Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop update was announced as Android 4.4 KitKat’s successor in June at Google I/O 2014. Here is a brief comparison between Lollipop and KitKat.

Google has now updated its Nexus devices to Android 5.0 Lollipop, and the new update has some differences between itself and Google’s older update, Android 4.4 KitKat.

Without holding the suspense, let’s get into the differences.

Capacitive touch buttons

With Lollipop, you’ll notice that Google has changed the capacitive touch buttons. The circular arrow of KitKat (the back button) has been replaced by a triangle in Lollipop; the middle button, known for screen switching, has been replaced by a circle; the app switcher button has been replaced by a single square (not two overlapping rectangles).

Google search bar

The Google search bar, once transparent in KitKat, has now turned fully white in Android 5.0 Lollipop — with the voice command symbol turning from white to dark gray.

Icons

The icons have changed in Android 5.0 Lollipop as compared to Android 4.4 KitKat. Although Google changed some of KitKat’s icons before releasing the Lollipop update, we see these changes as celebratory of Android 5.0 Lollipop instead of characteristic of Android 4.4 KitKat.

For example, the Gmail icon, the red “M” inside the envelope in Android KitKat, has given way to a full red M that is now completely on the outside of the envelope. Additionally, the design for Gmail has been more simplified in Android 5.0 Lollipop than it was in Android 4.4 KitKat.

Android-5.0-icons

The Google Keep icon has been given a fresh coat of paint: whereas it showcased a former yellow post-it icon look in Android 4.4 KitKat has given way to a more orange background with a white light bulb instead of a gray one.

The settings icon, once gray with a white circle in Android 4.4 KitKat, has given way to a blue icon with a green and gray circle in Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Google Maps, which looks like a brochure in Android KitKat, has now been flattened in Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Google Contacts, once showing skeuomorphic detail (person image, and some lines to the right for that real-to-life look of a typical contact card) has now been completely removed in Android 5.0 Lollipop and replaced with a person image behind a solid blue background.

Google Play Music, Google Calendar, Clock, Calculator, Email, Play Games, Play Books, Play Newsstand, Play Store, and Play Movies have all seen some small cosmetic changes in Android 5.0 Lollipop. In most cases, Google has followed Apple and redesigned Android’s icons to reflect a more flat, contemporary look.

Photos

In Lollipop Gallery app has been replaced by the Photos app. Now, you can manage your Google+ photos, albums, and videos with the Photos app.

Chrome Tabs

In Android 4.4 KitKat, Google bundled Chrome tabs together such that you could see only one tab when selecting recent apps that would represent Chrome.

Now in Android 5.0 Lollipop, each Chrome tab is represented as a separate app in recent apps. Here’s where we see the strength behind Google’s dominance in Web: the Mountain View, California company, through this Chrome change, is informing and educating consumers about the nature of websites. Each website is an application (or app, for short), which explains why mobile apps can easily convert online into full desktop websites.

Drop-down notification window

The location and Wi-Fi icons remains the same in Lollipop as it was in KitKat, but flashlight and cast screen icons has now been included into settings that are accessible from the new drop-down window in Lollipop. The Bluetooth and Airplane Mode icons have been given slight tweaks, but Auto Rotate, once turning to “rotation locked” when locked, now becomes “portrait” when activated in Lollipop.

Android-5-Lollipop-2

The brightness setting has been transformed from an icon to a left to right adjuster that can now be shifted from left to right.The battery and settings icons, once part of the settings squares, can be found at the top right of the drop-down window. In general, notifications and settings, once divided into two windows that could be activated on different sides of the drop-down window, are now accessible in one long window. The drop-down window is also longer than it was in Android KitKat.

Settings page

The settings page, once featuring a black background in Android KitKat, is now white in Lollipop — and the white and black icons on the settings page have been replaced by green and white icons.

When you dive into the sound settings, you will find that Google has condensed its volumes settings into the sound settings, resulting in a “sound & notifications” setting that kills two birds with one stone.

Easter Egg

Android 5.0 Lollipop has brought some new cosmetic changes to Android, but Google, as to be expected, has emerged with a new hidden treat in the middle of all the useful changes.

Whereas Android KitKat featured a white K that, when pressed, turns into a KitKat screen that says “Android” and can be further pressed to show the various update icons (doughnut, éclair, froyo, gingerbread, honeycomb, ice cream sandwich, and jelly bean), Android Lollipop now features a new Easter Egg: a lollipop that, after changing colors, turns into a game that is Google’s own spin on Flappy Bird.

In the game, as with Dong Nguyen’s famous game that had you jumping between and past green tunnels, Google’s got you jumping between and past lollipops of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Let’s see if you can beat our score!

There are some slight changes in Android 5.0 Lollipop, but we wanted to cover a great majority of the major changes you’d notice between Android KitKat and Android Lollipop.

Are there some other changes you’ve noticed in Lollipop? If so, let us know.

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