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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Streamlined And Consolidated About / Status Screen

This is decidedly not the heart-fluttering OMaGad-I-must-have-it-now-or-else feature of Android 5.1, but it's worth noting nonetheless. Remember on Android 5.0 when you headed for the About > Status screen of your phone or tablet and were greeted by a long list of information fields that you had to scroll through and try to figure out the logic behind? No? Maybe? Oh... you have already erased all previous recollections of Android 5.0. I see. Here, let me refresh your memory.

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Sprint Says The Nexus 6 Android 5.1 Update Will Be Out Today

No sooner had Google announced the Android 5.1 update, that the factory images for the new version started popping up for some Nexus devices. Notably absent, however, was Google's latest and greatest — the Nexus 6. If you're using this phone and you are impatient about getting the software update, you should be happy to know that the wait is almost over, hopefully.

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On its support pages for the Nexus 6, Sprint says that the Android 5.1 software update with build number LMY47D will be available today, March 11th 2015.

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Android WebView App Is Out Of Beta And Ready To Keep Your Lollipop Device Up To Date

Google's WebView app debuted in the Play Store a few weeks ago, but that was just a beta. Now the listing has opened up to the general public. It's still Lollipop only, but now those running Android 5.0 and higher will get the latest patches and tweaks to the system WebView automatically.

2015-03-10 22.55.58

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Downtime Settings Now Allow You To Block All Notifications Instead Of Defaulting To Priority

Android 5.0 introduced recurring downtime as part of the new notification control scheme, and Android 5.1 brings an important enhancement to this system. You can now choose whether you want programmed downtime to trigger priority mode or block all notifications. It's all right there in the downtime settings, which you still have to dig for.

Screenshot_2015-03-10-11-51-02 Screenshot_2015-03-10-11-53-23 Screenshot_2015-03-10-11-53-29

Left: 5.0, Middle and right: 5.1

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Android 5.1 Includes New Carrier Provisioning API, Allows Carriers Easier Methods Of Setting Up Services On Devices They Don't Control

One of the more interesting behind-the-scenes additions in Android 5.1 is a new carrier provisioning API that provides functionality which likely benefits carriers and customers alike. Any time you join a carrier, you get services along with your account, whether it's Play Store billing, visual voicemail, premium subscription services billed to your account, or any number of other things. For as long as Android has existed, the methods used to provision these services on a customer's account have varied widely from carrier to carrier, and there was no standard way of doing it.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Android Beam Gets A Shiny New Share Icon

That new default Android icon in 5.1 we pointed out earlier appears to be showing up in more places than expected. It's the basis for an updated Android Beam icon, which you can see below.

Screenshot_2015-03-10-12-34-43 2015-03-10 19.38.55

Left: Old, Right: New

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Chainfire's New App 'Recently' Tells The Never-Ending List Of Recent Apps In Lollipop To Take A Hike [Root Only]

Android 5.1 made some major changes to the way recent apps are handled in Android. You can include Chrome tabs in the recent app list, and apps that are called up from another activity get their own card to keep things more consistent. However, Google also decided to never clear the list of recent app cards. It just goes on and on and on... it's kind of annoying. "Recently" from Chainfire fixes that, but you need root.

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Android 5.1 Lollipop SDK 22 Is Now Available For Download

Google is progressively rolling out the full array of releases for Android 5.1, and the SDK is now joining the ranks. If developers open up the SDK Manager today, they will find a brand new software development kit for API 22. The SDK package is there, along with the typical documentation, samples, source code, and an assortment of system images for each of the major hardware architectures. All is ready to start updating apps to take advantage of everything Android 5.1 has to offer.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] You Can Now Change The System Volume While Playing Audio

Android 5.1 seemed like a very minor update when it was announced, but there are actually a lot of cool little changes throughout the OS. For example, you can now (finally!) change the system volume while you have audio playing. Google added a new button to make this happen.

Screenshot_2015-03-10-09-32-23 Screenshot_2015-03-10-09-31-14 Screenshot_2015-03-10-09-31-18

Left: 5.0 volume, Middle: 5.1 with volume button, Right: 5.1 changing system volume

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Mention Of 'Multiwindows' Pops Up In Android Commit

Back in October, we posted a quick look at some of Google's very early plans for multi-window functionality on Android Lollipop, a feature that had apparently been in the works since at least KitKat. The system, in a nut shell, would allow users to have two apps open at a time, scaling the apps to take up more or less space on the screen, and interact with the overview or Google Search, passing text or other data back and forth.

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