Android 5.0 Lollipop is the Android mobile operating system developed by Google and released in November, 2014. One of the most prominent changes in the Lollipop release has been a redesigned user interface built around a responsive design language referred to as material design. Expanding upon the “card” motifs first seen in Google Now, it is a cleaner design with increased use of grid-based layouts, animations, transitions, padding, depth effects such as lighting and shadows.
Other changes include improvements to the notification system. These improvements allow notifications to be accessed from the lock-screen and to be displayed within other apps as banners across the top of the screen.
A do-not-disturb feature is also added for notifications. Individual apps can display multiple cards in the recent menu, rather than only one entry per app; for example, a web browser can show all of its open tabs as individual cards.
Lollipop includes internal changes made to the platform, with the Android Runtime (ART) replacing Dalvik for improved application performance. ART is a cross-platform runtime which supports the x86, ARM, and MIPS architectures in both 32-bit and 64-bit environments. ART compiles apps upon installation, which are then run exclusively from the compiled version from then on. This technique removes the processing overhead associated with the JIT process, improving system performance.
Other changes improve and optimize battery usage, known as Project Volta. Among its changes are a battery saver mode, job scheduling APIs which can restrict certain tasks to only occur over Wi-Fi, and batching of tasks to reduce the overall amount of time that internal radios are active.
The new developer tool called “Battery Historian” tracks battery consumption by apps while in use. The Android Extension Pack APIs also provide graphics functions such as new shaders, aiming to provide PC-level graphics for 3D games on Android devices.
On November 3, 2014, Google made the Android Lollipop source code available, signifying that it had been released for general availability. Thus, manufacturers can now work on the 5.0 update for their devices.
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