It’s easy to get excited about new mobile hardware, making the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 launches the real attention-grabbers of the day. But we’ve been almost just as interested in seeing what today’s launches meant for the future of Android as platform. Since this past summer, we’ve been experimenting with the Android L dev preview release, but now Google’s finally ready to move it up into the mainstream, announcing Android 5.0 Lollipop.
It took us a while to get there, but the L-name is now official (and thankfully not anything gross, like licorice). But the name is just window dressing; what’s there to appreciate about the operating system software itself?
A lot of this we knew from either the preview release or the many leaks over the past few months, so bear with us: one of the biggest shifts concerns the system’s look, with the arrival of Google’s Material Design layout guidelines. The flat appearance gets even flatter, with smarter use of space and bold easy-to-follow colors. A new battery-saver mode can add an extra hour-and-a-half to your phone’s usable charge, and when topping-off your battery, you’ll now get an ETA of how long until your charge is complete.
Multi-user account comes to phones, letting families safely share devices among themselves. There’s 64-bit support for new models like the Nexus 9, decreased audio latency, security enhancements with auto-on encryption, and a host of additional changes – you’ll want to hit up the source link to see them all.
Google confirms that Android 5.0 updates will be out for the Nexus 5, 7, 10, and GPe models “in the coming weeks.”