Highs and lows of Lollipop – Android 5.0

Jake Basford

As anyone with a Nexus, HTC or LG phone will tell you, Android 5.0 or ‘Lollipop’ is a whole bag of fun, with more tricks than a pony, and more integrated software updates than an iPhone (seriously – it’s cool). So here is a rundown of the best, and worst, of what you get with a Lollipop upgrade.

Easter egg lollipop flappy bird game

If you haven’t heard about this already, a version of Flappy Bird featuring the Android logo being bounced between lollipops was including in the new Android system update.

You can access it by going into Settings >> About phone >> click many times on ‘Android version’ and click loads on the subsequent lollipop that appears, holding down once until the colour reaches the outside and the screen changes.

Integrated games are not something usually done with phones so much anymore, and it has been ages since someone played snake on a Nokia 4200, so this makes a nice change. It is definitely a nice, if frustrating, distraction.

Lock screen changes

You can now, with a few customising steps, get rid of notifications from the lock screen in the same way you can swipe different notifications when the phone is unlocked.

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Also, if your phone is on charge it tells you how long it needs to charge for, which is nice.

Finally, you can open up a particular notification by double tapping on it and unlocking your phone as normal. All of this means easier access and less swiping overall. We approve.

Pick up where you left off

Basically if your phone crashes, which it will do with the new updates a couple of times until it is used to the new system, you can carry on doing whatever it was you were doing before the phone crashed. A bit like auto-save on Word, except it keeps all of the apps open. Nice.

Mail merge

The Gmail app has now decided to encompass all other email apps, so if you separate your personal email account by using the ‘other’ email account like me, then you’re now screwed.

This is great for saving space and easing access, but sometimes you need to keep things in different apps, so that you don’t accidentally send a personal email from your work account slagging off your boss (not to happen yet, but drunk texting – it could happen).

App switch area

On all devices there is a ‘clear screen’ button as part of the makeup, but with Android you could do this automatically from the ‘shifting between apps’ area by tapping the space around the open apps, and this is no longer possible.

Also, because the apps are now stacked on top of each other as opposed to in a column it makes it easier to see how many apps are open, but harder to clear the right one quickly, which is infuriating. In a few days I have closed countless articles by accident and I am blaming Android.

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To end on a positive, the latest app for inclusion in the integrated update is the flashlight app. Because Google were aware that one of their most popular apps for creation and distribution was a flashlight app, they designed to option their own and include it in the settings menu, which is great help when you are going down a dark alley and need a flashlight.

As a result of it being in the integrated menu, it saves you having to download one and trying to find the best version of it, which does help a lot.

Image courtesy of Phandroid

About Jake Basford

Essex-boy living in Cardiff, Jake is a writer, PR/Media officer, and Social Media consultant. Obsessed with video games, American culture and Buffy. Can usually be found at his laptop working.