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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] Google Keyboard Comes With Various New, Redesigned Emoji

In Android 5.0, the default keyboard looks substantially different from how it has looked largely since the days of Ice Cream Sandwich. The new out-of-the-box method of typing comes with a flatter theme that supplies a stark new feel. At the end of the day, though, it's still used primary to punch in letters onto the screen, and there's nothing particularly exciting to share there. One change we would like to highlight though is the addition of new emoji.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] Smart Lock Brings 'Trusted Face' Mode That Makes Face Unlock So Amazing You Might Actually Use It

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.

2014-10-20 06.54.07 2014-10-20 07.42.18 2014-10-20 07.43.48-1

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] Smart Lock Includes Trusted Bluetooth And NFC Devices That Let You Skip The Lock Screen

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.

2014-10-20 07.22.28 2014-10-20 07.22.38

Screenshot_2014-10-20-03-13-45 Screenshot_2014-10-20-03-14-06 Screenshot_2014-10-20-03-15-03

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] Chrome's Tabs Are Now Treated As Separate Recent Tasks In The App Switcher, But It's Optional

We've known Google was looking to bring Chrome into the app switcher since we learned some details of "Project Hera" earlier this year (and confirmed at I/O). The framework for making that happen appeared in Chrome beta in September, but now it finally works in the new developer preview.

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When you open Chrome Beta on Android 5.0, you will get the above splash screen telling you where to find all your tabs.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] The Quick Settings Menu Includes Battery Percentage And A Flashlight Toggle

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.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] WebView Is Now Unbundled From Android And Free To Auto-Update From Google Play

Not all of the changes to Android 5.0 Lollipop are meant to be seen by regular users, but that doesn't make them any less important. One of the core components of the operating system is about to break free from the shackles of firmware updates and join the Play Store and Google Play services in receiving automatic updates directly from Google. As of Android 5.0, the WebView component will be a distinct apk, allowing it to be upgraded separately from the OS.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] Android Now Defaults To Mobile Data When Wi-Fi Has No Internet Access, Signal Icon Adds A '!' For No Connection

Staying in a hotel with crappy Wi-Fi is frustrating, but not half so frustrating as finding this out by starting up your phone, connecting, realizing there's no Internet access, then manually disabling Wi-Fi to make sure it goes back to 3G or LTE. In Lollipop, Android 5.0 will do that for you: when the system sees no connection to the Internet (or more probably Google servers) via a Wi-Fi connection on a device with a cellular radio, it will automatically default to mobile data to keep an active connection.

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ADT-1 Owners Can Sideload The Android 5.0 OTA (LPX13D), Here's What It Changes

If you've spent any time in Google's ecosystem of hardware and software, you're no stranger to impatiently waiting to receive a firmware update. Hey, we've all been there. While we know the ADT-1 is set to receive an OTA to Android 5.0, it seems Google is still holding back a full rollout despite the very small number of units in circulation. If you don't feel like waiting for your number to come up, it's possible to sideload the update manually onto your ADT-1 and take advantage of everything it has to offer.

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T-Mobile's Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Receiving Update To Android 4.4.4

If you're an owner of an LTE Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition on T-Mobile (SM-P607T), today could be your lucky day. If you head on over to your tablet's settings and check for an update, you may just have a surprise waiting for you. According to Samsung, a new Android 4.4.4 update is available. This update is significant, not just for its Android version bump, but also because it means that an LTE variant of this tablet is getting said bump before its WiFi-only counterpart.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] The Clock's Background Now Adjusts With The Time Of Day

With every new Android version, we get a long list of useful new features and a few, well, quirky ones. Nevertheless, we're here to dissect every aspect of Lollipop and that includes this fun new feature of the Clock app. Short story: the app's background now switches gradually throughout the day to mirror the time. Just in case, you know, looking out the window or reading the actual time isn't clue enough as to what it feels like, outside.

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