While most people may not have Android 5.1 Lollipop on their devices just yet, there are more than a handful of nifty little features and changes to look forward to that just make the experience that much more intuitive and user friendly. The YouTube video below will be able to show you everything in visual detail, but if you don’t have the time for watching we’ll overview everything here which could be a little bit quicker. One of the first notable changes to look forward to is a lock screen change. In Android 5.0 Lollipop, the lockscreen received a couple of tweaks that plenty of people are likely already familiar with, like lock screen notifications. Also in Android 5.0, dragging down the quick settings panel from the status bar would require you to slide the panel back, then swipe across the display to unlock the device. Now, in Android 5.1 Lollipop, if users are on the lock screen and swipe down to display the quick settings panel, they can simply swipe up on the screen from below or outside of the panel box to actually unlock the display.
We previously already covered this new change before, but Android 5.1 Lollipop added support for Dual-SIM cards, so users with compatible devices can switch between numbers with ease, but the new support also allows users to easily pick which number to use when making calls. Google also added the ability to give each number its own dialer color, so identifying which number is set at any given time is a snap. Ease of use is important to Google, but so is security, and they make that abundantly clear in the 5.1 update. The new Device Protection feature keeps devices locked up if they’re reported lost or stolen until it is once again signed into with the correct Gmail account. This persists through a factory data reset, so once it’s activated, the only way to deactivate it is by signing in with the correct Gmail.
Other new features include the capability for HD voice calls on compatible hardware, and the changes we talked about earlier in our post about the LED notification lights coming back for all interruptions modes. With interruptions now, users can set either “priority” or “none” interruptions modes with the “until next alarm” configuration. What this does, is keep the user on that interruptions mode until the next alarm goes off. There are also some tweaks to the WiFi and Bluetooth options in the quick settings panel. Prior to Android 5.1, users would have to long press and then enter into either the WiFi or Bluetooth menus to make any changes. Now, Google has made it a little more convenient by allowing these changes to be made directly from the quick settings panel, so if you need to switch WiFi connections or between Bluetooth devices, it’s possible to do so without entering into those settings menus.
In addition to quick settings tweaks we listed above, in Andriod 5.1 Lollipop it’s possible now to “hide” recently added quick toggles, where before users had to wait for them to disappear according to YouTube user Qbking who is the creator of the video. It’s worth noting that removing recently added quick settings toggles is something that other OEM’s have added into their own flavor of the UI skins. For example, I have this option on my Sony Xperia Z3 which is still running Android 4.4.4 Kit Kat. Google also updated various different animations, which you can view in the video below towards the end starting at about 4:57. There are likely more little and subtle changes that come along with Android 5.1 Lollipop, and we’ll be sure to highlight them for our readers.