Google describe the latest version of their mobile operating system as one of the biggest upgrades to Android to date, and with a brand new design, a raft of brand new API’s and much more I thought i’d pick out some of the changes it brings that we might find useful in the Enterprise market.  This is what I found!

Seamless cross device experience

Whilst not strictly an enterprise feature, extending the OS across more device types like TV sets, casting apps and more means that your end users will find their data capture tool far more familiar.  Pick up a tablet or a phone now and they’re pretty much identical devices to use which will have an impact on training and general acceptance of new hardware.

Notifications

Notifications on Android were always pretty good but in v5.0 it’s getting a complete overhaul.  You can adjust notifications and apps you want to see based on the time, contact importance and more and the lock screen has become at one with notifications so you can now see exactly what’s going on without having to swipe into the phone itself. If this is something that developers can use then it could be a very nice way to keep in touch with your drivers or to update them of changes to their daily plan without them having to fiddle with their phone on the move.

Notifications also look really nice, popping in and sliding the current app out of the screen creating far better focus to the alert.

Android is more seamless across multiple device types

Android is more seamless across multiple device types

App dependency

It’s already easy to share information between apps in Android but Lollipop brings a new emphasis on this making it very easy for apps to work together with each other.  An example i’ve seen is launching an app from your web browser instead of going to a mobile link which right now I can see loads of great uses for.

Android wear integration

With Lollipop Android is now presenting all kinds of new APIs designed to tie in Android wearable tech with it’s core operating system and already we’re seeing the use of these gadgets being integrated more tightly into some innovative features. For example your phone can now recognise any device connected to it and change it’s behaviour accordingly. You won;t be asked to unlock your phone /if you’re wearing a watch for example and you can even tie devices together for better security of your system or app. I think we’re only in the dawn of wearable tech but I also think it’s where our mobile devices are heading and business and enterprise needs to keep up with the big changes on the horizon to the way we use mobile data.

Battery life & Performance

Battery is right up there in the top 3 requirements for businesses and “Project Volta” ensures new emphasis is put on battery usage in Android 5.  Firstly the API will now show you a far more detailed view of what is using your battery power which should mean developers can plug any gaps in the power drains their apps might have.  Battery saver mode is also a way you can save your battery by up to 90 minutes by switching off anything none-essential.  I know personally how useful the Samsung version of this can be but if it’s built into a rugged device natively via Android this could be a real help to get through the last few hours of a shift.

However changes to the OS itself have also made it over 33% power efficient so we should see Android devices becoming inherently more economic when it comes to sipping their battery juice!

You can add to this that Android now also compiles and puts together your apps far better.  So much so that they’re claiming a 50% increase in general performance and this is despite the battery savings above.

We do like Android here at RAM and I especially have found myself preferring Android phones for business for 2 years now.  Android is here in the rugged market and with this latest version I think they’ve taken a big step in the right direction when it comes to the enterprise.