Android users! Remember a few months ago when iOS 8 was released, and your Twitter feed was filled with the giddy anticipation, frustrations, and fraternizing of iPhone users chattering about their new mobile OS? Well, now it’s our time! Sorta! Android 5.0 (aka Lollipop) is ready for its slow, eventual rollout. Lolli is already available in damn-near-stock flavors on the latest generation of Nexus devices, some of the latest Google Play Editions, and a handful of Motorola handsets. All the major manufactures have vaguely promised that the update will come out in the next few months. Unlike Apple, which has full control over its hardware and software, the Androidiverse is far more fractured. After Google unveils the new OS code, it must be fitted to each unique handset’s hardware and chipset. Then each manufacturer feels the need to plaster on its own unique skin along with a healthy injection of undeletable bloatware. Then the carriers have to test the phone—as they do for every update on every phone—to make sure it will work properly on their network. Anyways, Android rollouts are a bit messy! But one of Android’s greatest faults may also be an asset! There are many different flavors of the OS across so many different manufacturers. This gives Google a lot of ideas to pick from to add to its stock Android platform. As you’ll see in our slideshow of cool new features in Lollipop, there are a lot of new standard features that were previously available on only one Android manufacturer (and even some “inspired” by features in iOS). Democracy! Or something. Note: These features were tested on a Nexus 9 tablet, which runs Android more or less as Google envisioned it. Some features might not be available on your device or function in the same way.
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