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.
Lollipop goes after the operating system's janky app restoration process in a big way. Android 5.0 lets users transfer data from one device to another just by tapping the two together using Near Field Communication. But if you don't have a gadget with NFC or can't be bothered with that approach, the setup process also lets you pull down apps from devices that have been backed up to your account. You can even select specific apps to download, so you don't need to bring down all of the junk from your other device.
Use two-factor authentication? If not, you should, because it's more secure than if you don't use it. If you already use it, then you probably remember a time when the Android setup process was obnoxious because you not only had to put in your password twice, but also had to deal with an annoying web prompt to enter the passcode. It's a hard knock life.
Google fixed the first issue a while back when it removed the second password prompt, which made us all happy.
The new developer preview of Android 5.0 includes one tweak I'm sure everyone will be happy about—the dismiss all button has returned to the notification shade. I don't think anyone seriously considered the possibility that it would be gone forever, but it's good to see it back.
Since the dawn of time (or thereabouts), setting up a new Android device has been a real pain. Most users have their devices set up exactly how they want them, from installed apps to homescreens and everything in between. So when it's time to fire up that shiny new device and start using it (or after performing a factory reset), the next 4-6 hours of life are taken up by the tedious process that is getting everything back together.
On Wednesday, Google teased developers and enthusiasts by officially announcing Lollipop, but chose to delay the release of anything substantial for another two days. Well, we've waited for the obligatory 48 hours, and the SDK is finally available, just in time for the weekend. (Yay?) Developers can finally abandon the interim SDK and move on to the real thing. There's no more pretending 'L' counts as an API Level, Android 5.0 is officially numbered 21.
Sony's relationship with "pure" Android is an interesting one. As a company they generally make it easy to root or otherwise modify their phones or tablets, with a few notable qualifiers. The AOSP for Xperia project, which provides the basic tools for building standard Android ROMs on popular devices, is also one way that Sony stays relevant for those who buy phones with the intent to add aftermarket software. Today it gets two new flagship options, the older Xperia Z1 and Z2.
Android 5.0 has only been official for about 24 hours now, and already OEMs are lining up to explain their upgrade paths. Yesterday was Motorola, and today Sony is laying its cards on the table. Sony has a lot of cards. The company has confirmed that all its Z series devices will get Android Lollipop. That's a whole mess of phones.
NVIDIA has generally been among the best manufacturers when it comes to timely Android updates. With semi-monthly software updates to the original SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet, complete with bug fixes and feature improvements, there wasn't really any doubt that the company's new Tegra K1-powered flagship would be getting a Lollipop upgrade. Even so, NVIDIA went and made it official with the tweet below.
Android 5.0 Lollipop and more is coming to NVIDIA SHIELD tablet.