Android 5, aka Lollipop, demonstrates Google's commitment to providing a better mobile experience. Its paper-like aesthetic keeps the OS consistent with Google's Web apps. Better power management, a more vibrant interface, and increased responsiveness make Lollipop a worthwhile upgrade.
Intuitive layout: Android 5.0's new card-style layout makes it intuitive and efficient to switch between apps. Notification ribbons provide alerts without being intrusive. Built on Google's Material Design principles, menus and apps are vibrant, colorful, and paper-like -- similar to Google's Web apps.
Multiple users: Android finally allows guest accounts. Use separate accounts or the pinning feature, which locks your device into a single app, so you can share your phone or tablet without privacy concerns. Each user can customize the look and feel of their experience, as well as install and run separate app environments.
Battery life: Lollipop has been optimized to better manage energy, and it provides a history list of the most energy-draining apps. Even older devices like the Nexus 5 will see a bump in battery life.
Speed: Apps and processes launch noticeably faster in Lollipop, thanks to the new Android RunTime (ART). This responsiveness is most apparent in system-intensive apps like games and multimedia tools.
Bloatware removal: With Lollipop, you can now remove space-hogging, carrier-specific bundled apps.
Space eater: The new ART environment supports faster processes at the expense of disk space. Be sure to opt for more storage (built-in or expandable) if you're buying a new device.
Rolling updates: Lollipop is currently available only to those running Nexus devices. Motorola, Samsung, and HTC users should expect Android 5.0 by year's end. Everyone else will have to wait till early 2015.
Lollipop is the biggest Android update in years. For its enhanced interface and optimized features, we recommend that anyone with Lollipop-capable devices make the upgrade.