Android 5.0 “Lollipop” is official

Along with its brand new Nexus phone and tablet, Google also unveiled its next operating system in more detail. As suspected, Android L has been officially dubbed “Lollipop” and given a new number. Android 5.0 will come preloaded on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, launching on November 12 in T-Mobile stores/online.

Android 5.0 features the brand new Material Design, which is essentially a new design language Google’s implementing across all of its products. From Android Wear devices through smartphones, tablets and TV.

If you happen to have one of Google’s unlocked Nexus devices on T-Mobile, or GPE edition phones, you should get the update within the “coming weeks”. Other manufacturers will be announcing when to expect the Lollipop update soon. And you can be sure that when they do, being a T-Mobile device will set those update plans back a few more weeks/months. We’ll keep you updated on when to expect those updates when we hear more.


An overview of the changes, published by Google today:

Material Design

  • A bold, colorful, and responsive UI design for consistent, intuitive experiences across all your devices
  • Responsive, natural motion, realistic lighting and shadows, and familiar visual elements make it easier to navigate your device
  • Vivid new colors, typography, and edge-to-edge imagery help to focus your attention


  • New ways to control when and how you receive messages – only get interrupted when you want to be
  • View and respond to messages directly from your lock screen. Includes the ability to hide sensitive content for these notifications
  • For fewer disruptions, turn on Priority mode via your device’s volume button so only certain people and notifications get through. Or schedule recurring downtime like 10pm to 8am when only Priority notifications can get through
  • With Lollipop, incoming phone calls won’t interrupt what you’re watching or playing. You can choose to answer the call or just keep doing what you’re doing
  • Control the notifications triggered by your apps; hide sensitive content and prioritize or turn off the app’s notifications entirely
  • More intelligent ranking of notifications based on who they’re from and the type of communication. See all your notifications in one place by tapping the top of the screen


  • Power for the long haul
  • A battery saver feature which extends device use by up to 90 mins
  • Estimated time left to fully charge is displayed when your device is plugged in
  • Estimated time left on your device before you need to charge again can now be found in battery settings


  • Keep your stuff safe and sound
  • New devices come with encryption automatically turned on to help protect data on lost or stolen devices
  • SELinux enforcing for all applications means even better protection against vulnerabilities and malware
  • Use Android Smart Lock to secure your phone or tablet by pairing it with a trusted device like your wearable or even your car

Device Sharing

  • More flexible sharing with family and friends
  • Multiple users for phones. If you forget your phone, you still can call any of your friends (or access any of your messages, photos etc.) by simply logging into another Android phone running Lollipop. Also perfect for families who want to share a phone, but not their stuff
  • Guest user for phones and tablets means you can lend your device and not your stuff
  • Screen pinning: pin your screen so another user can access just that content without messing with your other stuff

New Quick Settings

  • Get to the most frequently used settings with just two swipes down from the top of the screen
  • New handy controls like flashlight, hotspot, screen rotation and cast screen controls
  • Easier on/off toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location
  • Manually adjust your brightness for certain conditions. Then, adaptive brightness will kick in based on ambient lighting


  • A better internet connection everywhere and more powerful Bluetooth low energy capabilities
  • Improved network handoffs resulting in limited interruption in connectivity. For example, continue your video chat or VoIP calls without interruption as you leave the house and switch from your home Wi-Fi back to cellular
  • Improved network selection logic so that your device connects only if there is a verified internet connection on Wi-Fi
  • Power-efficient scanning for nearby Bluetooth low energy (“BLE”) devices like wearables or beacons
  • New BLE peripheral mode

Runtime and Performance

  • A faster, smoother and more powerful computing experience
  • ART, an entirely new Android runtime, improves application performance and responsiveness
  • Up to 4x performance improvements
  • Smoother UI for complex, visually rich applications
  • Compacting backgrounded apps and services so you can do more at once
  • Support for 64 bit devices, like the Nexus 9, brings desktop class CPUs to Android
  • Support for 64-bit SoCs using ARM, x86, and MIPS-based cores
  • Shipping 64-bit native apps like Chrome, Gmail, Calendar, Google Play Music, and more
  • Pure Java language apps run as 64-bit apps automatically


  • Bolder graphics and improved audio, video, and camera capabilities
  • Lower latency audio input ensuring that music and communication applications that have strict delay requirements provide an amazing realtime experience
  • Multi-channel audio stream mixing means professional audio applications can now mix up to eight channels including 5.1 and 7.1 channels
  • USB Audio support means you can plug USB microphones, speakers, and a myriad of other USB audio devices like amplifiers and mixers into your Android device
  • OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android extension pack brings Android to the forefront of mobile graphics putting it on par with desktop and console class performance
  • A range of new professional photography features for Android Lollipop that let you
  • Capture full resolution frames around 30 fps
  • Support raw formats like YUV and Bayer RAW
  • Control capture settings for the sensor, lens, and flash per individual frame
  • Capture metadata like noise models and optical information
  • State of the art video technology with support for HEVC main profile to allow for UHD 4K 10-bit video playback, tunneled hardware video decoding to save power and improved HLS support for streaming

OK Google

  • Easy access to information and performing tasks
  • Even if your screen is off, you can say “OK Google” on devices with digital signal processing support such as Nexus 6 and Nexus 9
  • Talk to Google on the go to get quick answers, send a text, get directions and more

Android TV

  • Support for living room devices
  • User interface adapted for the living room
  • Less browsing, more watching with personalized recommendations for content like movies and TV shows
  • Voice search for Google Play, YouTube and supported apps so you can just say what you want to see
  • Console-style Android gaming on your TV with a gamepad
  • Cast your favorite entertainment apps to your big screen with Google Cast support for Android TV devices


  • Enhanced low vision and color blind capabilities
  • Boost text contrast or invert colors to improve legibility
  • Adjust display to improve color differentiation

Now in 68+ languages

  • 15 new additions: Basque, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese (Hong Kong), Galician, Icelandic, Kannada, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu

Device set up

  • Get up and running in no-time
  • Tap & go: instant set up of your new Android phone or tablet by simply tapping it to your old one (requires NFC)
  • Whenever you get a new Android phone or tablet, you can bring over your apps from Google Play automatically from any of your old Android devices

And a whole lot more

  • Tap & pay: easily manage multiple payment apps by quickly switching between them
  • Print preview and page range support
  • Revamped display for battery, Bluetooth, data usage, and Wi-Fi settings and new search functionality
  • New device level feedback for Nexus devices in Settings > about phone > send feedback
  • Easier sharing with: Improved ranking of your options within the share menu, Android Beam lets you share a file with someone nearby by gently tapping the two devices together
  • Where supported by the hardware, your device will wake up as soon as you pick it up or tap the screen twice
  • Improved hardware keyboard accessory support including support for multilingual, emoji input, search key, and improved app and system key chords

Source: Google

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  • VG

    So, no baked in WiFi Calling like iOS8?

    • Glich

      TMO has said Nexus 6 will have wifi calling so its in L as long as its not hardware dependant.

      • Jim

        Wifi calling has nothing to do with actual hardware….

        • eAbyss

          Actually WiFi calling does have something to do with hardware. Most current and all older devices with tweaked ROMs are capable of WiFi calling but they’ll drop the call once you step out of rang of your router and they can’t switch an existing cellular call to WiFi calling when you come in range. Newer devices have hardware built in that allows the device to seamlessly switch back and forth between WiFi and cellular calling without dropping the call.

          To have true WiFi calling the hardware MUST support it.

        • dm33

          I’m fairly sure that isn’t true. The hardware needs to be able to run Wifi and cellular radios at the same time, which they all do. Other than that it requires low level operating system support, but AFAIK, not any special hardware support.

    • JamesG

      Its suppose to release via OTA next year

    • Cam Bunton

      Google/T-Mobile are working on it.

      • UMA_Fan

        Can you find out if this will result in more reliable wifi calling on other android devices on tmo going forward since this will be baked into the OS? Also will the Nexus 5 support wifi calling?

        • Jon

          I doubt it would change anything…. first the old devices would need the L update and TMo said phones introduced after the wifi calling announcement would get wifi calling….
          As far as Nexus5 officialy most likely not but via XDA more than likely :)

      • VG

        My point is: I don’t want T-Mobile to have any responsibility for OS updates. T-Mobile (and probably all the carriers) have a horrible record of getting out OS updates in a timely manner. I just want a wide selection of Android phones that support T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling out of the box without having to wait for T-Mobile to test and approve Android updates. Not sure that is going to happen now. At least Apple built Wi-Fi Calling into their iOS8, and none of the carriers have any responsibility for updating that operating system.

        As I write this, I am still waiting for that Windows Phone 8.1 update on my Lumia 925, something T-Mobile originally promised for Summer 2014. Still waiting…

        • yeah right

          THey are baking in wifi calling into android by the first point release.. so android 5.0.1, it seems they just couldn’t complete the project in time for the major L release… most new phones will probably launch with that point release anyways (considering there is no major phone announcement between now and february.

        • itgoesdown

          lol they couldn’t complete it in time for the release, but they will be on time for the update. PROMISE!!!! BECAUSE GOOGLE NEVER FUCKS THIS SHIT UP

        • KingofPing

          “I don’t want T-Mobile to have any responsibility for OS updates. ”

          They won’t. L will support it in a “soonish” update and all T-Mo will need to do is give you an app that taps into it.

          (You’ll likely be able to download the app from the play store since T-Mo will likely not be able to install it prior to selling the device)

          FWIW: The app will probably *not* function on anything but T-Mo headsets as it will verify a T-Mo SiM is installed.


    Has the SD Card Restrictions from kit-kat been removed

    • Medion

      Not yet, at least based on the last build. Official build for existing devices goes up on Friday.

  • Android_God

    Is it just me or has Android FINALLY reached the point where it is just as good (if not better) versus TouchWiz,HTC, etc?

    • Nacho Libre

      It’s just you, TWiz has never been that good to begin with, Sense maybe if you like bloat over speed…. Stock android has always been better

      • Mschmal

        The only TWiz feature I really liked was the “Smart Screen” which kept the screen on while you were facing it.

      • KingofPing

        pfft. TW was *great* on the SGS II.

        …then they went frggin’ insane with the additional crap they’ve been tacking on it ever since.

    • Cam Bunton

      Hehe. It’s probably not just you, but I’ve always preferred stock Android.

    • NinoBr0wn

      lol yea it’s just you. Touchwiz? Really though.

    • AJ2

      I wouldn’t touch touchwiz

  • ssjchaseutley

    So will this come to SG4?

    • JamesG


    • steveb944

      Probably middle of next year.

    • Javi Kim

      I don’t know why but when I saw your avatar and then the letters SG I thought for a moment of Sega Genesis? Duh!

    • AJ2

      Probably a few months before Android M is announced

    • Jay Holm


  • steveb944

    As I read this I kept thinking ‘I already have that, that too what is the big deal’, then I remembered I have a OPO with Cyanogen, that’s why.

    • Cam Bunton

      I’ve been rocking the L theme on my OPO too. It’s great. :-)

      • AJ2

        What do you like most or what’s the biggest change? I thought you used an iPhone

        • Cam Bunton

          Shock revelation: Tech pundit uses more than one platform. ;-) I use Windows Phone daily, too.

          I like the cards in Notification center and general UI in Android L.

      • Cole Toler

        Well Cam you were right, I had hoped that the N6 wouldn’t be that big. I too went ahead and got an OPO though and I’m loving it.

  • AJ2

    Hope battery does improve. New coat of paint is always good to make a phone feel fresh. Guess the licorice teases were trying to create buzz. But don’t be surprised to see haters with the

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      Fresh paint was good enough for iPhone lol

      Can’t wait for m8 gpe

      • eAbyss

        Crashing apps and non-functioning WiFi and Bluetooth were good enough for iOS too.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Bring it now? Lol

  • tomnewtn

    I’ll be using L on my replacement Nexus 5 since Google is offering me a free replacement of my damaged N5. Nicely done Google, especially since the 6 is too gynormous.

    • joe79intx

      how did you get a free replacement? Just wondering if my situation would be similar to yours.

      • tomnewtn

        Google offers the “exception” replacement to loyal Nexus owners who purchase their devices from the Play Store, and only within the first year since purchase. they had checked my account history and noticed I had purchased a few Nexus devices beginning with the N1 and said I qualify. It’s on the way now.

        • tomnewtn

          annnnd I’ve got the new one in my hand. Google overnights them too. wow. Nicely done Google. No need for a 6 in this neck of the woods. I wondered if it would have android L, but nope. Not yet.

  • Chad Dalton

    ugh, this is making it tough decision between the note 4 and nexus 6…

    • KingofPing

      If you plan on using the Stylus at all, go with the Note.

      Stock android is peachy, but even folks that run it are generally not running “stock”, but rather custom ROMS that only marginally resemble “stock” Android.

  • Jason Walker

    This is why phone manufacturers and carriers need to just go with stock Android. If you want to offer all that other crap open shop in the play store and give us the choice of downloading it

  • Joeyfrombklyn

    Does anyone know if the galaxy note 4 has digital signal processing, for using voice commands with the screen off?

    • SMoneypenny

      Yes, The phone comes with the ability to use both Galaxy and now the new version of Google’s voice search without touching a button. You must first tell it to do so in the device settings though.

      • Joeyfrombklyn

        Thanks for the reply, love my note 4.)

  • Jack Johnson

    Too bad most android users won’t have access to this new version of OS. Yay to Androids severe fragmentation problem and thumbs up to Apple just making it sooo easy!

    • Paul Garrison

      Not really a big deal, I mean the current IOS is like gingerbread.

    • eAbyss

      iOS has the same problem with feature fragmentation. You might get a shiny new version number but you don’t gain many new features after a year or two of updates, the same time official update support ends for Android and the time you’d be upgrading your phone anyways. But Android has a leg up on iOS in this remark do to the availability of 3rd party ROMs.

      Android’s still 2 or 3 years ahead of iOS anyways.


      Clearly you have no idea of what you are talking about… if fragmentation is an issue to you then you should keep updating your phone instead your OS. The way EVERYONE in Android community sees it: If you get a new OS with an old phone, then how much resources and speed are you willing to compromise. Your statement only proves that you have not seen an iPhone 4 trying to download a new APP without success due to performance requirements…. Having a new OS does not mean HAVING A BETTER PHONE.

  • amin Momand

    I am really disappointed to see, that pashto language was not added to the list of new languages. Pashto is spoken by more than 50 million people’s.