Earlier this month, the folks at Google officially announce the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10, but they failed to reveal when the new firmware will be released for the public. We told you soon after that Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 might get it November 3rd, but now it's confirmed that Android 5.0 will be "available for consumers on November 3rd."
As you may know, starting with Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google has changed the way major Android updates are released. Until now, we had two major updates a year (one in the summer and one in the fall), but Android 5.0 was introduced in June and made available for testing purposes as Android L Developer Preview for a couple of months, before it will be released for the public on November 3rd. In a note sent to developers, Google recommends them to "test your apps and publish any needed updates to the Play Store," before the new update is released on November 3rd.
The official Android 5.0 Lollipop announcement also brought us two new Nexus devices, the Nexus 6 smartphone and the Nexus 9 tablet. The former one is a Motorola-made phablet with 6-inch Quad HD (1440 x 2560) screen, quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 13 MP main camera with OIS and dual LED flash, 3,200 mAh battery and 32/64 GB of internal storage, while the tablet comes with an 8.9-inch 4:3 screen with 1536 x 2048 resolution, 64-bit dual-core 2.3 GHz Nvidia Tegra K1 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 8 MP primary shooter, 1.6 MP user-facing camera, and 16/32 GB of native storage. Both devices come pre-loaded with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box.
As usual, the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 will be rolled out in phases, which means that some of you might not be able to download and install the new update right away. Once your terminal becomes eligible to receive the new update you should be able to notice a system update message in the notifications bar. Tap on it, then follow the on screen instructions. In case the system update notification fails to appear, you would also want to perform a manual check under Settings > About phone > Software updates > Check now. If you want to install Android 5.0 Lollipop before the OTA rolls out for your device, you can also flash a factory image as soon as they are made available by Google. Anyway, this procedure will fully wipe your device.
Lollipop is no doubt the biggest update Google's mobile operating system has received since its debut. It's even bigger than the jump from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich.
Android 5.0 introduces a new design philosophy called Material Design which revolves around vivid colors, responsiveness, and realistic 3D effects and shadows. It also arrives with better battery life and improved battery statistics. You will be able to enjoy battery save mode, and statistics like how much time you have left before needing to charge your device, or the estimated time until the battery is fully charged.
The new update brings enhancements for the Notifications Panel and Lock Screen, too. Notifications will be displayed on your lock screen and you will be able to interact with them, heads-up notifications will allow you to continue to view what's on your screen without interrupting, and the notifications are prioritized more intelligently. The new Quick Settings menu brings more toggles, a dedicated slider for brightness, and it is now accessed with two swipes down from the top of the screen. You will also get multiple users for smartphones, guest user profiles, and Screen Pinning (you can pin your screen so another user can access just that content without messing with your other stuff).
The security improvements brought by the Android 5.0 Lollipop update include encryption automatically turned on, SELinux enforcing for all apps, and Android Smart Lock. Connectivity-wise, the update brings enhancements such as better network handoffs, enhanced network selection logic, power-efficient scanning for nearby Bluetooth Low Energy devices, and a new Bluetooth Low Energy peripheral mode.
Without a doubt, you should also be able to notice performance improvements after you update your device to Android 5.0. The update replaces the obsolete Dalvik runtime with ART, the latter one promising up to 4 times performance improvements, smoother UI animations, and enhanced multitasking. Lollipop also introduces native support for 64-bit processors.
After the Android 5.0 Lollipop update is rolled out for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10, you should also expect it to arrive next on the Google Play Edition devices. There are several Android OEMs that already announced their plans to bring Lollipop on their devices. Motorola promised to bring it on all their 2013 and 2014 smartphones "as soon as possible," the first Sony devices will get updated early 2015, while HTC's One M7 and One M8 will reportedly receive the update January - February.
Are you excited about the Android 5.0 Lollipop update? Please let us know in the comments section below.