Friday, 9 January 2015

Quick Review: Android 5.0 Lollipop @ Nexus 7

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'll cover the tablet-specific aspects of Lollipop, and Android in general, in this post.

Before I go any further into this review, I'd like to make something clear. I own an Asus Nexus 7 (2013) which was bought within a week of its announcement in August 2013. As I will elaborate further on in another post that's in the pipeline, you should never buy Day 1 products. 

My tablet has serious touchscreen sensitivity issues, where it will register ghost touches or not register it at all when I tap something. As a result, I don't use it as much as I would like to. Regardless, I will write up what I've personally noticed, but be warned that it won't be as complete as I would like.

How It Looks...

Over the years, Android's tablet UI has undergone some pretty drastic changes. In 3.x Honeycomb, the Holo design language was introduced, and a very Tron-esque look prevailed. This was pared back in 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and gradually phased out in favour of Material Design in 5.0.

Up until recently, Android tablets had a dual-panel settings layout, where you could scroll through the settings on the left and interact with individual settings on the right. This is gone in Lollipop, replaced by full-screen menus. 

Some people might lament this change, others welcome it. I've yet to fully make my mind up about it. It was definitely the better option for tablets such as the Nexus 7, but I'm not so sure about larger tablets.

How It Feels...

I could say "smoooth", but that isn't quite true. There are definitely a good few instances when I'm using my Nexus 7 that it slows down a bit, or is quite jerky. However, Lollipop has definitely improved some things, such as the Recents menu opening speed. Before, there would be a good 2 second delay between my tapping the icon and it opening, and it now happens virtually instantly.

How It Disappoints...

I had a set of things I was disappointed with long before Lollipop arrived on the scene. My list is largely unchanged, with only one or two minor annoyances scratched off the list, such as the Recents menu speed boost.

No, the bigger problem is that my device is not as good as it should be, and that, I'm afraid, is not something that I can do anything at all about.

Should I Upgrade...?

Yes, without a doubt. Now that Android 5.0.1 has begun to roll out, there is absolutely no reason not to upgrade. My issues have more to do with me not being a smart buyer rather than any specific fault of Lollipop or the Nexus 7 in general.

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