May 25, 2015
Smartphone technologies have become ubiquitous in modern American culture and, as that trend continues, more and more nations around the world come into similar patterns. Over the past year alone, Smartphone sales in India have seen a massive 186 percent growth, according to a recent IDC report. Seventy-eight percent of the sales were acquired through Smartphones priced below the $200 mark. Deeply tapping into this market where Smartphone technology is not as prevalent is considered by many manufactures to be where “the next billion” will be made.
Alongside that, Google’s development of the Android One, a Smartphone platform designed to be affordable in developing nations while still capable of running advanced operating systems, has provided manufacturers with a blueprint for producing low-cost phones with high-quality usability. Google has referred to the device as “a comprehensive solution to address the mobile computing needs of those in emerging markets.”
The Next Step
As Google races toward Smartphone supremacy over Apple, new OS updates are constantly developed to improve upon existing technology, hence the release of Lollipop 5.0 and the eventual patches of 5.0.1 and 5.0.2. Unfortunately though, not all devices have received this upgrade as of yet. Currently the Internet is abuzz with updates on which devices are next to receive the new update.
While only certain devices have received the new Lollipop 5.0 operating system, Google is already moving forward, releasing in March Lollipop 5.1 which aims to correct a series of bugs that are problematic in the current edition, improve stability, performance, and overall battery life. While most of the changes to the system are behind the scenes, there are some key features for users to get excited about:
- Enhanced Priority Mode – First introduced with the arrival of 5.0, Priority Mode can be set to silence certain alerts to ensure that no interruptions occur at inconvenient times. Priority Mode has now been improved to be set for an indefinite amount of time, or until the user’s next alarm.
- Better Quick-Settings Menu – Wi-Fi and Bluetooth selection and usability have been increased as well. Drop down arrows have been placed next to the buttons that house connections listings and placed within the quick-settings menu.
- Screen Pinning Option – This feature ensures a device’s security while someone else uses it. The way this feature works is it locks the phone into an application type state where the person using the phone cannot exit and continue to use the phone without the proper PIN.
- Additional Security – A “Device Protection” feature ensures that if a person’s phone is stolen, the hardware is rendered completely unusable after a factory reset has occurred. The only way to get the device to operate again is by using the owners Google account login information.
- Increased Animations – New icons and animations can be found all throughout the new OS, providing a more playful and engaging experience.
So with all of these great new features, a Lollipop 5.1.1 preparing to rollout, and the majority of Android users still awaiting the 5.0 update, who exactly is receiving the benefit of this updated operating system?
Where are the Lollipop 5.1 Users?
By in large, it seems that the first market to receive the update was overseas. Over the past several months, it appears that Android One devices developed for emerging marketplaces have been the first to be equipped with the new OS after Google updated the Android One website to reflect the change back in February. In the update, although not announced at the time, Google branded the site to state, “Introducing Android One. Fast and responsive smartphones running the latest version of Android, Lollipop 5.1.”
Since then the rollout of 5.1 has begun to effect several variations of Nexus devices, Motorola devices, and a small handful of others. Recently, Samsung reported a push to bring the new Android operating system to the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge platforms.
The rollout of Lollipop 5.0 and its successors has moved at a much slower pace than the initial KitKat rollout, leaving some individuals frustrated with an out-of-date operating system.
As Google furthers ambitions across the globe with the release of Android One to accommodate a growing market with up-to-date software, the operating system itself grows in leaps and bounds. The original Android Smartphone system “Cupcake” has been reimagined, and reimagined again, to achieve an OS that is now leaving the realm of Smartphones and beginning to integrate with other platforms such as tablets, laptops, and even televisions. The production of low-cost phones and high-quality software has seemingly given Google the edge overseas that it will undoubtedly seek to bring back to the States.
Is your device operating off of the new Lollipop 5.1 update? What upgraded features do you find most useful and what areas still have sizeable room for improvement?
Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.