Over the last couple of days, we've seen an interesting development across the Internet. You see, Motorola announced a soak test for Android 5.0 Lollipop the Moto X, which has some Nexus fans up in arms because they see that their device isn't getting Android 5.0 Lollipop first. I find this amusing because Motorola are competing with other manufacturers to get Android Lollipop out on their device first. And that includes Google's with the Nexus line. Oh and it also ignores the hundreds of custom ROMs that have already been released for the Nexus line of devices, not to mention the developer previews released fro the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 back in June. And now we see that Android 5.0 Lollipop has been released for the Sony Xperia L. Yes, that's right, Sony's mid-range Xperia L has received an unofficial port of Android Lollipop. Let's see if this story creates a stir?
So why on earth would a developer put the time to port Android Lollipop to the Xperia L? If you're asking the question then I suspect you probably won't understand the answer, which is, "why on earth not?!" The Xperia L is very much a mid-range device; it's based around a 1.0 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, it has a 4.3-inch display of a modest 480 by 854 pixels and an 8 MP rear camera. Without wishing to belittle Sony's Xperia L, it's a perfectly serviceable if mediocre device and as such, will benefit greatly from Android Lollipop's improved performance and battery efficiency code.
You see, Android Lollipop is not and has never been about polishing the halos of the flagship devices. Our very own Alex has observed the performance difference between the Nexus 6 and the Droid Turbo, which have very similar underlying hardware (same processor, screen resolution) but the Droid runs Android Kit Kat and the Nexus runs Lollipop. Thing is, the Droid is already fast and smooth and yes, the Nexus is faster, but it's going to be a relatively small improvement. Now imagine a lesser powered Android device receiving a generous sprinkling of Lollipop dust? Dalvik is out, Android RunTime is in and Google report that the new code can be significantly faster. That will result in a much smoother user experience. We also have code designed to save battery power; Lollipop is set to make our devices faster and more efficient. And this is before we get into the fundamental change that Lollipop is to bring to the Android world: it's going to allow developers to integrate their applications with the operating system.
This is the part of Lollipop that most excites me. No longer will my Android device feel like I'm switching between a selection of applications and the operating system, but instead the transition will me much closer. I'm hesitant to write "seamless," but that's what I'm looking for from Lollipop. And that means it needs to come to all devices great and small.