Android Lollipop AH-12

AH Primetime: Five Things I’d Change In Android 5.0 Lollipop

December 3, 2014 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Google’s newest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop, is a great operating system. Google re-designed the throughout and gave it a new life, well, sort of. The new skeuomorphic way Google chose brings in a lot of animations to the screen, you can basically see everything moving somewhere on the screen as soon as you interact with it. I thought this would be too much to handle, but it’s really not and I don’t even particularly like animations. It looks cool, even though it doesn’t have a specific purpose. You can of course tone everything down via developer settings if you choose to do so. I’m using Android 5.0 Lollipop on my Nexus 5, have been using it for about a week now and I really like it, though there are still some quirks in Android that need addressing. I’ll skim through those in this article, using some ideas I got on the side and some of my personal objections which I do believe Google should address in the future. Let’s begin, in no particular order.

1. Power Menu Options – This is not a big objection by any stretch of the imagination, but it added some convenience to the OS. When you hold the power button now you get only 1 option to choose and that’s “Power Off”, while before you had several additional options, like turning on “Flight Mode”, changing ringer status etc. It would be nice to have such additional options in Lollipop as well, including the ones listed and perhaps “Restart” and ” Take a Screenshot”, I really can’t remember if those were present on Lollipop, but it would be nice to have them. I probably wouldn’t use any of those except for “Restart” option, but I do know people who would find it handy.

2. Interruptions – Do Not Disturb mode is a great addition by Google, but I really don’t like its implementation. It’s rather confusing for regular consumers, at least to people I have interacted with. You can put your phone into silent mode, but “Silent Mode” is now called “Priority” mode, which is extremely confusing. Baking in DND mode with simple volume adjusting is just a bad idea in my humble opinion and I do believe Google should have separate those two and leave the silent mode setting naming. I, of course, use 3rd party apps for that sort of thing and I have no problem with that, neither do you most probably, but regular consumers do. My brother is really not tech-savvy and he’s totally lost.

3. Quick Toggles – Google finally decided to include APN on/off quick setting in Android Lollipop and I applaud them for doing so, but the implementation is not the best in my opinion. In order to access quick toggles you need to call upon the notification shade using two fingers or swipe down twice, I have no objections here, though they could have made it simpler (swipe up on the home screen perhaps?). When you press on the “network” icon, you’ll access cellular data setting and will be able to turn on/off the APN from there, why all the extra presses? Why not just allow people to do it straight from the quick toggles instead? I would also like some customization option when it comes to the quick toggles panel, but that’s just me, basically everything needed is in there. Again, I found a workaround as always and use third-party apps, but regular users are confused.

4. Battery Percentage – You can see your battery percentage when you access the “Quick Toggles” screen by swiping the notification shade using two fingers or swiping it down twice, but I’d like a notification percentage to be up there all the time instead of the battery icon. A ton of Android ROMs have been using that approach for a long time now and I believe it’s extremely useful. You can get this information by using third-party apps in the notification shade, whether you want it to be there when you open the notification shade or all the time. You can even use something like GSam Battery Monitor and place the notification percentage on top of the battery icon in the upper right corner, but again, this should have been baked in to begin with. This is such a change and so significant in my humble opinion.

5. Notification Ticker – These “Heads-Up” notifications Google decided to use in Lollipop are great, to a certain extent. Some people seem to love them, I however am not such a huge fan. I preferred the notification ticker because it was just so convenient, you could just look at the notification strip up top and see the notification and part of its content without being interrupted by a rather big floating bubble. I don’t have anything against Heads-Up notifications, but I would prefer a choice, this is yet again a small change that would go a long way, just like the battery percentage for example and basically everything else I’ve listed.

These are just some things that came to mind while using Lollipop throughout the week. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lollipop and I’m glad I installed it so quickly, but I wanted to share some annoyances with you, that’s all. Everyone prefers something, I could have probably listed more stuff that I’d personally change, but that would really take a long time. There’s lot to love about Lollipop, I love the new “Overview” option for some reason, the animations don’t bother me at all (like I though they will), etc. Lollipop is a great OS, no doubt, but that’s a topic for some other time. Let us know what you think, what do you love about Lollipop and what would you change?