As product marketing names go, Android 4.5 Lollipop — welcome, suckers! — is perhaps less than optimal. Nevertheless there's a lot good stuff coming…

As product marketing names go, Android 4.5 Lollipop — welcome, suckers! — is perhaps less than optimal. That obvious bit of foolishness covered, Google’s next mobile operating system will, at the very least, be introduced to developers (and the world). What’s new in Android 4.5 Lollipop? Plenty…

And, before we get any further, the name “lollipop” is the internet community’s best guess as to what the letter “L” will stand for. Alternately, “L” could stand for lutefisk, which is a tasty if not sweet snack food.

So, what’s new in Android 4.5 Lollipop? First up is a “new” (ie if you’ve never seen iOS 7) user interface style called Moonshine, which is flatter and more colorful than KitKat and earlier versions of Android.

Various sources say navigation buttons are cleaner and generally sport a minimalist appearance. This looks, depending who you want to believe, less cluttered and/or more like iOS 7.

Additional new features in Android 4.5 Lollipop:

— Navigation bar is now bright red (ie not grey)
— Menu backgrounds are also a red shade
— Updated onscreen buttons, including a new Home button
— Updated Chrome-based browser with greatly improved HTML5 support
— Improved Android to PC and vice versa transitions a la Continuity in Apple’s iOS

While iPhone and iPad users will no doubt point and shout that Google is “ripping off Apple again,” it’s just as true that iOS 8 borrows generously from Android. And, honestly, at this stage in the mobile computer game that is the way it should.

Seriously, the spirited competition that exists between Apple, Google and Microsoft, as well as Amazon, Blackberry, Mozilla, etc, is really what Android 4.5 Lollipop is all about…

What’s your take?


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