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printed October 22, 2017
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Review: Android 5.0 Lollipop

Intro Basics Comms Media Wrap-Up Comments  11  

Android 5.0 Lollipop is a fantastic update to Google's mobile operating system. The fresh design is appealing and helps unify how apps look and feel across the device. Google has really leapt ahead of the competition in some aspects. iOS 8 feels a bit stale to me after using Lollipop for a week. Windows Phone still offers appeal, but in a totally different way.

The OS adds a huge number of new features, though many of them are contained within individual apps. Google has long offered updates to core apps outside of major OS upgrades, but it made a point to refresh them all with the arrival of Android 5.0.

While Nexus devices – and a few others – will run unmolested versions of Android 5.0, it will be really interesting to see how individual phone makers tweak Lollipop, Material Design, and the other changes wrought by Google. Personally, I say phone maker UIs are even less necessary than before.

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There's no doubt that Android 5.0 Lollipop is the best version of Android yet. I think usability is improved across the board thanks to the unified app features, such as the control tray and the action button that now appear. iOS continues to be the simplest of the three mobile platforms to use, but Lollipop closes the gap in a big way. Android has always allowed for more user customization than iOS, and that's even more apparent with Lollipop. Despite its lack of market share, Windows Phone is an excellent platform and I think it still competes well with Android and iOS. That said, Android is the finest of all three platforms because it merges usability, appearance, and utility in the strongest combination.

Google knocked it out of the park. It's well worth the upgrade for all users.

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