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Android 5.0 Lollipop

Android Lollipop now on 23.5% of all Android devices

Android Lollipop

#Android 5.0+ #Lollipop is supposedly running on 23.5% of all Android devices out there, according to October’s Android distribution figures. While this figure is in no way good news to #Google, it’s certainly an improvement over last month’s numbers. Unfortunately for Android 5.0, with Marshmallow gradually rolling out to devices now, its marketshare might actually come down a touch over the next few months.

Android 5.1 Lollipop was found to have gained 2.8% marketshare since last month, partially at the expense of Android 5.0 Lollipop, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow will probably not even break into the 1% until later this year, so its figures will be inconsequential. The likes of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Android 4.4 KitKat etc have seen falls in marketshare, which means more devices are making the switch to recent versions of Android.

One thing is for certain though, the ghosts of fragmentation have not gotten off Google’s backs as of yet. And it doesn’t seem like that will change anytime soon. Which Android version are you on right now? Sound off in the comments section below.

Source: Google

Via: Mobile Syrup

Best affordable Android smartphones already on Lollipop

According to official Android distribution numbers harvested by Google during the week leading to May 4, a measly 9.7 percent of all devices with the world’s most popular mobile OS inside run 5.0 or 5.1 Lollipop.

Android Lollipop

That’s certainly disappointing, given 5.0 source code was freely disseminated back in early November 2014 and Android M’s “final” release is a few months away, tops. Ecosystem fragmentation clearly remains an issue, nay scourge in dire need of a universal cure.

But alas, there’s no such thing. The best we can do to fight the widespread epidemic is probably not commit to a handheld or tablet for over a year, and replace them as soon as they show their first signs of wear, tear and imminent software oblivion.

Lollipop

Either that, or resign ourselves to the lag of fresh OS flavor distribution. Not in a million years? We didn’t think so, which is why we’ve compiled a list of ten low-cost phones flaunting Lollipop goodies today. All available under $300 off-contract stateside, these can be replaced with M-powered newcomers in the fall or winter sans remorse:

10. Samsung Galaxy S4 – $290

Well, hello there, old friend! Good to see you looking so young past your conventional prime, despite launching when Jelly Bean was still a thing. We wouldn’t hold our breath for a forthcoming 5.1 update, but 5.0 will do, as long as memory bleeds are a thing of the past.

galaxy-s4-lollipop

Remember, the GS4 is a couple of generations behind the times, so it can’t afford to waste a single MB of RAM. It’s “only” got 2 gigs in total, plus a decrepit octa-core 32-bit Exynos 5410 chip in tow.

9. Samsung Galaxy Alpha – $284 AT&T unlocked

Something old, something new, something metallic, something… dazzling white. Pre-installed with 4.4 KitKat, but upgradeable to 5.0.2 Lollipop worldwide. Endowed with a generous 32 GB of native storage space, though unfortunately short of microSD external expansion possibilities.

samsung_galaxy_alpha_lollipop

Still a great bargain, offering fingerprint recognition support, octa-core Exynos 5430 power, 12 MP photography skill and a wasp 6.7 mm waist.

8. Sony Xperia Z Ultra – $280 factory unlocked

As is the case with most gizmos on our list today, the Z Ultra has recently begun its global Lollipop spread, so certain territories may need to give it some time. A few weeks, worst case scenario. LTE-enabled on US GSM networks, the 6.4 incher was a big deal, literally and figuratively, when it debuted on store shelves.

Xperia Z Ultra

Almost two years ago, that is, so part of the phablet’s mojo dwindled. Not the Snapdragon 800 muscle, IP58 waterproof robustness, 6.5 mm delicacy or stylus, pen and pencil functionality. Bottom line, it’s a must-buy for folks who believe size matters.

7. Sony Xperia C3 – $255

It really would have been outrageous if Sony squarely brought Lollipops to Xperia Z family members, considering the C3 is one of the most feature-packed phablets in its price range. 5.5-inch 720p screen, 8 MP rear cam, 5 MP selfie shooter, quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC, 1 GB RAM, microSD card slot.

Xperia C3

What more could you want at a little over a third of Galaxy S6’s no-contract costs?

6. Sony Xperia T2 Ultra – $235

To answer our own question, 13 megapixel camera dexterity is certainly better than 8 MP, and many will also favor T2 Ultra’s gigantic 6-inch IPS LCD panel over C3’s “minuscule” footprint. Of course, this is no selfie champ, with a humble 1.1 MP snapper slapped on its face, and the odds of scoring a 5.1 promotion, let alone 6.0 (5.2?) Marshmallow seem microscopic.

Xperia T2 Ultra Lollipop

5. LG G2 – starting at $208

A fellow Galaxy S4 classic, LG G4 and G3’s ancestor is rapidly closing in on its demise, so don’t be surprised if the handful of lingering Amazon listings begin to vanish before long. The rear physical button pioneer, this ultra-compact 5.2 incher that’s nearly 76 percent screen is at the end of the software support road, so in a way, it’s the perfect transitional device while you wait for “Macadamia Nut Cookie” treats.

LG G2 Lollipop

4. Asus ZenFone 2 – $199 with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage; $299 in 4/64 gig configuration

First, a piece of advice. If you can afford to choose, go with the upper-tier version. It’s totally worth it, sailing through multiple graphics demanding games at once like no other Android soldier before it. Besides, 300 bucks is a ridiculously low tag for what’s ultimately a high-end product.

Asus ZenFone 2

Full, not Quad HD, with frugal Intel Atom inside, a 13, not 16 or 20 MP camera, but the best multitasker the mobile landscape has to offer at the moment. And yes, guaranteed to jump on the M bandwagon soon after merely seeing the light of day last month powered by Lollipop.

3. Motorola Moto G (2nd generation) – $179.99

Budget mobile tech consumers, things can’t get much better than this. Stock, up-to-date software, the solid promise of additional support, wide American carrier compatibility (no 4G LTE, though), spacious and sharp 5-inch HD display, punchy quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1 GB RAM, microSD capabilities, 2,070 mAh battery juice.

Moto G 2014 Lollipop

Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, buy the 2014 G, get one for your parents, GF and best friend. It’s so cheap yet so awesome that you won’t spend much, but still look like a hero.

2. Motorola Moto E (2nd generation) – $143

Willing to trade screen real estate and great pixel count for “universal” LTE connectivity? Meet the 2015 4.5-inch 960 x 540 E. Already upgradeable to Android 5.1, this is no doubt on its sure way to battery efficiency-enhancing M.

Moto E 2015

Not that it needs radical autonomy enhancements, what with its more than respectable 2,390 mAh cell. Granted, the cameras are pretty crappy (5 and 0.3 MP), but on the bright side, the S410 processor is 64-bit Lollipop-ready, contributing to superior speed and system stability.

1. Motorola Moto G (original) – $139.50

Bet you forgot all about the non-expandable 8 GB storage-packing 4.5 incher released in late 2013. We don’t blame you, and while it’s not inexpensive enough to return under the limelight… yet, it definitely has more discounts in the pipeline.

Moto G

Then, at, say, $120, maybe $100, you’ll surely move past the 5 MP cam, 2,070 mAh battery and outdated design inconveniences. Remember, 720p display resolution, Snapdragon 400 heat and AT&T and T-Mobile 3G access.

Sprint Releases Android 5.0 Lollipop For The LG G2

LG G2

After the other major carriers in the US have released Android 5.0 Lollipop for the LG G2, Sprint is finally releasing the update for their variant of the device. This is Android 5.0 Lollipop, not the recently release Android 5.1, so keep that in mind.

But since this is Lollipop, you’ll get all the usual Lollipop improvements, including Material Design, revamped notifications and more. Sprint also says that they have improved the FM Radio software, so you get that specific improvement.

This update is rolling out starting now to customers OTA, so if you don’t see it now, you should see it over the next few weeks. If you have this phone, are you glad Sprint is finally rolling out the update?

Source: Sprint via Android Police

The AT&T LG G2 Is Also Getting Lollipop

LG G2 In Hand

Not to be outdone by T-Mobile, AT&T has also released Android 5.0 for the LG G2. There are some slight differences, such as this being Android 5.0.1 and build number D80020y.

The update is 721MB, so make sure to be plugged in and on Wifi when you download the update. You still get all the Android 5.0 Lollipop enhancements including notifications on the lock screen and Material Design in apps.

Source: AT&T via Droid Life

The Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Is Now Getting Lollipop

Galaxy-Note-4-Troubleshooting

After many other carriers have released Android 5.0 Lollipop for their variants of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Verizon is finally releasing their update.

This is version 5.0 of Android Lollipop with build version of N910VVRU1BOAF. With this update, you’ll get all of the Android 5.0 Lollipop enhancements, including Material Design, revamped notifications, and more.

One new feature included for this update is Advanced Calling 1.0, which will give you VoLTE. VoLTE will allow you to place calls and use data at the same time, for those who are not familiar with it. So go ahead and download the update from the settings app and enjoy Lollipop.

Source: Verizon via Android Police

Google Will No Longer Require OEMs To Encrypt Lollipop Devices

Lollipops

Earlier this year, Google had announced that any manufacturer that has the intention of creating a device running Android 5.0 Lollipop would have to encrypt the device before it hits any user.

All of the Nexus devices had this feature enabled, but other devices receiving software updates are not being encrypted by default. With this change, it seems that Google is holding off on this requirement for the next version of Android.

Between the original announcement of Lollipop last fall and Google’s release of the hardware requirements in January, something changed. According to the Android Compatibility Definition, encryption is not required by default, but must be supported. Here is the section that is relevant:

“9.9 Full-Disk Encryption

If the device implementation has a lock screen, the device MUST support full-disk encryption of the application private data (/data partition) as well as the SD card partition if it is a permanent, non-removable part of the device. For devices supporting full-disk encryption, the full-disk encryption SHOULD be enabled all the time after the user has completed the out-of-box experience. While this requirement is stated as SHOULD for this version of the Android platform, it is very strongly RECOMMENDED as we expect this to change to MUST in the future versions of Android.”

With the change in stance, this allows new devices like the 2nd-generation Moto E to ship without default encryption. Indeed, even journalists currently at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona have noted that upcoming devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 were not encrypted (though that is not representative of the final version).

The change in the requirement of encryption by default is unknown, but it is probably due to the lagginess some users running Lollipop have experienced since installing the OS. Even the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 have been affected, so it’s likely Google is working on fixing that bug until mandating OEMs to have this feature by default.

Source: Google via Ars Technica

Seven stellar smartphones with Android 5.0 Lollipop you can buy right now

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is coming. HTC’s One M9 as well. Plus, the already unveiled LG G Flex 2 is just about ready to see daylight stateside. And then you have a slew of mid-rangers on the horizon, like Sony’s Xperia M4 Aqua, HTC’s Desire 626 and 826, or LG’s Magna – Spirit – Leon – Joy quartet. Not to forget Motorola’s respectable entry-level Moto E 2015.

Lollipops

What do these all have in common? Silky smooth, minimalistic, hopefully glitch-free pre-installed Android 5.0 Lollipop software. On the not so bright side, if you have an itch to scratch, and feel you’ll explode staying on KitKat any longer, none of the above can help you.

Sadly, their commercial releases, at least on American shores, are days, weeks, perhaps even months away in one or two cases. Fortunately, there are alternatives available today. Not as many as you hoped when Lollipop source code rolled out back in November, but still, we’re in double digit land. As in, tens of smartphone models around the world give you a chance to feast on 5.0 treats.

Android Lollipop

This side of the pond, of course, OEMs like LG and Samsung take their time sending out updates, often obstructed by bloatware-hungry, laggy carriers. Nonetheless, if you absolutely need to have Lollipop today, we’ve compiled a list of the top choices on sale via Amazon:

Samsung Galaxy S5 – $470 in factory unlocked international flavor

To avoid controversies, know we’ve arranged our 5.0 “magnificent seven” in no particular order. We’ve started with the GS5 not by chance though, but because it’s by far the top selling handheld on our list. Therefore, millions should be delighted to hear the Exynos version has recently scored Lollipop.

galaxy_s5_lollipop

Furthermore, up-to-date S5s can be purchased on Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. The white-coated Big Red model is a buck with contracts, the Now Network charges $80 and up for white, gold and black GS5s, and Magenta will settle for $530 on full retail when dealing directly with the “UnCarrier”.

Not too shabby for a water-resistant, fingerprint-scanning 5.1-inch Full HD beast packing 2 GB RAM and 2,800 mAh battery juice. Then again, maybe it’s time for Verizon, Sprint and AT&T to go free with pacts across the board.

HTC One M8 – $504 unlocked international version (no warranty)

Alas, even if it’s just as old as the Galaxy S5 and nowhere near as popular, the SIM-free One M8 remains mighty expensive. $730 with valid US warranty?! Forget it. We’d rather just tie ourselves to a 24-month carrier agreement on, say, Sprint. Why Sprint? Because AT&T and Verizon aren’t yet ready to offer 5.0 for this all-metal beaut.

htc-one-m8-lollipop

Besides, Amazon charges nada for the on-contract Now Network M8, making it one of the best Android deals around. Oddly enough, T-Mo, the other operator with Lollipop currently en route to the 5-inch device, no longer sells it online. Their loss.

HTC One M7 – $310 unlocked

Ah, the original, uber-handsome, Full HD, aluminum unibody HTC powerhouse. Okay, maybe it’s not such a powerhouse anymore. But it’s still gorgeous, decently zippy, a multitasking champ, thanks to 2 GB RAM, and all caught up software-wise “internationally”, as well as on Sprint.

HTC One_M7

Too bad the only way to jump on Sprint’s M7 bandwagon these days is through various Amazon third-party sellers. An option we can’t wholeheartedly recommend, especially with used and refurbished phones offered.

America’s number three (four?) service provider extends a glimmer of hope by listing the 4.7 incher as “out of stock” instead of nixing it entirely. But don’t hold your breath.

LG G3 – $395 factory unlocked international version

Once again, the no-warranty factor has to be taken into consideration when exploring an unlocked purchase. Overall, you’ll see it’s not worth it, particularly with the G3 unlikely to go “out of fashion” anytime soon.

LG G3 Lollipop

For crying out loud, we’re talking a 5.5-inch Quad HD titan here, with 75 percent screen, robust and elegant build materials, quad-core Snapdragon 801 oomph, 3 GB RAM, 3,000 mAh cell capacity, and 13 MP OIS dual-LED camera.

Plus, Android 5.0 Lollipop on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. No T-Mobile love? Not yet, but the circle should be completed in a matter of weeks. Days, maybe. The three contract specialists are all willing to practically gift you a G3, as long as you’ll stay committed to their networks for two whole years.

Moto X 2014 – $499.99 GSM unlocked

It’s weird, but Motorola may have chased too many rabbits at once, trying to spread Lollipop love all over the place and ultimately failing hard on the gadgets that mattered most. The Droid Turbo is still waiting, and that’s for all intents and purposes the OEM’s flagship.

moto-x-lollipop

The original Moto X is also stuck on KitKat, apparently because of its decrepit processor, and the second-gen X only made the step forward sans carrier obligations and on Verizon. Wait, we’re being informed AT&T is joining the exclusive party at long last. Hopefully, it’s not too late.

By the by, the Verizon X+1 edition starts at a penny, and AT&T’s take on the Full HD 5.2 incher is $50 and up. Bad AT&T!

Google Nexus 6 – $650 unlocked with 32 GB storage

If “pure”, vanilla Lollipop is what you’re after, you can’t go wrong with the N6. The same goes for sheer gargantuan size, beautiful Quad HD glass, and top-tier muscle. The downside is you may need to rob a bank to procure the money for the Nexus 6.

nexus-6-lollipop

Even with Sprint and AT&T pacts, this thing is pricey, at $200 and $180 respectively. And as much as this writer subjectively loves the cutting edge phablet, a few flaws are immediately apparent. Like underwhelming camera capabilities (for ultra-high-end standards), or microSD expansion absence.

Moto G second-generation – $180 unlocked

You didn’t really think we’d wrap this up without tackling at least a budget option, did you? The 2014 Motorola Moto G was the no-brainer choice as a low-cost listicle closer, somehow making $800, $700, even $600 gear feel ridiculous by comparison.

MOTO-G-2014

Sure, the mid-end 5 incher can’t hold a candle to its 2014 X cousin, the Nexus 6 or HTC One M8. But it packs so much respectable hardware for 180 bucks that its recent Lollipop promotion is the cherry on top of a guaranteed blockbuster appeal.

720p screen resolution. Quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 power. 1 GB RAM. 8 MP rear camera with LED Flash. 2 megapixel front snapper. 2,070 mAh battery. Shall we go on? Let’s not. We don’t want Samsung or HTC to get embarrassed about their sub-par, overpriced low to mid-end soldiers.

HTC One M7 Developer Edition Getting Android 5.0.2 And Sense 6

htc-one-m7-dev-edition-lollipop

On the same day as the Sprint variant is getting Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, the Developer Edition of the HTC One M7 is also getting Lollipop, specifically version 5.0.2.

It’s virtually the same as the Sprint version, except that it just has Sense overlaying Lollipop and has none of the bloatware.

Consistent leaker @LlabTooFeR spotted it first, stating that the ROM version is 7.17.1540.7, with the update coming in at 702.52 МВ.

With both the Developer and Sprint versions of the HTC One M7, it shouldn’t be long until Lollipop makes it way to the device on other carriers.

Source: LlabTooFeR and Tungbn91 via Android Police

The 2nd-gen Moto G Is The First Device Getting Lollipop

moto-g-lollipop

The 2nd-generation Moto G is now getting Lollipop. That is correct, the Nexus phones and tablets are not the first ones getting a major update this time.

This isn’t a soak test, but is the full release. The OTA update comes at a size of 386.7MB, a lot nimbler than some other platform’s updates.

Since Motorola’s UI is nearly stock, you should be getting most if not all of the features that Lollipop has to offer, including Material Design, lock screen notifications, Project Volta, and more.

With the 2nd-gen Moto G being the first out of the gate with a Lollipop update, other Motorola handsets should be getting their updates soon, along with the Nexus devices. If you have this device, go ahead and download Lollipop now.

Source: Ars Technica

New Android 5.0 Lollipop Preview Available For The Nexus 5 and Nexus 7

Android 5.0 Lollipop

Android 5.0 Lollipop

With the Nexus 7 and Nexus 9 soon arriving in customers’ hands, developers need to update their apps for the new Android Lollipop. Since developers won’t be getting those devices earlier, Google has released a new developer preview for the Nexus 5 and Wifi Nexus 7.

This is not the final build of Android Lollipop, so if you are going to flash it to your device, do not expect it to run perfectly on your device. So unless you want to deal with bugs, avoid flashing this preview onto your main phone or tablet.

The final version will possibly be available on Wifi-only devices on November 5th, so if you have a Wifi-only Nexus 7, it would be easier to wait for the final version to be properly released. If you’re feeling brave though, go ahead and download the preview to flash your phone or tablet.

Source: Android Developers via Android Central