Among the many features Google talked about when the Android L preview rolled out was an improved version of Android Beam, and it's here in the new Android 5.0 dev preview. NFC sharing has existed since Android 4.0 in some form or another, but now it's finally something you can use without second-guessing yourself. Just pick a file and start beaming.
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.
He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM
Google has used the CRT-style screen-off animation since Gingerbread. That animation is gone in Lollipop, replaced with a gentle fade out. Frankly, I'm surprised the CRT stuck around this long. However, the new animation isn't just a fade to black. It actually fades to black and white—observe.
Left: normal speed, Right: slowed by 5 times
Android 5.0 has a lot of really useful features, which we've been covering in detail as part of the Lollipop Feature Spotlight series. You know what else it has, though? Animations. Many, many lovely animations. If you follow Artem on Google+, you've probably seen him post some GIFs of Lollipop looking hot, but we've pulled together all those GIFs along with some new ones to give you a quick tour of Google's latest and greatest.
You may cease panicking—the Nexus Player is available for pre-order in the Play Store again after paying a visit to the FCC over the weekend. Google stopped taking orders for the device shortly after it went live on Friday when someone realized the FCC hadn't actually approved the device. The wait wasn't long, though.
Face unlock was added in Android 4.0, but it was little more than a clever tech demo. It was a pain to use for many reasons, not least of all it actually took longer to unlock the device than a regular lock screen. Along with trusted devices, Android 5.0's smart lock functionality includes trusted face mode. It fixes face unlock, and fixes it good. It's seriously amazing.
Google showed off the trusted device unlock support back at Google I/O, but the feature didn't make it into the last dev preview. Well, it's there now and it works as advertised. Just pair your favorite wearable or Bluetooth gizmo, and the secure lock screen goes away. Lose connection, and it's back.