Lollipop's new features sweeten the Android experience

If you have not already heard, Microsoft recently announced that it will finally be dropping the Nokia branding from their smartphones. Moving forward, their line of Windows Phones will be known as Microsoft Lumia. This isn't shocking news, as it seemed inevitable from the time Microsoft purchased Nokia back in April 2014.

While this may not seem to have anything to do with Android matters, it is still an interesting topic of discussion as it signifies the end of an era that once seemed untouchable. On the other hand, it is arguable that the rise of operating systems (OS) like the iOS and Android is what led to Nokia's eventual fall from glory.

The dropping of the Nokia name will definitely invoke nostalgic memories for many of us, whether we have ever owned any of their devices or not. I grew up during Nokia's glory days, although I never personally owned any of their devices. I was a staunch Sony Ericsson supporter, but the majority of my friends were die-hard Nokia fans. I did not like the Nokia brand partly because their phones were too mainstream back then, but I did secretly admire some of the models that they had to offer back in the day. Models like the 3310 and the N95 were such revolutionary masterpieces that many will appreciate their existence even to this day.

There are many reasons why Nokia's fortune may have nose-dived the way that it did, but in my opinion, one of the more prominent reasons was their delayed response in embracing change. In a market that wanted touchscreen smartphones with an ecosystem relying on apps, they stuck on with the Symbian OS for longer than they should, and lost many of their users to iOS and Android devices.

Nokia's fall from power is a valuable lesson for every business that nothing should be taken for granted. In order to survive, change and progress is vital.

Biggest Android update in 3 years

Change and progress is indeed what we are receiving in the Android world. Most of you who follow tech news will know that Google had earlier announced the next version of Android at the Google I/O in June 2014.

While Google did not give an official name to the next version of the OS back then, merely referring to it as Android L, we now know that the L is known as Lollipop and is finally on the verge of being released.

The latest version of the Google OS will be the biggest Android update in three years. The last few OS update announcements have all been incremental updates to the Jelly Bean version of Android, running from version 4.0 to 4.4 in that span.

This update brings a long list of new features and improvements to the table, but the following are a few that have caught my attention.

One of the main changes to the Android ecosystem with Lollipop will be Material Design, which will be the new design language across Android and Google as a whole. According to Google, Material Design is a comprehensive guide for visual, motion, and interaction design across platforms and devices. Aside from the use of eye catching pastel colours, Material Design is meant to impress by using transitions and animation to make the apps more appealing and engaging to users. This has actually been rolled out slowly to existing Google Apps, regardless of whether you're on the latest version or not. The most obvious example will be the Google Play Store and Chrome browser, which are noticeably different visually. Expect to see more apps to get this face lift in the coming weeks and months.

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