Sprint have today released Android 5.0 Lollipop for customers with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 under build designation N910PVPU1BOB7. Although the update has started today, not all devices will receive the update immediately and it could take a few days. If you want to manually check for the update, go ahead and visit the Settings application, then System, then System Update. In addition to upgrading Android 4.4 KitKat to 5.0 Lollipop, Sprint's notes reveal that there have been some WiFi calling enhancements and improvements made.
Android 5.0 Lollipop brings a number of improvements to the device, in line with Google's new vision for Android. There are improvements to the lock screen and how notifications are handled, which are probably the most obvious changes. Samsung has also updated a number of stock applications on the device to bring the look and feel closer aligned with Google's Material Design ethos. The other significant updates are more under the skin but include refinements to the performance and battery life of the Note 4 – not that Samsung's latest and greatest phablet is slow nor has poor battery life!
The performance improvement comes from Google switching away from the older Dalvik RunTime to a new generation Android RunTime. The RunTime is how the operating system handles applications and the older way of handling applications via Dalvik used a "Just In Time" compiling engine; this meant that applications were stored on the Android device in a partially compiled state and when they are launched, the operating system must compile the application and then run it. Whilst Android used several strategies to improve performance, such as a keeping the pre-compiled applications in a cache so as to speed up running the application a second time – it could still cause lags and hesitation in use, even on hardware as powerful as the Galaxy Note 4.
The other refinement concerns the battery life and how Android 5.0 Lollipop includes a network scheduler, which can queue application network requests and so execute them at the same time. The advantage of this is that it should make it possible to avoid unduly waking the device up if application developers redesign the application to take advantage of the network scheduler. At the current time, we have seen little evidence of this improvement making much of a difference to application standby times but Google have laid the foundation for this and few developers have confirmed that they have implemented the new feature in applications.
Do you have a Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note 4? If so, has the update arrived yet? What did you make of it? Or are you having to wait until your device receives the download? Let us know in the comments below.