Android Lollipop release date and features: more phones receive Android 5.0 update.
Update: Samsung brings Android 5.0 Lollipop to Galaxy Note 4
Vaughn Highfield: After releasing Lollipop to Galaxy S5 handsets last month, Samsung has finally begun to roll out Lollipop to its flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 4.
Currently the Note 4 is receiving Lollipop 5.0.1, under the build number of N910CXXU1BOB4, in Poland following a South Korean release. It is believed that the rollout to other territories could take around a month, so you may need to wait rather patiently.
However, you can check if you’re eligible for a download manually – rather than over the air – by visiting your phone’s settings and checking for an update. It’s also currently unavailable for download through Samsung KIES.
The Lollipop update brings small, but noticeable improvements to Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, including lockscreen notifications and improved battery life.
Samsung Poland has also confirmed that the Galaxy Note 2 will be recieving an update to Lollipop too, according to Sam Mobile.
(14/01/2014): Vaughn Highfield: Samsung, having pushed Google’s Android Lollipop update out onto the Galaxy S5 in Poland and South Korea last month, has finally got around to delivering the same update to UK handsets.
The update should be pushed to phones across the country as we speak.
However, as SamMobile reports, the Android Lollipop build being delivered isn’t the most up to date version that Google devices like the Nexus 6 or Nexus 9 are running. Instead it’s the original Android 5.0 release, which could prove problematic if the Galaxy S5 is affected by some of the issues that have dogged other Nexus devices since the upgrade.
US handsets will also be getting an update soon, likely following on from the roll out across the UK.
(16/10/2014): Google shunned a traditional glitzy launch event for the Nexus 6, 9 and Android 5.0 Lollipop, and instead revealed its biggest autumnal projects via its official blog. Take a look at our Android L review to find out more about the new Google OS.
See also: Google announces the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9.
Android Lollipop will come preinstalled on the new Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices that were launched in tandem with the OS via the Google blog. These devices were made available for pre-order immediately with an on sale date of 3 November; therefore Android L will be made officially available on the same day.
Android Lollipop 5.0 release dates
Google has started the rollout of Android Lollipop 5.0. All of the current Google Play devices – Nexus 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 – now either come with the OS preinstalled or are easily upgradable via the settings menu.
The LG G3, Moto G and Moto X (2014) are the other three devices that can also currently upgrade to the new OS.
Below is the reported rolling-out dates for popular Android devices.
- Moto E
- Moto G
- Moto X
- Droid Turbo
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- Samsung Galaxy S4
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- HTC One
- HTC One M8
- Sony “core” Z3 and Z2 phones and tablets
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Devices in this category have Lollipop upgrades pending with early 2015 given as the predicted time frame.
- All remaining Sony Z smartphone and tablets.
- All remaining HTC One devices and selected others.
Bizarrely, Asus has opted to rollout its upgrades to Android Lollipop 5.0 in April 2015, the devices that will receive the upgrade are:
- Asus ZenFone 4
- Asus ZenFone 5
- Asus ZenFone 6
- Asus ZenFone 5 LTE
- Asus PadFoneS
- Asus PadFone Infinity
Android Lollipop 5.0 features
Google has revealed numerous details about Android 5, otherwise known as Lollipop.
Android 5.0 Lollipop features a new UI centred on a what Google describes as “Material Design”, support for 64-bit chips, and clever login authentication via smartwatches.
The L Developer Preview is a “radical new approach to design” said head of Android Sundar Pichai, describing it as the most comprehensive release the company has done.
Matias Duarte, VP of design, said the new Material Design UI is inspired by paper and ink, with bold colours pulled out from images in an app or web page.
The UI has been given “elevation”, meaning app designers can “float” items at different heights, with some layered higher than others. “What if pixels didn’t just have colour, but depth?” Duarte asked.
Android Lollipop also features animated touch feedback, and uses more animation throughout its design.
The system has been created to work across different devices, from tablets to watches. “Your users will already know their way around the app no matter what screen they use it on,” said Duarte.
Notifications are shown on the lock screen, allowing “instant” interactive access to messages right from the screen, rather than forcing you to tap through to the app.
Google showed off a new authentication system. Rather than always require you to login, it judges where it is and who you are, by using your voice, location or a Bluetooth watch. If you’re wearing your smartwatch, it doesn’t ask for a password; take the watch off, and it requires your security pattern or pin.
New search tools let you search within apps. For example, if you search for a place you had previously viewed in Google Earth, it will give you a link to reopen the app in the right location.
As expected, Android Lollipop comes with a tool to lock down and wipe a device if it goes missing.
Google hinted at a host of other features in the following slide:
The L preview runs exclusively on Google’s new ART runtime, which should offer up to 2x performance boost, the company claimed. All existing app code will work without any changes from developers.
It’s also 64-bit compatible, and works on ARM and x86.
Google also revealed graphics performance improvements, saying the updates offered PC-level gaming performance on your tablet.
Google promised better battery life and two new tools. Battery Historian helps track battery use more accurately, while Battery Saver is a new setting that can extend time between charges by up to 90 minutes.
Google is making the Developer Preview for “L” available tomorrow so app makers can update their UIs to match the new Material Design look.
Normally, Google names its Android releases after desserts; this time around, it hasn’t revealed the name – which was expected to be “Lollipop” – instead sticking with the letter alone.