Android 5.0 Lollipop marks Google’s full loyalty to its material design principles of user interface creation. Material design makes a more hostile use of colour than earlier. It uses bold colours and edge-to-edge imagery, very much a reflection of the changing trends online as much as anything else. Things are flatter; icons have been modified, list and switches simplified, leading to a fresher look.
Small touches like the way the app drawer minimization animation returns to the new circular icon on the home screen also help to elevate the experience of using Android overall. Google has made interacting with hardware running Lollipop more of a pleasant experience in general.
All your data on a brand-new Android 5.0 device is encrypted from the start by default, and that encryption is tied to both a secret generated by your user security code (should you set one up). This means that if you lose your device, the data will be better safeguarded even if your lock screen code is avoided and the data is accessed openly.
New Gmail and Calendar apps provide much better handling of both of those tasks. The new Gmail app looks a lot closer to Google’s new Inbox mail client than did the present version. Android Lollipop’s new keyboard design is upgraded along with the app drawer and notification tray, agreeing to a dark text on white background look, without any visual market separating the space between keys.
Calendar now features inline photos and maps, adding a touch of visual flare to an app category where there has seldom been any before. It also offers auto completion recommendations for titles, contacts and places to make text entry easier, and combs your Gmail for flight reservations and other relevant schedule information to offer you with more dates automatically.
Android Lollipop represents an absolute transformation in tone for Google’s mobile software: from heavy-handed, almost PC-like user interfaces to a light and airy feel. Lollipop is also a visual delight, through and through. But the key to the long-term appeal of Android 5.0, especially in a tablet environment, will be whether Google can encourage third-party developers to put up a great software experience for Android slates that takes benefit of everything Lollipop has to provide.