Android fans have been hearing a lot about Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest and greatest version of Google's mobile OS. Here's the latest information on what smartphones will receive an upgrade and when to expect it.
When Google unveiled its next major version of Android at Google I/O in June, the user interface of the OS took on a more flat appearance and a more unified look across all of Google's services, which include Android, Chrome OS, Android Wear, web, and more. The design language is called "Material Design" and it's the most significant update to the look of Android since the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in 2011, which also unified the OS' appearance on smartphones and tablets.
Android 5.0 Lollipop introduces an improved notification system with "heads up" notifications that can be displayed as banners, grouped by app, viewed on the lock screen as cards, and as action buttons. Google has given Android's multitasking UI an update, which is now displayed as 3D cards that can be cycled through quickly by the user. Lollipop now has a similar do-not-disturb feature Apple introduced in iOS 6 in 2014, designed to allow users to silence calls, alerts, and notifications at scheduled times or with the flick of a switch. Battery life will also be improved thanks to "Project Volta," Google's initiative to improve battery life, and users can monitor battery consumption by apps.
Google is also hoping that Android 5.0 Lollipop puts an end to the dreaded "Android fragmentation" issue that Android users are all too familiar with. The new OS should make it easier for manufacturers to upgrade current devices to Android 5.0.
Here's the latest on which smartphones are expected to receive a Lollipop update by manufacturer.
Google has already confirmed that Android 5.0 Lollipop will ship with its just-announced Motorola Nexus 6 phablet and an OTA (over the air) update will be released for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 in November.
Motorola announced that Android 5.0 Lollipop would be coming to the Moto X (1st generation and 2nd generation), Moto G (1st generation and 2nd generation), Moto G with 4G LTE, Verizon Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini in the near future.
Samsung hasn't made any official Lollipop upgrade announcements, but a leaked video we recently reported on shows the company is well on its way to releasing an update for the flagship Galaxy S5. The company recently teased Android 5.0 would be released for its new Galaxy Note 4 and there are rumors it will also come to the Note 3 and Galaxy S4 very soon.
HTC took to Twitter to confirm that Android 5.0 would be coming to its HTC One smartphones "as fast as possible," and within 90 days. This includes the HTC One M8, One M7, One Mini, One Mini 2, One Max, One E8, One E8 Eye, and possibly some of its Desire smartphones as well.
LG hasn't made an official announcement, but its widely believed that its flagship LG G3 and G2 will be among the first of its smartphones to get a taste of Lollipop.
Sony will release Android 5.0 Lollipop to its entire Xperia Z smartphone and tablet series, in 2015. The company posted the following message on its site:
"We'll be making Sony Mobile's Android "L" upgrade available for the entire premium Z series: including Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1S, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3v, Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition devices will be first up -- we'll be back with more details on that soon. We'll start the upgrade at beginning of 2015 for the core Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2 series -- continuing thereafter for all remaining devices above."
We'll keep you posted on any new Android 5.0 Lollipop update news as it happens.