I am very patient in general but when it comes to gadgets my enthusiasm reaches a new level. Its like i am a twin personality. When Google first released the Android L Developer preview (During Google I/O early this year) my impatient me took control over the normal me and I downloaded it immediately. There’s a downside to this process, though: All data and previously installed apps are wiped out. But since the photos, data, contacts and installed app details are there in the cloud once the installation is done the device starts to sync itself which is a time & bandwidth consuming task, this is one risk work taking. I flashed it onto my Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi and finding the new design so attractive I also updated my Nexus 5. There were some initial glitches as expected in any developer preview but it did not deter me from using it. A few weeks back when Google had planned its Android Lollipop release it had provided the links to the Android L final beta. The Android L final beta was far better than the developer preview and was more stable with lots of applications and was kind with the battery and processor.
Google still has not initiated the OTA in this part of the world but the factory images are available here. I downloaded the images for Nexus 7 and Nexus 5 yesterday (Nov 13) and flashed all my devices. The following is what I have observed so far.
This time Google had allowed my sync my accounts from any other nexus device I have so the initial sync was far more simpler and took less time and internet bandwidth.
There is a major overhaul in the design area which seems to be neat and simple with not much cluttering as promised by Google during their I/O event.
- Floating notifications,
- carousal type stacking of running applications,
- beautiful icons and color coordination for various applications are to name a few.
- The animation when you click any app or exit from it is eye pleasing.
The touch seems more responsive (may be its only me feeling so). It might be the material design that is making me feel so.
Some of the issues that I have seen earlier were with battery, camera and WiFi. The Battery seems to be well optimized with providing more time in the full charge. The charge lasts more than a day with general use. The Camera issue seems to have been corrected and device does not get over heated during operation which was the case earlier. The camera seems to be more stable as well.
I had this weird issue with my Nexus 7 (2012) where the WiFi would not be recognized sometimes and the only option would be to power off and start again. This is now gone and the WiFi is not wonky.
The Blue tooth has some new features that allows you to define trusted devices which allows you to auto unlock the nexus device when in proximity. A really cool feature as my phones remains unlocked when I enter my car and its connected to the Bluetooth.
The long press of the power button used to show power off, airplane mode etc., but now it just does the power off.
One good feature which was available with some other application is the flashlight which now Google seems to have provided by default. This is shown along with the WiFi, Bluetooth, airplane mode, auto-rotate, location and cast screen when you swipe from top. The smart lock also incorporates the trusted face (Face recognition) for unlocking device.
Sound and notification has a new option called interruption which allows you to control notifications (both visual and sound) based on priorities that you define and an downtime which allows you to silence it for a predetermined time. The interruptions allow some notification based on priorities like (Anyone, Starred contacts and Contacts only) a very important feature for the phone. I usually put my phone in silent mode and sometime forget it or there are times when i wished i could only silence unwanted/unknown calls and be alerted for those whom I know.
Multiple users is something that had been allowed in tablet during KitKat but now this is a feature in the nexus 5 phone as well.
The new android Lollipop sure does breaths some life into the otherwise dull Nexus 7 (2012). This device has seen the lights of Jellybean , KitKat and now the Lollypop. I flashed my old Nexus 7 (2012) with the lollipop and like it so far. (Will update this post with my findings there soon)
I still feel the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5 the best Tablet and Phone when it comes to price vs performance and form factor. Whats your thought ?