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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.

Project Volta also provides developers access to a battery historian, which illustrates how and when apps use voltage, as well as how efficiently they're doing so.

In practice, you might not notice Project Volta right out of the box -- in fact, multiple early reviews of the Nexus 6 and 9 have reported merely average battery life -- but it holds exciting promise once developers and hardware makers begin utilizing its tools.

Enhanced security and Android for Work
Lollipop heralds the first iteration of Android built with enterprise use squarely in mind. Thanks to improved security features such as default encryption on new devices, contextually aware device unlocking, and Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) malware protection, devices running Android Lollipop are now more enterprise-friendly than ever.

Among the security enhancements is Lollipop Smart Lock, a feature that allows you to associate one or more Bluetooth devices (aka Trusted Devices) as automatic unlocks, such as your key fob in your pocket. Smart Lock also includes Trusted Faces, a previously available feature that uses facial recognition to unlock a device. Look for it now in the Smart Lock group in Settings. Also of interest is the newly available Trusted Locations, which enables you to set locations where your phone could be left open for easy access, such as at home or the office. Trust Locations is currently available through Google Play Services, as opposed to Lollipop itself, so you may need to download and install it yourself.

Most exciting, though, is Android for Work, a dual-persona system Google acquired from Divide last spring that also is said to include Samsung's Knox technology. Google's Android for Work keeps work and other sensitive data separated from your personal information and media. When Android for Work becomes available in mobile management servers some time next year, IT personnel will be able to deploy apps in bulk to business-user devices and maintain centralized control over sensitive functions.

Google's Android for Work is built around three major concepts: device and data security, support for IT policies, and mobile application management. Lollipop implements its multiuser support to create a behind-the-scenes user profile that employs block-level disk encryption to keep sensitive data protected, similar to Samsung's approach with Knox's Workspace or BlackBerry's Balance. With Lollipop's new enterprise-friendly APIs, IT admins will have more tools than ever to configure system and application settings and restrictions.

Android for Work is part of Android Lollipop, and Google says it will be available as an app for devices running Android 4.0 and later as well. Several mobile management vendors promise support for it.

 

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