10 Things You Can Do with Android Lollipop that You Can’t With KitKat

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on April 15, 2015, How To Guides

An operating system update is generally a good thing. Usually, we get more speed, more stability and sometimes less memory use as well. Not only that though, we get a whole heap of new, cool features. Android’s newest 5.0 Lollipop release is full of sweet little things that you might not know about, and is capable of doing far more than the older 4.0 KitKat version. Whether you’ve already downloaded the update, or you’re eagerly anticipating it, here’s a list of our top ten favourite things that Lollipop can do that KitKat can’t…

Tap and Go

Right at the top of our list we’ve got our very favourite and awesomest feature on Lollipop- the ability to tap and go. Getting a new phone is exciting, but then there’s the nightmare of setting the thing up, transferring info and signing into all your accounts. With Lollipop that’s not going to be a problem any more. As long as both devices are NFC capable, when you fire up your new phone you’ll be given the option to tap and go, and by placing your old device next to your new one all your Google account information, settings, apps, wallpapers and widgets will be automatically transferred over. Sweet, right?

Lock Screen Notifications

Secondly, and this is a big deal for many users, Lollipop now allows you to get notifications on your lock screen. Not only that though, but you can also interact with your notifications. You’ll be notified of a message or email, and double tapping on the lock screen notification will take you into the relevant app (you will need to enter your security code if you have one set up). You can also delete or clear notifications from the lock screen. Don’t want anyone seeing your private messages when your phone is locked? You can choose which notifications appear on your lock screen under the Settings, Sound and Notification, When Device is Locked menu.

Use a Torch

Torch and flashlight apps are so popular these days that Android have just decided to include their own on the new 5.0 OS version. As long as there’s an LED flash next to your camera you can pull down the notification bar and then tap the top bar to be presented with a list of options that includes a flashlight setting. No more downloading third party apps.

Stop Nosey Parkers (or Kids)

Lollipop also comes with a new feature called screen pinning. This basically allows you to lock your phone to one screen or app, so if you hand it to someone else they won’t be able to access anything else on your phone. Great for letting your kids play Candy Crush on your device without letting them make international calls by accident… You’ll need to activate screen pinning by going to Settings, Security and Screen Pinning. Then when you want to use it, open the app you want, then open a multi tasking window (the one that shows you a slideshow of all currently running apps) and drag the pin to the app you want to pin. Simple.

Prioritise Your Apps

Don’t want to be woken up by Facebook messages but don’t want to miss an emergency phone call? Then prioritise your apps, letting your phone know which apps can send notifications and which should be silenced. Go to Settings, Sound and Notification, App Notifications, then mark each app as blocked or priority. Then hit the volume button on your phone to put it in priority mode (you’ll see a star on the status bar) and only prioritised apps will buzz or ring until you go back to normal mode.

More Battery Info

Tapping on the battery icon on your status bar will now tell you approximately how much time you have remaining in your battery, as well as an estimate of how long it will take to fully charge your phone if it’s plugged in. Simple, but neat.

Add Profiles or Guests

You can now add different user profiles to your phone (such as a business or personal one) that allow you to separate contacts and apps, as well as adding a guest profile (maybe one for your kids that includes only access to kid friendly apps). Pull down your status bar and tap on the little person icon on the top right, and you’ll be able to add a profile quickly and easily.

Use Chromecast Faster

Yes, there’s a Chromecast app for Android, but with Lollipop you don’t need to worry about all that, since support is built in. Just pull down the status bar and hit the Cast Screen button to connect to your Chromecast and start screen casting. Easy.

Better Device Searching

Okay, you could search your device before Lollipop, but the search function has improved so much that KitKat and Lollipop really don’t compare. Need to find something in a rush? Not sure which menu a particular setting is under? Just hit the magnifying glass icon under your Settings menu and you’ll find what you need fast.

Trusted Devices Option

And finally, there’s an awesome new option to add trusted devices to your network. Basically, you go into your Settings menu, hit Security then Smart Lock, and you’ll be able to add certain Bluetooth or NFC devices as “trusted.” These devices will automatically then be able to disable the lock screen on your phone when they connect. Why would you want this? If you don’t want to mess around with unlocking your phone when you’re in the car, or when you’re at home, but you want your phone locked when you’re out in public.

Android 5.0 Lollipop is a big step up from KitKat, and there’s a bunch of new things to get used to, including sharper visuals and better graphics. But Lollipop is also designed to make your life easier, and these ten tips are our faves when it comes to new features.

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