Whenever Google announces a new version of Android, everyone wants to know when they'll get it. If you're an NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet owner, today is your day for Lollipop. That's pretty incredible, as this update comes just days after Google started sending the 5.0 update to most of its own devices. In fact, ST is the first non-Nexus tablet to land the Lollipop update. It's worth noting that, while the update is ready for both the LTE and Wi-Fi versions of the device, NVIDIA is waiting on carrier approval for the LTE update, so it'll be pushed back just a bit later.
Anybody who owns an ADT-1 has noticed the inexplicable absence of a Play Music app, something that became even more apparent after the Nexus Player began shipping with it. Well, the wait is finally over! An update to the Play Music app began rolling out earlier today, and it includes a banner on the Leanback Launcher for those of us with Google's development hardware. If you've got a Nexus Player, you haven't been left out with this update.
Now that Lollipop is out in the wild to be abused in every which way, we're starting to see the bugs pop up. The latest one has to do with that new flashlight toggle in quick settings. If you turn it on and leave it like that until it times out and shuts off, the camera and flashlight will stop working until you reboot. This is confirmed at least on the Nexus 5.
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.
The Lollipop Smart Lock functionality is pretty cool. You can have the phone stay unlocked when it's connected to a trusted Bluetooth device, in range of a certain NFC tag, or when it sees a trusted face (presumably yours). Trusted Face mode in particular is quite cool, but it's not necessarily as secure as a PIN or pattern lock. You can, however, temporarily switch to the secure lock screen with a single tap.
In a somewhat surprising, but completely understandable, move, Google has added a pretty large caveat to Play Store app submissions for Android TV. According to the Android developer documentation page on submitting apps, the company will pre-screen and approve all Android TV apps before making them available for download via the platform's marketplace.
Into every life a little rain must fall. Across every software update a few bugs will crawl. The most glaring problem for new users of Android 5.0 on the Nexus 7 2013 is a bug that appears to be stopping video playback dead. You can see a few users reporting the issue here, and we've seen it on at least one Android Police staff member's tablet. The good news is that there appear to be a few ways that you can fix it.
Most of what Google has done in lollipop is great—better design, thoughtful features, and better developer support. However, there are few wonky things going on in this first release, and it's hard to know if they're intentional or not. Case in point, the lack of silent mode on phones. Lowering the volume only offers vibrate mode, and the new priority notification system isn't going to help you.