Amazing Kids! Magazine

Android Lollipop – the Sweetest Android Ever

By Ishaan Nyati, age 13

 

Here is the story of Android Lollipop release with the signature Material Design. It all began when Google decided to bring about the 5.0 update. As a test they first updated the Play Newsstand app – and it went very, very successfully. And that was just the beginning of the “great makeover”. On October the 15th, Google released its much anticipated Android L “Lollipop”, smashing all rumors of Licorice Candy or Lemon Honey Pie. (This is a tradition of Google to name its new Android as a candy, beginning with the next letter; and the last version was Kit-Kat, and so this next would begin with L.)  It later announced that the first devices to come with Lollipop “out of the box” (part of the base software) were the Nexus 6 (phone), the Nexus 9 (tablet) and the Nexus Player (a television extension; and all three were to be launched on November 3rd. These were also the first devices to run the sweet operating system. The Lollipop source code was also made available through the Android Open Source Project in the same week. Both the applications and operating software began to update to the new standards set by the search engine giant; the change being at a low but gradually increasing rate. Most of the apps developed by Google have been updated for material design. All of the Nexus family has received the 5.0.2 update and companies such as Motorola, HTC and LG have also developed Lollipop for their flagships. Samsung, breaking all records, has updated most of its phones in a very short time period.

One of the most important things to note about Android Lollipop is the newly brought about Material Design. It describes this new look in this way: “We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. This is material design. This spec is a living document that will be updated as we continue to develop the tenets and specifics of material design.” It is based on having more bold, opaque, graphic and physical material rules. The very new solid squares, rectangles and circles have a floating, yet physical and singular touch to them. Also a circular selection interface has been developed that is different from the quite persistent complete selection interface.

Now let us come to the way the operating system will – or already has – revolutionized the way we look at any android device. The most important task of android 5.0 is to bring in uniformity in the versatile tasks and types of work that different apps do. Some time after the launch of the AOSP code, Google launched a long list of icons that must be used to denote tasks in the taskbar (towards the left) as well as in other parts of the app. For example, in any Lollipop based app, you would notice that the return button (on the top left corner) is the same. And Google aspires that this uniformity exists not only in the Android world, but also elsewhere. Even on iOS, Chrome and the internet, Google has taken care that the material design rules are followed.

Now let us come to the less important, yet significant changes that characterize the 5.0 update on Android devices. We have to start with something and end with something, but one must remember that even though I have started with a feature and ended with another doesn’t mean that I am biased, but that it appeals to me more. Let us begin with “screen pinning.” As a brother of a 4-year old I have often felt that I could have done with an app which could “pin” the screen on to a single application, and now you can easily do it on your phone without downloading any unreliable third-party apps. Just press the “pin button” on the most recent window and the work’s done. To return, you have to hold the “back” and “recent” tab buttons and the screen is unpinned (you have to put in the code if you have a lock on your lock screen). The lock screen has also been given a complete makeover. You now swipe up to unlock, and meet the lock below (if any). You can also swipe left to open a camera shortcut, and right to avail a phone shortcut. This is a great step by the tech giant, keeping in mind that the main purpose a person has a mobile is for telecommunication. We can also view our notifications from the lock screen. Another change is the way the notification tray and quick settings react. The notification tray now doesn’t appear in a new window but acts like a stack of cards hovering over the screen when the panel is pulled down. When it is pulled down again, the quick settings panel is visible. A simple change is that now we can toggle options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, screen rotation (even though nobody switches it off nowadays) and location (GPS) just by tapping on the options, and open the respective settings panel by holding it down. Earlier, we could open the settings by tapping on the icon, and toggle it by holding it down. The action bar buttons have also been replaced by a simple triangle (back), a simple circle (home), and a simple square (recent apps). However no other changes have been made in their use. You can still access “Google Now” by pulling up the action bar, and the UI has only slightly been changed. The “recent apps” has, however, been modified a lot. It now appears as a card stack; completely identical to the stack in Chrome’s tabs stack. It also reacts in the same way, click to open, and swipe or press the close button to remove. Google has also started a new project- Project Volta. It aims at one of the worst problems encountered by the smartphone industry- the very short battery life. It automatically works in Lollipop phones, acting as an inbuilt battery saver and task killer to save the battery of the device. The new software also brings in a new feature of multiple users. The feature allows the creation of new users that can set up their own devices in the virtual world, while having the same devices. The guest feature also allows “guests” to use the device without prying into personal information. The notification settings have been upgraded where we can select apps, timings, etc. to select which notification to show and when. We can also prioritize our notifications and even select which notifications to show on the lock screen to prevent personal data being shown to any person. The other features like 64-bit processing compatibility, a built in “Flappy Android Lollipop” Easter egg, a new flashlight-like application, 15 new languages and “Tap and Go” are the ones that make Android Lollipop 5.0 the biggest release yet by Android and Google.

Review the changes offered by the Android Lollipop and adapt to the opportunities the new features bring.

3 comments

  1. Thomson /

    An interesting read. Kudos!

  2. Prasan Wilfred /

    The explicit detail has brought the technical info within the ken of a non-tech person like me too! The 13-year old deserves our kudos for his clarity of thought.

  3. Sashant Nyati /

    Lollipop is working very smooth as you mentioned in the article.
    Article is real help in understanding the hidden features of Lollipop.