I’ve been playing around with Android Lollipop since last Friday, and have come to the conclusion that it’s just awesome. While Paul already published a list of some of the changes from the official changelog, here are some of the standouts from an enthusiastic Android user who has been hands on with Lollipop for a few days:
- The biggest bugs of the previous developer preview have been fixed: namely, MMS comes through just fine over WiFi; incoming calls work perfectly; and tethering works beautifully.
- Lollipop finally allows you to select the Android device you’d like to perform a restore from, including the ability to select individual apps.
- You can also perform a device restore through NFC, although I did not test this functionality.
- It is possible to restore your homescreens from a previous device, and Lollipop will put grey placeholder icons on your device until all the proper apps are installed.
- Google’s two-factor authentication is built into the Android Lollipop setup flow, rather than requiring a browser window to sign in.
- The battery percentage has returned, without having to go into the settings menu! Just pull down the notification shade twice to enter Quick Settings.
- Speaking of Quick Settings, toggling works so much more intuitively than it did in KitKat- no more pushing and holding.
- Speaking of things that have returned, it’s now possible to dismiss all notifications again.
- Google has added a flashlight option in the Quick Settings – finally.
- Google brought back the ability to swipe down with two fingers to enter Quick Settings – this was absent from the last developer preview.
- Proper multi-user capabilities are now built in, including a guest mode. Tablets have had this since KitKat, but it’s been absent from phones until now.
- Lollipop allows you to “pin” a specific app to your screen, and set an unlock code, so that no one will be able to access anything else on your phone if you let them borrow it.
- Tabs that are open in Chrome Beta are finally integrated into the Recent Apps view, like Google demoed at I/O in June.
- Speaking of Recent Apps, these will survive even after a reboot.
- When Android detects problems with WiFi connectivity, it will display an exclamation point next to the WiFi icon in the status bar. It also seems capable of using mobile data when WiFi is not working properly. (I found this out when my work network crashed on Friday!)
- Android finally has a proper “do not disturb” mode with the ability to specify priority notifications or no notifications.
- Lollipop’s Easter Egg is a spoof of Flappy Bird – although it doesn’t seem like it’s possible to get even a single point.
Well, that’s my list of the biggest, most important changes I’ve noticed. Do you have anything to add? If so, drop me a line in the comments.