Google has officially launched the latest version of its operating system for smartphones and tablets, giving the new 64-bit version the name Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Google has traditionally labelled each version of Android alphabetically and, in turn, given each of them a confectionary-themed codename beginning with that letter. Past versions of Android have included 1.5 Cupcake (release C), 1.6 Donut (D), 2.0 Eclair (E), 2.2 Froyo (F), 2.3 Gingerbread (G), 3.0 Honeycomb (H), 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (I), 4.1–4.3 Jelly Bean (J) and 4.4 KitKat (K).
In turn, Google has placed a statue representing each version of Android at its corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California:
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In this tradition, the latest version of Android, 5.0, is release “L” and has been given the codename Lollipop.
The release, first demonstrated at the Google I/O developer conference, is built around a new design language called “Material”, which the company says will integrate its user interface across Android devices, its Chrome web browser, and online services.
Android 5.0 Lollipop gives users the ability to block notifications from certain apps or people at certain times, and displays notifications directly on the lock screen. It also supports multiple user accounts on the same device, and includes a feature called Project Volta that Google claims can extend a device’s battery life by up to 90 minutes.
Under the hood, 5.0 Lollipop is the company’s first 64-bit mobile operating system, with the Dalvik app runtime environment ditched in favour of ART and including over 5000 new APIs for app developers.
For developers and businesses with apps, Google says it will roll out the official software development kit over the coming days and has updated its official Android Developers website with information about the new release.
For its part, Motorola has already committed to rolling out an upgrade to recent Android smartphones, including Moto X (1st and 2nd Gen), Moto G (1st and 2nd Gen), Moto G with 4G LTE, Moto E, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini.