New design, new appearance
Lollipop is garnering a lot of attention for its appearance.
The OS has a new colour scheme, different typography, and boasts realistic lighting and shadows – which Google says will help people navigate their devices better.
Apple users may notice some similarities between Lollipop and iOS 8, the iPhone’s latest operating system. Windows and graphics appear much flatter than previous versions – much like Apple’s redesign – and transitions between apps will appear more animated.
Some apps will even change the background colour of the display depending on the time of day.
One of the more useful changes to Lollipop is the way in which users can manage notifications.
The OS now allows users to respond or dismiss notifications directly from the lock screen and when running other apps. Users can also control what apps send them banner notifications and how much information is included in the preview.
To cut down on disruptions, Lollipop has “Priority Mode,” which only allows notifications from important people to come through – all other notifications are muted.
Users can schedule a daily “downtime” for their phone in Priority Mode where only important notifications will get through – which might come in handy for anyone whose notifications keeps them awake at night.
Google is hoping to boost the battery power across all devices with special battery-saving settings in Lollipop.
Users are now able to monitor individual app’s battery consumption. The OS also includes a battery saving feature that Google claims will extend device use by up to 90 minutes.
Multiple user accounts
While some Android tablets have previously supported more than one user profile on a device, Android-powered smartphones haven’t – until now.
Lollipop now allows users to set up multiple user profiles on smartphones and tablets. The feature also lets users access their messages and contacts by logging onto a friend’s Android smartphone.
There is also a guest profile option that users can set up, which will prevent friends from snooping through your phone if they want to play on it.
With Lollipop comes Google’s new fitness hub, dubbed Google Fit.
Google Fit – which is similar to Apple’s Health app – uses sensors built into the user’s smartphone to track daily activities like walking, running and biking. Users will be able to keep track of their fitness or weight loss achievements by setting daily goals – Google’s default goal is at least an hour of activity a day, but it can be customized to meet each user’s fitness level.