So Android Lollipop (5.0 or L) has been released (currently on a small number of devices), well what does that exactly mean?
In a nutshell, Google has completely revamped how the Android OS works - including the overall design and feel. At the moment, Android Lollipop is available as a developer preview for certain models in Google’s Nexus range of devices, with the first official devices to support the new OS being the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 - the new devices to hit the UK shores before the new year.
Android Lollipop brings some changes when compared to the current versions of android, the first change that will be noticed is the design. Google has created Lollipop to adhere to their new “Material” design. The principles of the new design are below (taken from the official google page)
Material is set out to be a 3D environment, where all the objects have an x, y and z dimensions. This means that the objects are set to look as though they are almost bits of paper, stacked on top of each other with a set distance between each layer. There are more design rules involved with creating such an operating system (they can be read at the link below), but I believe these rules create a stunning interface.
More about the design principle HERE.
Android has also changed the way in which applications are run within devices.
Currently, Android apps are deployed in Dalvik (JIT - Just In Time); meaning that every time you run an app - the part of code required for the app to execute is converted to machine code (a basic language of set instructions executed directly by a CPU) at that specific moment.
As you progress through an app, additional code is going to be compiled, so that the system can reuse the code while the app is running. Since JIT compiles only a part of the code, it has a smaller memory footprint and will use less physical memory on the device, although compiling these bits of code continuously will cause strain on the CPU and battery life.
Android has changed from this Dalvik type to ART (At Run-Time) system.
With ART, the whole code of the app will be pre-compiled during the applications install (which will occur once), this will make sure there is minimal to no lag when opening applications. This should ensure that even the most graphic, processing and memory intensive applications will have great run speeds. Without having to keep compiling sections of the application code, the system should use less processing power and should increase battery life of the device.
There is also an abundance of new features for use within the OS as well as some other improvements. Google has a giant list of these HERE for you to take a look at.
I for one am very excited for the new version of Android, are you?