About a month ago, I wrote an article discussing the changes that Google had implemented into Google Play Services 6.1. Here, Android Police had taken a deep look inside the Google Services APK. Some of the new features that were uncovered include a better, more transparent backup option for our devices and improvements for those of us using two stage verification. This is an important and well overdue improvement to Android, because if you don’t use two stage verification, you probably should because it makes your Google account significantly harder to hack. Unfortunately, until recently it’s been significantly harder to use two stage verification on our mobile devices. Google have improved matters with Kit Kat but Lollipop has better support for the process. To use two stage verification, when you sign into a device, you use your normal password but after this is accepted, you’ll be asked for another code sent to either your ‘phone via text message, voice call or mobile application. You can also allow a particular computer or device to be deemed secure so that it doesn’t want another code.
Android 5.0 Lollipop represents Google’s most significant improvement to Android and the coming release is more about making the operating system more accessible to ordinary people rather than those of us with more of a technological disposition. Or in simple terms, the non-geeks of us! It’s one of the reasons why Samsung especially, has sold so many Samsung devices because TouchWiz is easier to handle than vanilla Android. Until now, that is! Android Lollipop’s new Material Design interface is elegant and includes improvements to notifications, too. Google are working on taming the OEM’s habit of using overly heavy skins, although I don’t expect third party skins to completely disappear.
Google have polished power management and performance too, with changes under the skin to reduce power consumption including batch networking (whereby the operating system schedules network activity to combine as many tasks to correspond at the same time, thus minimizing power-hungry network use) and a new power saver mode. Google have also finally pensioned off the old Dalvik runtime, which compiles applications on the fly. It’s been replaced with the Android RunTime, which pre-compiles applications the one time for a performance increase of up to four times.
Finally, to discuss Google Services, Google have used this as a way to prepare our devices for up and coming features and so it appears to be the case with the changes that Google are implementing into Android 5.0 Lollipop’s device setup. According to Android Police, the entire setup process has been improved and revamped to make it easier, smoother and faster. For now, let me go back to Google Play Services. This application is silently and automatically pushed to devices running Android 2.2 FroYo or higher when connected to the Internet without any input from the user. It was originally released just over two years ago. This application is designed to provide functionality for Android devices without requiring a software update: it directly integrates with a number of Google services including the account, Google+, Google Maps, location services, Google Cloud Messaging and the Android Device Manager. The changes in Lollipop should encourage more people to use two stage verification and this is a good thing.