The new version of Android is Android 5.0, codenamed Lollipop. The news was confirmed as Google released full details of the brand new OS, along with new devices. The hotly anticipated Nexus 6 is a 5.92-inch phablet that goes on sale from 29th October; the Nexus 9 is an HTC-built tablet that will be available from the same day.
The OS will also begin to roll out as an upgrade for assorted handsets including the Nexus 5. Devices such as the Moto G and Moto X are likely to receive the update early as well, along with Android One devices available in India.
Android Lollipop key features
Android 5.0, Lollipop, is the biggest update to the Android OS since 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. It includes a full overhaul of the UI, based around a concept known as Material Design.
It also introduces a host of new and enhanced features including:
- new ART runtime for faster app performance
- improved notifications system, including lock screen notifications
- redesigned ‘recent apps’ menu
- a ‘do to disturb’ feature that silences the device at night
- improved battery performance through under the hood optimisations, plus a new battery saver mode
- enhanced security for personal and enterprise users, including encryption as standard and remote wipe support
The update may cause a few compatibility issues with some apps, and especially devices that have been rooted and modded. The popular Xposed framework does not support the ART runtime, so will need to be disable when you update.
Which phones will get Android 5.0?
The rollout of new versions of Android is notoriously slow. In the year since the launch of Kit Kat, the OS has reached only around a quarter of all Android users.
This trend is likely to continue with Lollypop. We know that the Nexus 5 will get the update, as will mostly stock devices like the Moto G and Moto X. Flagship devices including the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, LG G3 and Sony Xperia Z3 will also get updates in the coming months.
Older devices may be supported, although it take manufacturers a while before they announce their plans.
Android version history
All Android versions since v1.5 have had their own confectionary-themed codename. This was initially for internal use primarily, but has since become a popular handle for each version among users. This culminated in a tie-in with Nestle for the launch of Android 4.4, also known as Kit Kat.
- Cupcake — Android 1.5
- Donut — Android 1.6
- Eclair — Android 2.0 / 2.2
- Froyo — Android 2.2
- Gingerbread — Android 2.3
- Honeycomb — Android 3.0 (a tablet-specific version of the OS, little used)
- Ice Cream Sandwich — Android 4.0
- Jelly Bean — Android 4.1 / 4.2 / 4.3
- Kit Kat — Android 4.4
- Lollipop — Android 5.0
The names are alphabetical, which means Android 5.1 will begin with M. Our money’s on marshmallow, but leave your predictions in the comments now!