Android 5.1 Lollipop is officially in the wild and it comes with a metric ton of changes. However, most of them are under the hood and the actual interface only saw a few minor tweaks here and there. Let’s take a look at what’s different in 5.1.
Quick Settings tweaks
The Quick Settings in Android 5.1 Lollipop saw a couple of tweaks. They include:
- You can now connect to WiFi and Bluetooth devices without being required to go into the Settings app. Simply click the down arrow and continue from there.
- There is a new animation for the portrait mode toggle (more on that later).
Screen Pinning improvements
Screen Pinning is a feature (under Security in the Settings) that allows you to lock someone into a single application. This is great for kids or if someone is borrowing your phone.
- The verbiage in the Settings has been changed for clarification purposes.
- When you pin an application, Android now shows you which buttons to press in order to leave Screen Pinning mode. Otherwise, the feature works exactly as it did before.
Contacts app improvements
The Contacts app has undergone a couple of minor improvements:
- There is no longer any color overlays on contact pictures.
- Google+ photos are no longer used for contact pictures.
- Other minor tweaks here and there.
System Volume tweaks
The lack of silent mode is a sore spot for many Lollipop users, although HTC and Samsung have managed to (generally) re-add the feature in their skins. With Android 5.1, Google didn’t give us silent mode back but they did make some other tweaks:
- The icons of Priority Mode and No Interruptions Mode now appear in the selection window. This is so people new to the OS understand what the icons mean when they show up in the status bar (shown in the gif above).
- No Interruptions Mode will now still deliver notifications and you’ll still see the notification light blinking. It’s no silent mode, but it works pretty much the same. The only real gripe is that alarms still don’t go off so you’ll still need to create a tweaked Priority Mode (where alarms are okay, but everything else is turned off) in order to get a “truer” silent mode.
- You can now access system volume even while watching video, listening to music, or otherwise engaging in media. Simply click the bell icon on the right side (see video for a demonstration) and the media volume will disappear, replaced by the system volume.
- Other small tweaks are there, including the ability to better manage Priority Mode.
A few new animations have made their way into Android 5.1.
- The four icons at the top of the Clock app are now animated.
- The Portrait/Landscape toggle in Quick Settings is also now animated.
Other various tweaks
Some of the other highlights from the Android 5.1 update include:
- NuPlayer officially takes over for AwesomePlayer as the default streaming player.
- When you receive a heads-up notification (when they appear at the top and are clickable), you can swipe up to hide the notification but it will remain in the notification drop-down for you to check later. In Android 5.0, swiping up on the heads-up notification dismissed the notification entirely.
- Device Protection mode is now a thing that exists. This nifty new feature keeps your device locked down even if it has been factory reset, preventing thieves from getting around your security. Sadly, this is only available on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 as well as, according to Google, all Lollipop devices launched going forward.
- HD Voice Calling is now included. Devices on compatible carrier networks that support HD Voice will be able to use the feature. Reportedly, this only works with the Nexus 6 for right now.
- Dual-SIM support is now baked right into the OS.
- Unless otherwise stated, we believe the memory leak has finally been fixed.
- There were over 14000 additional tweaks, fixes, and other changes that came to Android 5.1 that improved everything from performance to battery. To see them all, here’s the full changelog.
What we’re still waiting on
While the 5.1 update was huge in its own right, it didn’t bring everything. Here are a few features many people are still waiting on.
- A true silent mode where notifications come in, alarms act as normal, but the device doesn’t vibrate or ring.
- T-Mobile Nexus 6 users are still waiting for WiFi Calling but that should be coming soon.
- There is still no reboot option. When long pressing the power button, you still only have the option to Power Down.
Overall, the update is a big step forward for Lollipop and dare we say, the Lollipop we probably should have had to begin with. Performance on the Nexus 5 (at least) has been noticeably better and the inclusion of the new features gives a more full and complete feeling to the UI and experience overall. Let us know what you thought of the Android 5.1 Lollipop update. Did Google address all of your concerns or are there still some things you wish they had?
Earlier this week Samsung confirmed that the getting-long-in-the-tooth Galaxy S 4 would, in fact, receive Android 5.0 Lollipop. Of course we’re curious about how that will look on the device and today we get to see a sneak peek. Like the Galaxy S 5, SamMobile was able to score an internal build of Lollipop for an S 4 and as such, made a video for it.
According to the gang at SamMobile, the build is far from complete and the build is nowhere close to being ready for daily driver status. As such, you won’t see a leak of this build. However you’ll see a sneak peek of the OS in action.
What we see from the video is Touchwiz optimized for Lollipop. Samsung has brought a few features from the S5 and Note 4 to the S4 too. You’ll see the My Magazine launcher and the popping colors lockscreen. System apps have also received a material makeover. The build that this S4 is running is an older build (LRX02E) and not the final Lollipop code base (LRX21M). Given that it’s an early build, there’s probably a whole hell of a lot to be added between now and the release of the update for Samsung devices.
Come comment on this article: Test build of Android 5.0 leaks for the Galaxy S 4
It’s a new month, and that means we get a new infographic showing us the Android distribution on those devices out there. As you can see by the numbers, KitKat has climbed to 30% taking the much deserved lead to all the other versions of Android. That percentage will most likely still rise in numbers, even though the next update we will have some of that beautiful Android Lollipop on it. Let us know what version of Android you are currently running on your devices.
The post Monthly Android Distribution Infographic Shows KitKat on 30% of Devices appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
We’ve had iOS 8, it’s time for Android to step up right? And boy has it. Rolling out on Nexus 6 and 9 in November as the first design, Android Lollipop is finally here and with a whole host of new features, next month can’t come around quick enough.
Android L for short, the operating system will be first to the Motorola devices, before being updated on HTC and released on other yet-to-be-announced smartphones and tablets.
For the Android purists, there are a fair few changes compared to the previous KitKat system, making it sleeker than ever before. Announced in June this year, Nexus 5 and 7 owners can already install previews on their handsets, and what they’ll find is pretty special.
Lollipop has over 5,000 new APIs working behind the scenes, but it’s perhaps in the visuals where the changes will be most noticeable. The display is set to be much more animated with Google taking inspiration from pen and inks, with every icon having a definition.
The makeover continues with the home screen, and pull-down menu matching the new look and being much cleaner in their approach, whilst every Google app will also eventually mirror the new sophisticated look.
A major upgrade is in the notification area. Where now you have to unlock your devices to check, respond, or dismiss notifications, but with L, they’ll appear as Google Now type cards which can be dealt with directly from the lock screen.
Which makes the system much more efficient, and when looking at its new features it’s exactly the same. The Google Now-style cards will allow you to jump between between open apps, whilst its personalised locking is perhaps one of the standout new elements to Lollipop.
The system effectively searches for familiar Bluetooth gadgets, Wi-Fi networks, or locations, letting you jump straight into your phone when you’re nearby, making it quicker and easier to get into your phone.
Performance wise there are some big changes. The move from Dalvik runtime to ART means Android now speaks a lot more languages and will work on more CPUs than previous operating systems, which will massively improve how it works.
And that implies to the DirectX 11-level graphics too. Making its way onto Android for the first time it’s going to improve gaming unbelievably whether that be on racing games such as Asphalt 8 or Royal Vegas Canadian online casino games. Which is a major bonus. Gaming has become a key selling point in smartphone sales over the last few years and with a smoother performance it’ll be right up there competing toe-to-toe with iOS devices when it’s released next month.
Google have also gone and improved battery life too, developing a battery saver mode which will see the system disable certain features when your battery is low to preserve it, meaning we’ll get an extra 90 minutes life without changing how we use our phone at all. And that in itself is well worth the Lollipop update.
The Daily is here, so make yourself comfortable as you catch up on some of today’s Android news. The Nexus 6 was compared to the one that started it all, the Nexus One, as well as the previous version that is the Nexus 5. Samsung teased Lollipop for the Galaxy Note 4 today, and the DROID Turbo got an exclusive photo shoot by us. Enjoy the Daily!
The post Nexus 6 Compared to the Nexus One! DROID Turbo Gets an Image Exclusive! – ManDroid Daily appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
The ManDroid Daily is here, and so is that Android Lollipop. The new developer preview hit the Nexus 5, and I hope you guys are running it. I just flashed it on my N5 yesterday, and expect a video soon. The great thing about these new builds is the fact that developers out there strip it and pull all the goodies out of it. The crowd pleaser is always the wallpapers, and you can get all those wallpapers by hitting the link below. Enjoy them and enjoy the Daily.
The post Android Lollipop Nexus 5 Goodness and Material Designed Wallpapers! – ManDroid Daily appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
After the official announcement of the Nexus 6 and Android Lollipop, the new developer preview was set to hit the net, and of course devs start stripping it for parts. Anytime that happens with the new version of Android, we get a new selection of wallpapers. They looked pretty as always, but some of you that might have thought there weren’t enough to choose from, will be happy to hear that a new app in the Play Store will hopefully satisfy your Material Design cravings for the price of free.
Material Wallpapers hit the Play Store today, that brings in 30 Material Designed Wallpapers to your device. Hit the Play Store link below to head over there and grab it. Let us know how they are for you.
The post ‘Material Wallpapers’ Brings More Material Design to your Device appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Google’s new Material design has been popping up in updates for many of their apps, and the Gmail app has finally joined the party, bringing other email services with it. While the apk isn’t (officially) available yet, we do have Google’s onboarding video which you can watch after the break.
The update will include support for Outlook and Yahoo accounts. It will be interesting to see if they add other services in the future and if they do, if they’ll discontinue the standard Email app built into Android. The update looks great and appears to be quite functional. Let us know in the comments what you think!
Source: Android Police
Come comment on this article: Gmail 5.0 update will support Outlook and Yahoo accounts
If you’re the owner of a Nexus device, you’re no doubt wondering when you’re going to get your first official taste of Android L. Well, we now know that Android L will be coming to Wi-Fi Nexus devices on November 3rd, which includes the Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi and the Nexus 10. Of course, that means owners of the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013 LTE will have to wait until “later that month”, presumably due to the intricacies of making a new software update play nice with cellular functions.
This news comes via an anonymous source speaking with Android Police, but it does seem legitimate and does just about line up with previous rumours that we have heard regarding the actual release date of Android L to the general public, namely Nexus devices. Mark the date on your calendar, folks.
The post Android L will be coming to Wi-Fi Nexus devices on November 3rd appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
With material design upon us in the form of Android Lollipop, version 5.0, we can now enjoy a whole bunch of updated apps that utilise the new design.
However, it may be that your carrier or specific device won’t see Android Lollipop for a while, so here is a compiled list of the Launcher, Keyboard, Wallpapers, Fonts, and Boot Animations for you to sideload onto your device. Enjoy!
Google Now Launcher
(Unnistall previous Google Keyboard App is recommended)
Google Play Store
Google Play Services
The post Download all the Android Lollipop (5.0) Google App APKs [Launcher, Keyboard, Wallpapers] appeared first on AndroidGuys.