We are less than a month out from the official release of Android Lollipop and clearly everyone is very excited. Earlier today, some preview builds of Lollipop were released for the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 7. Naturally, we used those to make a quick look video so you can see Android Lollipop in all of its glory before it comes out officially. Keep reading for our initial thoughts or watch the video above to see them.
The first things anyone will notice upon their first use of Android Lollipop are the changes of the UI. Everything has sort of a flow to it that makes the operating system feel downright fantstic. Every little thing from the app drawer opening to Settings menu selections have animations. The notifications and notification dropdown bar have also been revamped with a similar fluidity in mind. When it’s all added up, the whole thing lends itself to a very flowing, organic, almost watery feel that makes prior version of Android seem clunky by comparison.
The notification drop down has been dramatically redesigned. You can pull down the bar as usual to check notifications. You can then pull down a second time to access the redesigned quick settings or you can use the button at the top right as always. In the quick settings menu, you can swipe up to return to your notifications or tap the button a second time view the device users. Much like the UI described above, the entire process feels very fluid. Once you get used to it, it’s a much faster system than it used to be.
Notifications also got an overhaul. When you access your volume (by pressing the volume buttons), you can now access Priority Settings that allow you to manage which notifications reach you and when. You can also view notifications on your lock screen and deal with them as you so choose. When things like phone calls come in, they’re a lot less intrusive than they were on prior version of Android and you can decide what to do about the phone call without interrupting your current task if you’re in a full screen app. We liked that a lot.
In the Settings, you’ll notice a few things that weren’t there before. Options like Printing, Tap & Pay, Cast (under Display), and Users all have dedicated sections in the Settings menu so you can access and tweak those settings and features as you need. There is also a new battery saver mode which reportedly helps you save a bunch of battery time by throttling your device and turning off unnecessary features.
That’s about all we looked at during our hands on (along with the awesome Easter egg). For more facts about Android Lollipop, including the under-the-hood things, you can check out our Android Lollipop – What you need to know guide.