When will your phone get Android Lollipop? The final version of Android 5.0 Lollipop was unveiled only in October, yet Android 5.1 Lollipop is hitting Android One. Here's what you need to know about Android Lollipop's release date, design and new features - plus when your phone will get the upgrade.
We've been running Android Lollipop for a few months now, back when it was known only as Android L. We've also tested out the increased battery life, but Lollipop is no faster than KitKat.
Google launched Android 4.4 KitKat last September and then showed off Android L at its I/O 2014 developer conference before officially announcing its final name and version number on 15 October.
Android 5.1 Lollipop update UK release date
According to AndroidPit, Android 5.1 Lollipop will arrive at the end of February 2015, citing two trusted and completely separate sources.
The Lollipop 5.1 update has already hit some Android One phones in Indonesia, and Google's own Android One website earlier seemed to confirm this with the tagline "Introducing Android One. Fast and responsive smartphones running the latest version of Android, Lollipop 5.1," according to CNET. However, this has since been altered to read "Introducing Android One. Fast and responsive smartphones running the latest version of Android."
Android 5.1 Lollipop is expected to be a rather large update, returning the silent mode missing from Android 5.0, improving system stability, RAM management and battery management, and fixing sudden app closures, Wi-Fi problems and sound problems.
It's important to note the difference between Android 5.1 and the Android 5.0.1 update that rolled out to Nexus devices in December. (The Nexus 7 2012 and cellular versions of the Nexus 7 didn't get 5.0.1, but have recently received 5.0.2.) The 5.0.1 Lollipop update is a collection of bug fixes that we recommend installing.
Android 5.1 Lollipop: New features
There are loads of new features in Android Lollipop which you can learn about further down the page. With the 5.1 update, there are even more which we'll look at here.
The first new feature is native support for more than one SIM-card which is only a big deal for phones with dual-SIM card slots. Device Protection means your, er, device will be locked until you sign in with your Google account if it gets lost or stolen – even if they factory reset it.
High Definition voice calling is another new feature offering 'crystal clear calling' via HD Voice but you'll need a compatible device like the Nexus 6 and network to support it like T-Mobile and Verizon in the US.
Last is the ability to join Wi-Fi networks and control of your paired Bluetooth devices directly from the Quick Settings section of the notification bar.
Android Lollipop: Release date and upgrades
If you're buying a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9, you'll can get Android Lollipop in the box. If you already have a Nexus 5, 7 or 10 you should have received the update as a free over-the-air update. If not, you can try the beta version now by following our guide: How to get Android L now.
If you have a Moto G or Moto X (all generations), a Moto E or various other smartphones, Motorola has said Lollipop will be available "really soon". See Motorola's upgrade page for details.
Sony has confirmed that it will bring Android 5.0 Lollipop to the entire Xperia Z range (smartphones and tablets) which is quite impressive as some are pretty old now. Upgrades will start with the core Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2 series in early 2015. The Xperia blog is reporting that the Wi-Fi Alliance has certified Lollipop for theb Z3, which is a good sign that it's coming soon. See Sony's blog for more details.
Unlocked versions of the HTC One M8 should now find the Android Lollipop update is available to them, although those locked to specific mobile operators may need to wait for their network operator to roll out the upgrade. All the other 'One' smartphones will get the update, but will follow the HTC One M8 and M7.
Samsung hasn't yet made an official announcement on which devices will get Lollipop, but we expect all current Galaxy smartphones should be updated, and quite possibly some older ones. However, the firm has Tweeted suggesting the Galaxy Note 4 will get the update, it just hasn't said when. According to SamMobile, the Galaxy S4 will get Lollipop early next year. The update should be rolloing out to Samsung Galaxy S5 users now (a preview build of Lollipop on the Galaxy S5 can be seen below).
LG has confirmed upgrades for the LG G3 and G2 on its German Facebook page. "Hello everyone, we want to inform you hereby, that it upgrade to Android 5.0 2014 will be published lollipop for the LG G3 in the fourth quarter. The upgrade package for the LG G2 will follow," it said in a post.
See also: Android Lollipop vs iOS 8
Before the launch, Google released a teaser video for Android L with lots of possible names including Lemon Drop, Lady Finger, Lava Cake and Lemon Meringue Pie. A notable name missing was Lollipop and now we know why.
Android Lollipop: Material Design
Google has a "new design language" for Android Lollipop which is called Material. Overall, it's a cleaner style which developers can make use of in apps. The Roboto font can also be used anywhere. You'll notice that the new navigation buttons are a triangle, circle and square.
Elements can now be given depth, so shadows and light sources affect user interface elements in real time. App interfaces will now feature touches of colour automatically generated based on the content and there are new animations and touch feedback.
You can see the new look in the above and main article images including new icons and new navigation buttons. Take a look at Google's video below to get an idea of what Android Lollipop looks and feels like.
Android Lollipop: New features
Android L makes notifications even better. For starters you can get them on the lock screen - and they will be automatically ordered in priority. You will be able to swipe them away like normal or double tap to open the relevant app.
Part of the Android L redesign is a new lockscreen which will show you notifications (see above image). You'll need to swipe up to unlock (if you don't have a lock pattern or other unlock method) but you can also swipe right to launch the dialler or left to launch the camera.
Forget a 2D list of open apps, the new recent apps section of Android L brings a Google Now card style layout. The open apps flow on a sort of carousel and can be swiped off to either side to close them as before.
Some apps, for example chrome, will be able to have multiple cards in recent apps. Android Lollipop will show a separate card for each open tab.
New notifcation bar
The Android Lollipop notification bar looks quite different to before. It works in the same way as before so a swipe from the top of the screen grants access. There's a new layout and colour scheme.
Instead of tapping a button to access quick settings you simply swipe downwards a second time. There is now screen brightness control as standard and a new 'cast screen' icon for mirroring with a Chromecast.
Security - personal unlocking
Google said that security is a key element for Android and its users. A new feature will enable users to unlock their smartphone when physically near enough a device like an Android Wear smartwatch. It's a bit like cars with keyless entry.
Battery life - new saver mode
Better battery life is something we always want and Google has added a dedicated battery saver mode to Android Lollipop will give up to 90 minutes of extra use per charge (using the Nexus 5 as a test case). Project Volta allows developers to identify how their apps are using battery so they make improvements.
The battery section of the settings menu now gives more detailed information, too.
As we expected, Android Lollipop will support 64-bit processors and it will also support the ART software library which Google says will be twice as fast as Davik.
With the Lollipop announcement came a surprise new product: Nexus Player. This means Android TV is integrated into Lollipop and provides a way to get games, videos, photos, TV shows etc. onto your big screen. Quite a few big names have signed up to Android TV, including Sony, Philips and Sharp. You don't have to buy a new TV, of course, and that's where Nexus Player comes in, operating much like an Apple TV.