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8 ways Lollipop 5.0 reinvents Android

Anndrew Vacca | Nov. 21, 2014
Enhanced security, improved architecture, extensive APIs -- bold changes make Android 5.0 better for business.

Notifications have undergone a significant overhaul. Android Lollipop now prioritizes notifications based on what you will likely find most important. These prioritized notifications always find their way to the top of the list, surpassing chronological order in both the notifications bar and on the lock screen.

Lollipop also introduces heads-up notifications -- visual "cards" that appear at the top of your screen for certain real-time alerts that you can chose to interact with or file away for later.

You can also now manage which and when notifications appear through your device's volume menu: quickly toggle between displaying all notifications, priority notifications, or no notifications at all. Alternately, dive deeper to program specific times to display all information and other times to display only certain information.

Finally, Android's app drawer has been given a fresh coat of paint for the first time since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so it seems more connected to your home screen, with a folderlike look and feel, rather than spun off as an entirely separate area of the OS. The app drawer is brighter, offering a white background rather than a black or transparent one, and it is now limited to apps, with access to widgets restricted to a long press on your home screen.

Recents: Reinventing multitasking
Google invented mobile multitasking as we know it. With Android Lollipop, it has pushed the concept further via Lollipop's new Recents window, which provides access to nearly all your apps rather than a handful of recently used ones, and is now arranged in cards similar to those found within Google Now. These cards scroll through a Rolodex-like motion, providing a shrunken view of your multiple apps and windows.

The Recents UI goes deeper than Android's previous multitasking solutions, giving you the ability to not only toggle between windows, but also between windows within windows. Suppose you're composing a message within Gmail; click the Recents button and you'll be able to access not only other apps but other aspects of Gmail, such as your inbox. It works for Chrome, too, allowing you to toggle between open tabs through the multitasking menu.

The ability to toggle both between and within apps provides an entirely new way to jump from one point to another within Android, drastically cutting back on the amount of times you'll click the Back button throughout the UI.

Multiple-user profiles: Sharing the power of Android
Another significant feature introduced with Lollipop is Device Sharing, which enables Android Lollipop smartphones and tablets to support multiple user profiles, similar to what Google introduced in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for tablets only. With Device Sharing, a family or a team of business colleagues can share one device without having to share their personal information.


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