Android Lollipop Preview build LPX13D hands on

Google today released the second version of Android L Preview. The latest version of Android is build LPX13D and since two days we now officially know that  “L” is Lollipop.  We’ve been playing around with the build on the Nexus 5 one of two devices for which the second Preview has been released. First of all, as we discovered several days ago, the debug icon, is the one we spotted, you can see it in the top left corner.

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During the setup it’s already clear Material design is much more available in the OS than in the previous preview release. You’re immediately welcomed with a Material design on the Wifi setup screen.  Something we haven’t seen before is that Android Lollipop  allows transferring backups of Google accounts and apps by holding your old and next phone next to each other (when applicable).

The entire installation is in the new material design language, in contrary to the previous “L” Preview. The previous preview version still contained a lot of Android as previous versions, that has changed with this release.

During the Wifi setup I was unable to use WPS which allows to connect the phone to a router with the click of a button. When the phone has started the WPS option is available under Wifi -> Advanced -> WPS Push button.

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In the settings of the topbar there is now also a “Flashlight option” which means you no longer have to install an app to use your camera flash as a flashlight.

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The preview version comes with hardly any Google apps pre-installed. Nevertheless, we installed lots of them including Maps, Google+, Youtube, Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, Photos. The apps are consistently in the new Material design layout and look great. Overall the second version of Android L Preview looks polished and is a clear preview of the path Google is taking.

Android Lollipop  feels incredibly fast and smooth on the Nexus 5, which is great considering the Nexus 5 is a relative cheap device, you really get bang for your buck and Lollipop gives you the impression you’re getting a bonus from Google.

The possibility to add additional users to Android  will be a great feature for those who want to use their phone for both personal and business. The lock screen now also shows the currently logged in user.
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The power save feature that automatically kicks in a set percentage of the battery was also already available in the previous preview but has been a lifesaver several times for me. The feature considerably slows down the phone, but has never left me in the cold before I got home to charge the phone. In the meanwhile I could still receive and make phone calls.

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In the settings screen we also find a Tap to Pay feature, unfortunately something we’re not able to test. According to the document this feature is available on all Nexus and Google Play edition devices (except for the LG G Pad 8.3 Play Edition).

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Google has also added an easter egg to this version, when you click the Android version several times, you get the Lollipop animation. If you long click the Lollipop you’ll get a Flappy Bird like game. In this case there isn’t a bird, but a green Android that has to get around large Lollipops.

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Also the new notifications are an improvement. It’s possible to open notifications from the lockscreen, in order to prevent accidental clicks, you need to double tap them to open them. Of course in the regular screens a single tap still works.  If you don’t want any sound or buzzes from notifications you can disable them for a set amount of time or until you switch the feature off.

Overall the OS feels incredibly fast and stable. Although Google doesn’t recommended to use it in production, we’ve already used the previous preview for months and never had any issues. We’ll continue to use this second preview the coming time too.