Googles Android Lollipop Brings New Design And Tons Of New Features
Googles release of the newest Android OS has created excitement in the Android user community. Version number 5.0 is affectionately dubbed, like Googles other sweet-food-themed releases, Android Lollipop. Its one of Googles biggest releases so far, boasting a new and reworked look,
as laid out by Googles material design promise, along with quite a few new features.
Though not many Android phones have access to Lollipop yet, newer devices of most brands should have access within a of couple months. In the meantime, heres a list of the four best new improvements bundled in Android Lollipop.
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1. Improved Notifications: Lock Screen Notifications And Priority Mode
Lollipop features a reworked notification system, with an emphasis on lock screen functionality. Notifications now appear on your lock screen, similar to what you would see in the pull-down bar, making it easy to turn your phone on and check out whats new without unlocking.
These notifications can also be expanded and customized, with features that allow you to easily dismiss alerts, archive email, hit reply, or use other simple commands straight from the lock screen. If youre worried about privacy, theres a setting which blocks the private content of these notifications, which can be enabled overall or on an app-by-app basis.
Another feature that improves notification ease is priority mode, which allows you to determine exactly which notifications you want to bother you, if any. When enabled, you can set a certain period of time during which youll only get notifications from apps youve marked high-priority.
2. Smart Lock: New Unlock Features And An Improved Face Unlock
Face unlock has been available on Android devices for a number of years, with little real popularity. Though its pretty cool to see your phone unlock upon identifying your face, the system was slow, clunky, and a bit too annoying for everyday use.
Lollipop, however, comes packaged with a new and very improved face unlock hidden in the security features. The feature has been renamed Smart Lock and bundled with settings which allow you to unlock your phone with wearables,
or keep it unlocked in certain safe GPS locations (like your home or work).
The new face unlock is not only better and faster at identifying your face; its also sleeker and more discreet. As soon as you turn your phone on the system looks for your face, with an unobtrusive icon at the bottom the only indicator that its doing this. Its intended to work so that by the time youve read over your notifications the system has already unlocked your phone.
The new-and-improved algorithm does pretty well with this, working more quickly and more fluidly, and integrating with the lock screen better than even traditional pin or pattern locks.
3. For Guests: Pinning Apps and Guest Mode
There are a couple new features in Lollipop which can make you feel safer handing your phone over, whether to a guest or to kids. First is the screen-pinning feature, which lets you pin your phone to a certain app or tab. When the feature is enabled in settings and the screen is pinned, you cant access the app drawer, the home page, or basically anything but the chosen app until you choose to turn screen pinning off.
You can unpin either with a certain button press or, for added security, with an unlock code.
The second feature is guest mode, which creates a fresh new user that your guest can use to do pretty much anything, like call or check email without having to log you out of your account. Of course, its easy to clear the data from guest mode, making it a clean, disposable workspace for whoever may need to use your phone for a bit.
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4. For Battery Life: Battery Saver Mode
Earlier this year, Google announced Project Volta, which promised to extend battery life on Android devices. Now, Lollipop reportedly boosts battery life by 36% when compared to Kit-Kat and other previous releases.
Additionally, Lollipop comes with the new Battery Saver Mode, which proves to be a lifesaver in emergencies. You can set the feature to automatically turn on at a certain battery percentage (or turn it on manually). Then, when your battery hits a certain point, battery saver mode limits background apps, performance, push notifications, and other features. In exchange, it can extend your phones life by up to 90 minutes.
The system turns your status and navigation bars orange in this mode, probably to remind people why their phone is running a bit slower.
Of course, these arent all of the new features Lollipop has to offer, but these highlighted features give you a pretty good idea of the improved functionality that comes with Googles latest release.