If you hear the word “Lollipop”, the first thing that pops into your mind are your childhood memories of going to the nearby candy store with your parents. But if you talk in today’s context, Lollipop is no more a simple candy, but a high tech OS system which is making waves across the globe. Yes, we are talking about Google’s latest OS, the Android 5.0 Lollipop which has been recently rolled out by the company on its new Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices.
The first beta version of this OS was unveiled by Google at the I/O conference that was held in June 2014 and was dubbed “Android L”. Since then all the tech enthusiasts were eagerly awaiting the final version of the OS which is touted by the company to be the best and the most ambitious release to date. At a first look of its long list of interesting features, it seems that Google has really worked hard to bring some of the most innovative device features to the forefront.
Compared to its previous edition, KitKat 4.4, Lollipop promises a host of additional features. The lists of these are given below:
1. Built-in flashlight:
Android users were always dependent upon third party applications when it came to producing a flashlight from the Android device. Upon considering this limitation, Google released the latest Lollipop version of the OS with a built-in flashlight. Now users can simply pull down their notification panel and get an option for a flashlight utility. But in order for this feature to function, your handset needs to have an LED flash.
2. Better Battery:
Battery usage indicators and battery performance was one of the major issues that was faced by Google in its earlier OS versions. In consideration of the problems faced by users, Google introduced into the latest Lollipop OS, better battery features and usage. Along with better performance, the latest OS enables the user to know about how much time is left before your handset runs out of juice. One can also know how much time it will take for the battery to fully charge. To lookup the two readings, you need to go to the battery icon which is present in the notification drawer. Once you plugin your handset to charge the device, the home screen will display the amount of time it will take in order to fully charge the device. The built in battery saver mode of the Lollipop OS helps to save battery life by turning off vibration capability, some background syncing, and other power-saving tweaks.
3. Feature of Guest Mode:
Most of us do not want to share our phones with anyone, but if you are stuck in a situation where you need to share your handset with a friend, family member, or a colleague then Lollipop OS Guest Mode will aid you in this regard. With this latest feature you can add guest users like you do on your Windows device and create a separate profile for them. Therefore with separate users, you can always limit the amount of information that you want others to access from your handset. In order to access this feature, you need to drag down the notification panel then go to the user account avatar and then opt for the Add Guest option on the menu. For already existing guests on the handset, the Guest option needs to be selected.
4. Notification Panel:
The notification panel under the Lollipop OS not only comes with added features, but is designed in a manner so that it is simple to use. The panel enables you to view the detailed notifications even on your lock screen. This feature can also be disabled if you do not wish your colleagues to have a look at your notification information even when your handset is locked. Also, you can also interact with your notifications on the locked screen. For example, you can tap in order to reply, swipe for dismissing a notification, and double tap for getting into the relevant app.
5. Jumping to the app settings:
The lock screen in the Lollipop OS has received major changes to enhance the overall experience of the users. You can jump straight to the app’s information panel or settings right from the lock screen. While issuing a long press to any notification, a cog icon that is a shortcut for app settings and an info icon which is a shortcut for notification settings will appear.
6. Search settings and networks
The search bar of Google has been brought into the Settings app of the new Lollipop OS. You simply need tap on the icon of the magnifying glass in order to use it. With the Google Search feature, if you do not know which menu or heading a particular option is under, you can quickly find it. Also, in order to bring up the saved Wi-Fi network, the same feature can be used.
7. Trusted Places:
Trusted places is yet another interesting and useful feature on the latest Lollipop OS. Under this feature, known as a SmartLock, the user can declare a few places as their trusted places like for example their home or an office. While entering these areas, you would not have to unlock your phone to operate it. The trusted places feature uses your phones GPS to determine if you have entered a trusted area. Also, Google introduced the concept of trusted devices, your trusted device is basically a NFC or a Bluetooth enabled device that will disable the security pattern or code of your device automatically as it reaches within the range of the trusted places. So now every time when you enter your home, car or an office you would not have to unlock your device. In order to enable this feature, you need to go to the Settings, then move to the Security and then activate Smart Lock feature from there.
8. Improved text legibility:
There is a high contrast text feature in the new Lollipop OS which gives a difficult to read white text an outline of black when it is viewed on a light background. This was an easy way to address readability issues for poorly set backgrounds.
9. Hanging a “do not disturb” sign:
Working like the app prioritization feature, this feature rather than being based on applications, is based on the time and days. In order to activate this feature, you need to go the settings, then Sound and Notifications and then Interruptions. This feature can be activated at night so that you are not disturbed with unwanted calls or messages. Additionally, there is an option where you can allow calls and messages from important numbers and alarms to be active.
10. Flappy Bird Easter Egg:
For all you Flappy Bird game lovers, the Lollipop OS brings in the latest version of the game. Lollipop has a hidden Easter egg you can unlock if you know the secret click sequence. If you are curious to unlock this treasure, you need to go to the settings > About Device and then click rapidly four times on the Android Version. A graphic lollipop will then come up. Touch and hold on the lollipop, after which you will get the android robot in place of the well-known flappy bird game.
11. Getting back to apps after the reboot:
While rebooting the device is any previous Android version, all the apps which were recently opened would disappear. But after rebooting in the Lollipop OS, these apps will still appear on the Overview screen so that you can get back to the work quickly. Simply highlight the app you want to return and swipe to unlock.
12. Soft Key redesign:
In order to give a compact and pleasing look, the icons in the latest OS have been made smaller.
The multitasking feature in the new OS has been changed and improved a lot for enhanced user experience. The feature now allows the user to scroll through the notification panel in an easy and simple manner and even gives you more details before you enter the app.
14. Prioritizing the Apps:
One of the most annoying things while working on your handset is getting unwanted notifications from various apps that are installed on your phone. In order to alleviate this problem, the new Lollipop OS comes with a feature where as a user you can prioritize the list of apps you want notification. With this new feature in place you will not be disturbed with unwanted game notifications throughout the day. Also, you can specify which apps you absolutely want to notify you. To use the feature go to Settings -> Sound & Notifications -> App Notifications and select the application. You can either choose to Block it or set it as a priority.
15. Getting quick access to Chromecast:
Google has an official app for Chromecast that can be accessed through the notification panel of the latest Lollipop OS. So now streaming media from your dongles is simple as well as quick. You simply need to go to your notification panel and there tap on the icon of Cast screen to get the Chromecast feature.
16. Tap and Go feature:
While setting the new Lollipop device for the first time, there is an option called “tap and go”, which is basically a Bluetooth and NFC powered data transfer that enables you to move all the details of your Google account, data, settings, apps, wallpaper, widgets and others to your new handset by simply placing the old device against it.
In Summary, compared to earlier KitKat version, it can be said that the latest Android Lollipop OS comes loaded with exciting, user friendly and an interesting list of features that will surely improve the overall experience for users on their Smartphones.