Google is to begin rolling out version 5.0 of its Android operating system, codenamed Lollipop, on Friday.
The company describes the update as a “quantum leap forward”, thanks to its revamped design and new features.
Engineering chief, Hiroshi Lockheimer, said that among his team’s goals was making Android more appealing to the business sector.
- Notifications now appear at the top of the screen rather than covering a game’s playing area
- Users can also have both a personal and work “personality” on a single device and switch “seamlessly” between them. The two personalities allow apps to access different sets of stored data.
- Encryption of stored data would increase security.
- A new facility allowing Android to be put in “do not disturb” mode for a pre-determined period of time, which should minimise the risk of missing important calls or notifications after a meeting is over.
- New look placing emphasis on graphical animations and colour changes in response to the device owner’s actions.
- A card-based user interface
- Owners can customise which types should rise to the top of the list presented to the user or conversely be prevented from appearing on the lock screen, to help device owners prevent information overload.
- A Bluetooth-enabled smartwatch can enable a user to identify themself instead of having to type in a password
- “Smart lock” feature allowing users to set a location – such as their home, car or office desk – or Bluetooth device – such as a smart watch or work keyboard – as a trigger to disable the need to type in a password
- A switch from Dalvik runtime to Art runtime that makes apps work slightly quicker and use less battery power if they are optimised for the new code.Google will release the software development kit and system images for Nexus 5 phones and Nexus 7 tablets on Friday via the Android developers site, allowing app creators to test their software.
Android Lollipop will become available to the public on November 3, when the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player go on sale.
Other manufacturers and networks will have to test the software before they release it alongside updates of their own software for their machines.