Google has revealed the official name and new details regarding its latest OS update. Previously known by the letter L, Android 5.0 Lollipop brings with it a new, cohesive design language and new features, including better handling of notifications and 64-bit processor support.
We already knew that the latest version of Android was just around the corner, but Google has today confirmed that we’ll be seeing the update in the coming weeks. Besides its official name, the company revealed a full list of new features that it'll bring with it.
Once running the new version of the OS, users will be able to adjust their settings so that they’re only notified about alerts from selected contacts, with notifications from those users then appearing on the lock screen. Encryption is also turned on by default, and multiple account and guest user support has been added. Users of devices that support digital signal processing (such as the new Nexus 6 and 9) will also be able to utter "OK Google" even when the display is switched off.
Lollipop ships with 64-bit versions of key apps like Gmail, Chrome and Calendar, and offers improved quick settings. Users can double swipe down from the top of the screen to access frequent tools and settings like flashlight, screen rotation and cast. There are also more complex brightness controls, with the user able to specify a preferred brightness for certain conditions, while letting adaptive brightness take over the rest of the time.
The update will bring with it one significant feature that’s been missing from stock Android up to this point – a battery saving mode. The new feature will reportedly extend up times of a device by up to 90 minutes. Third party Android handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8) have been offering a similar mode for a while. Lollipop will also display an estimate of how long until a device is fully charged when plugged in.
There have been improvements on the audio side of things, including lower latency input and multi-channel audio stream mixing. The addition of USB audio input support for microphones, mixers and more, may well lead to an improved library of pro music creation apps, similar to that found on iOS.
The new software will also allow for improved camera capabilities, including the ability to capture full resolution frames at 30 frames per second, and support for raw formats such as YUV.
More broadly speaking, the company has also worked to make Android feel more cohesive, ensuring that the experience of using Lollipop feels the same whether you’re running it on a tablet, smartphone or even on your TV. The new look, known as Material Design, takes inspiration from paper and ink, focusing on bold graphics with fluid 60 fps transitions. ART, an all new Android runtime, provides smoother performance, even when running visually complex applications.
The company’s brand new Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player devices will all ship with the latest update. Owners of the company’s Nexus 5, 7, 10 devices, as well as Google Play edition devices, can expect an update in the coming weeks.
Check out the video below for a look at the operating system’s Material Design aesthetic.
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