After first showcasing Android 5.0 preview at Google I/O 2014 in June this year, Google on Wednesday officially launched the final version of the Android 5.0 with the codename “Lollipop.” Google is claiming that Lollipop is its largest Android release till date.
“Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android with over 5,000 new APIs for developers. Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit. And just like Android has always been, it’s designed to be shared,” noted Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps at Google, in a blog post.
It will first be launched as a part of the new Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player devices and then roll-out to existing Nexus 4, 5 smartphones, Nexus 7 & 10 tablets as well as Google Play edition devices. Android manufacturers will also be getting the Android 5.0 code in the coming days and some of them are already said to be working on the pre-release code of Android Lollipop. So, the first non-Nexus smartphones should start receiving the Android 5.0 update next month.
Coming to the Android 5.0 details, based on Google’s new Material Design, Android 5.0 brings a number of new features and improvements over Android 4.4 KitKat. According to Google, Material Design offers a cleaner look with bold colours and is the company’s attempt to unify Android’s look and fell across devices.
The new Android version also gives users more control over their Android devices by bringing several new enhancements.
“You can now adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications can get through, for example, when you’re out to dinner or in the middle of an important meeting. And when an important notification does come through, you can see it directly from the lockscreen,” Google explained in a blog post.
Here are some of the highlights of Android 5.0 (We will be covering Lollipop release in detail in other reports):
- One Android version for all devices – phone, tablet, smartwatch, TV and even car
- Synced experience across devices: Songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all of your Android devices.
- Native battery saver feature that extends your device battery backup by up to 90 minutes
- Guest mode & Android Smart Lock
- New ways to control when and how you receive notifications
- New quick settings
- Better overall performance with ART (New Android runtime, improves application performance and responsiveness)
- Improved graphics and improved audio, video, and camera capabilities
- Support for over 68 languages including Basque, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese (Hong Kong), Galician, Icelandic, Kannada, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu
Note: Android 5.0 SDK for developers will arrive on October 17.