Anyone blessed with a Nexus or Google Play edition device will soon be able to enjoy Android’s latest software masterpiece, Lollipop, as now appears on the newly released Nexus 9. An official blogpost announces that Lollipop will begin its public rollout today though it’s light on specifics and upcoming over-the-air availability.
The rollout is beginning today though on what devices is currently uncertain. It would make sense to bring it to the Nexus 5, the smartphone most likely in the possession of the most Android fans, but with the Nexus 6 still only available for pre-order (and the Nexus 9 now officially available), they might becoming to Nexus tablets first. Google has confirmed that Lollipop would be coming to the Nexus 4, 5, 7 (2012 and 2013), and Nexus 10.
As soon as it was announced under the guise of Android L, we’ve been clamoring to get our hands on this material design-laden software release. After all, Android director of engineering Dave Burke did call it the “the biggest release in the history of Android.” When Google finally revealed all the bells and whistles included in this massive update, we already knew that there was much more to it than just a bunch of pretty animations.
Like KitKat before it, Lollipop is lean enough to run on even the simplest of hardware, which is a good thing considering the company’s budget smartphone program, Android One, launched only a few months ago. It’s also more secure with default encryption and separate user profiles. If you need to keep kids entertained with an app but don’t them wandering into other parts of your Android without permission, you can now pin apps so that users can’t leave them without entering a password first.
It’s also more user friendly with an informative lock screen, cribbed in part from Motorola’s Moto Display, that gives you greater access to notifications without even having to unlock your smartphone and isn’t absolute murder on your battery. It also has lots of neat shortcuts to help you get to apps quicker. Such as this one:
Also the multitasking view, now called Overview, gets a complete redesign and lets you scroll through more app history than before. Each app now gets its own card, much like Chrome tabs in its mobile browser, and works like a kind of vertical carousel. Check it out:
This is just the beginning of Google’s rollout plan for Android, and it might still be a while before it makes it to your specific device. When it’s eventually ready, make sure you’re all backed up before downloading. It will most likely pop up as a notification with onscreen instructions or you can manually update by going into Settings > About phone > Software updates > Check now. [Android Blog]