When Lollipop 5.0 first launched, it brought with it an interesting set of dynamic Quick Settings toggles. Drop down your notification shade and you could see the usual culprits like WiFi and Bluetooth, but a few toggles were hidden unless they were triggered once, like WiFi Hotspot or Invert Colors. The problem, however, was that once these showed up, they were there to stay ... at least for one month if you never touched them again.
Despite its appearance on Android One devices, we've had complete radio silence from Google about Android 5.1. Still, as long as it is in the wild, we're going to keep hearing about it. In this case, we have found out that the animation associated with toggling the auto-rotate feature has come back in 5.1 after disappearing in 5.0. Take a look.
This might not exactly change the way you use your Android phone or tablet, but it's nice.
We managed to snag confirmation of the upcoming 5.1 update to Lollipop just a few hours ago, but our tipster has already found one of the more obvious changes to the user interface. Google has tweaked the behavior of the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings toggles/widgets from the Lollipop Quick Settings menu to allow users to connect to networks or devices without going into the full-page settings menu.
Google made a lot of interesting changes in its Quick Settings and Notifications drawer in Android Lollipop. One of these is the addition of dynamic toggles that don't clutter the drawer for everyone, but only appear once a user activates the corresponding option from Settings. This applies for example to the Hostpot and Invert Colors toggles. The problem is that once these toggles attach to your Quick Settings, there doesn't seem to be a way to make them go away, even when you switch the action back off.
Not all new features are created equal, and this particular change has us kind of scratching our heads wondering why Google would consider it a good idea. In Lollipop, you can now access your quick settings straight from the lockscreen. This way you can toggle Wi-Fi, cellular data, and Bluetooth without unlocking the device, even if it's secured behind a passphrase.
A couple of the more popular aftermarket additions to Android have been added in Lollipop's pull-down Quick Settings menu. If you regularly flash a custom ROM or add in a widget from the Play Store for easy access to a battery percentage readout or a flashlight (camera LED) toggle, well, you won't need to in Android 5.0. Both of those functions are available in Quick Settings, as seen on the latest Lollipop Developer Preview on the Nexus 5.
Android 5.0 brings with it a big redesign of the notification and Quick Settings area, but there was a seemingly odd quirk in the first developer preview. You could see the notifications when Quick Settings was open, but you couldn't interact. Now you can.
Part of the 5000 new APIs and many small enhancements to be introduced with Android L that were revealed in a heavily packed slide at Google I/O is rotation lock on phones. That nifty Quick Setting toggle is currently only available on tablets in KitKat. On our stock Android phones, we have had to suffer the annoyance of delving into settings or using some third-party widget to lock the screen's orientation.
A while ago, we posted about explorations Google was undertaking in revamping Android's home screen. Part of this was a new notification shade that looked similar to Google Now.
Since then, we've seen new materials that show something a bit closer to what the notification shade and Quick Settings will resemble in Android's L release. The images we'll discuss in this post are based on more recent information, but as with any unreleased software, anything can change - particularly design.
The Chromecast is slowly worming its way into every part of the Google ecosystem, but there is at least one aspect you weren't supposed to see yet. There is incomplete screen casting support built into KitKat, but it has been surfacing in very odd ways for the last few months. Rest assured, you are not alone in spotting it. Update7/9/14: It's live now