Every Google Android update is always a big deal as it brings a wealth of new features and software services designed to improve the operating system's user experience.
For example, in 2012 when Google unveiled Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Google added restrictive profile, Bluetooth Smart and OpenGL ES 3.0 support.
One year on the firm followed this up with Android 4.4 KitKat, which in turn added a upgraded user interface, enhanced voice command powers and reworked dialler app that lets users search using Google servers for publicly listed numbers they don't currently have stored on their phone.
Now, with Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google has added a reworked "Material" design and notifications system. From a pure user experience perspective these additions are very positive.
The Material design aims to make the OS simpler to use, and replaces Android KitKat's user interface with a flatter one similar to that of Apple's iOS 7. The upgrade also allows Android's UI to mimic depth by adding new shadow effects.
The reworked notifications system improves Android's already impressive system by granting increased management powers. For example, on Android Lollipop users can now view and manage incoming notifications from the lockscreen.
However, for me they mask the best features of Android 5.0 Lollipop; its Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) Enforcing mode and enhanced encryption services.
SELinux is a nifty technology originally developed by the US National Security Agency. It boosts Android 5.0's security services by adding enhanced sandboxing and management powers to the OS. The feature lets IT managers set up a protected area on the phone that can be managed without affecting the user's personal data.
Past Android versions have had the ability to encrypt data, but have required users to activate the feature. Android 5.0 adds more developed encryption protocols and turns the feature on by default - meaning out of the box any device running Android 5.0 Lollipop will encrypt data stored on and passing through it.
These are the real upgrades people should care about. It's been known for some time criminals are interested in getting smartphone data. After all, why wouldn't they?
Nowadays we use our smartphones for everything from handling work email, to managing our personal finances - meaning useful data like our bank account details are there for the taking on unprotected devices.
Worse still, as shown by the Edward Snowden PRISM leaks, government departments are also interested in collecting data from smartphones.
Tech professionals, and Snowden himself, have listed encryption as a key way companies and the general public can protect themselves from these threats.
This is because, with encryption, unless the data thief or snoop has the key used, even if criminals or spooks get the data from a smartphone they won't be able to read it.
So for me the encryption and management features of Android 5.0 Lollipop are the most important enhancements Google's ever made to the mobile OS and I can't wait to get my hands on it come its release later this year.
For a more in-depth look at Android 5.0 Lollipop check out V3's top best features round-up.
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