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Thursday, November 20, 2014

The 5 Best Things About Android 5.0 Lollipop on Nexus 5

A little background info:

In February my last Nexus device gave up, it was under contract with Rogers with nearly a year remaining so I decided to pick up a Nexus 5 from the Play store in order to have the freedom to move to another carrier if I so choose. I love the Nexus 5, it's every bit the phone that I came to expect from the official line of Google phones.

From the original un-boxing battery life has been good, for my usage, but not great. I purchased the Nexus Wireless Charger with the device, because it was the micro USB port on the old Nexus that gave way, and because I fully expected to be charging the device on a daily basis.

I have to say that I've been blown away with the battery performance I now get with the Nexus 5 and the new Android Lollipop, so much so that I've come out of a 2 year blogging hiatus to let you know about it.

While I'm at it, I might as well let you know some of the other things I'm liking about Lollipop. So here is my top 5:

  1. Battery usage. We've already established this. While I do not have scientific data to back my claim I can assure you that it is greatly improved. A typical day on my smart phone includes texting, emails, twitter, and a Google search or two. I use Google Now to catch up on tech news and sports scores. I use Google Fit. GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth are generally enabled. With Kit-Kat I would typically leave the house with a full charge and return it to the Wireless Charger when I arrived at home or at least when I headed off to bed. I would get roughly 18 hours worth of use, that's about all that I was comfortable with as it seemed like the top half of the tank lasted much longer than the bottom half. Probably just me, but that's how it appeared. I just set my Nexus on the charger after 36 hours with 20% battery remaining. Android does a great job of tracking which app or service is using battery and also graphs usage over it's current cycle.
  2. Performance. Again no scientific evidence but the apps I use, even 3rd party apps, are quicker to launch and more responsive. Feels like it's fresh out of the box.
  3. Smart notifications. Beyond the flashing LED, Lollipop now allows you to view messages on the login screen before unlocking the device. This means that you can tell if there is a text message or an email just by hitting the power button. I've set mine so that no detailed information is displayed, which is also a nice feature.
  4.  Guest Mode. Now you can put your device in "guest mode" which allows you to hand it over to someone and lock down what they can do. Let's say someone asks to make a call, change the user to Guest and they'll not be able to access email, texts, photos, etc. They get access to the phone function and some apps but all of your data is secured to your account.
  5. Multitasking. While previous versions of Android allowed you to view all open apps, Lollipop's scrolling cards makes it much easier to jump between applications. At first I thought this was just eye candy, pun intended, but the more I use it the more I realize that it truly just works better.
I've only just begun to explore Lollipop so I may find other features to love, or hate, I'll be sure to post my thoughts again once I've used it for a while.

Please comment if you have your own favourite features or helpful tips to share.