for our review of the OS soon. Meanwhile, I’m going to go and keep tapping on “Check now” for my update…