Thoughts: Lollipop Madness

Just last week if I remember correctly, Google announced the next version of the Android Operating System, Android 5.0 Lollipop. It follows last years’ KitKat, which is somewhat like Windows 8 in Microsoft analogy. Lollipop, is the next major overhaul change since Ice Cream Sandwich, boasting more flatter design called Material design (this trend must have started 2-3 years ago… so familiar…), performance and stability boost, better notification handling, “better” multitasking (which is just, you know, a visual upgrade), and other small, under-the-hood improvements. This update can be like Windows 10 in Microsoft analogy.

Now, let me talk about a couple of things concerning this news.

The name. I was kinda bummed here. They obviously chose the most obvious of all sweet things! I thought Key Lime Pie was already great, which turned out to be version 4.4 KitKat. They should have continued the trend that starts with Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean. Not only those are not that remotely popular (for all around the world; reality check), they are also unique, so Lollipop broke that sacred naming convention. About KitKat, don’t ask why.

This part is terrible. Why the heck is it that when it comes to its design, the irony is that it doesn’t even come to the low-end devices, and more importantly, those old flagship devices, where it is needed the most? It was designed to be more optimized in lesser memory, have a more efficient, faster binary runtime that requires lesser memory (in the form of ART), better battery optimization in the form of baked-in greenify-like feature in the system, and for ART that’s supposed to lessen processing load.

So, clearly it carried the banner that started with KitKat that said lesser fragmentation and uniformity across devices. Wait, that is the supposed intention? Then why is my Galaxy Nexus isn’t supported? They missed a great chance to explore the power and possibilities of these new operating systems by making them available to those not-so-old, capable devices.

Now, reasons for these are apparently obvious – Galaxy Nexus having no updated drivers for the kernel, OEM and carriers not updating older devices, unavailability of support for third-party hardwares, low storage spaces for older devices because ART takes more space (which can be solved through external storage), money and profitability – but not taking the chance to let these perfectly capable devices, these very same devices that gets the most benefit, to get a lick and suck to the oh, so delicious Lollipop (It wasn’t made intentionally perverse in anyway), felt kinda frustrating. It could have cement more footings for android; it could have benefit Google and its partners, the developers, the whole freaking ecosystem.

Community developers had made KitKat to work with Galaxy Nexus, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did the same thing for Lollipop.

And, some of the initial roll-up for Lollipop is the new devices that come with it (obviously) which is the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, and coming weeks later are Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Moto X, and even freaking Nexus 7. Yeah, that device from 2 years ago, earlier than Nexus 4. See the possibility?

This is a long post, actually a rant post, which is unusual for me, but this is just a side effect of my excitement on this Android release. Especially on the thought that my Galaxy Nexus could get Lollipop after it was given a new breath of life lately through community developed updated kernel and drivers. I’d continue to watch the community from the shadows and maybe I can share more information regarding these events.