Should You Lollipop?

Every OS upgrade brings a plethora of changes, whether it be on PC or Smartphone. Google’s Android is the leading Smartphone OS worldwide and each release brings a lot of enhancements, performance boost and truckload of features. Lollipop, the latest version of Android is now running on millions of handsets, replacing its predecessor – Kitkat.

There is no denying Google has packed Android Lollipop with oodles of enhancements and features. However, there a number of issues with the Lollipop that may prompt you to stick with Kitkat rather than upgrade your devices to the new iteration for the moment.

Also See: How To Get Task Switcher Like Lollipop On Any Android Device

Reasons to Stick with Kitkat

Android Lollipop has a sleeker and more colorful UI than Kitkat and the new material design is absolutely drool-worthy too. The support for device encryption may seem a boon for security conscious users.

Despite the enhancements, Google’s newest mobile OS is not without its share of bugs and flaws. Reports of Lollipop affecting performance of user devices and bugs requiring a fix are surfacing ever since Google started Lollipop rollout.

Here are a few factors that you may consider before upgrading your Android tablet or Smartphone to Lollipop.

Battery Life Woes

Image : technobuzz

There is no denying the biggest stumbling block of smartphones is battery life. Even as manufacturers pack in large capacity batteries in their new devices, the HD display and ever rising screen resolutions continue to deplete batteries equally fast!

For users on the move, a Smartphone with enhanced battery life is a big boon, for sure. Despite Google promising the benefits of Project Volta optimizations, it has not reflected well in real world scenarios. Some Android devices including the LG G3 and Nexus 5 have been reportedly suffering from poor battery performance post Lollipop upgrade.

In fact, some LG G3 users have also grudged about slow charging issues after upgrading their Android devices.

Less Streamlined Lock Screen

Image : Phandroid

Android Lollipop can show various notifications to the device’s lock screen. This may not be an advantage for all users, especially those who are privacy conscious. It may not be ideal that anybody picking your tablet or phone can see the alerts on the screen.

Though you can still selectively hide sensitive content. As it is, Kitkat offers a less crowded lock screen.

Multitasking Matters!

Image : T3

A lot of Android users need to multitask. You may feel like watching a YouTube video while some apps are downloading from Google Play in the background, for example. In both Kitkat and Lollipop, multitasking is possible, but the way has changed.

In Lollipop, every open document and browser window is displayed as an additional pane on the multitasking screen. This leads to screen cluttering quickly. It may slow down the device and worse thing is the open apps remain that way after you reboot the device. In this aspect, Kitkat performs way better.

Adieu, Silent Mode

Image : Phonearena

Every type of user would need to put his or her Android device into silent mode at some time or other, beyond doubt. For some reason, Google discarded the silent mode in Lollipop. There are ways to make a handset running Lollipop mute, but the earlier method of silencing by a long press on the device’s Power button was so much simpler.

The new ‘No interruption’ mode introduced in Lollipop has drawn flak from a lot of users. Kitkat users can still enjoy the bliss of Silent mode though.

Lock Screen Widgets, No more

Image : CNET

Not everyone may be fond of them, but some Android users, notably those sticking with Kitkat use the lock screen widgets. The Lollipop update comes with a removal of this feature. It is not certain why Google removed them. It could be owing to Lollipop’s default lock screen notifications. In Lollipop, you can use a few third-party apps to bring back the widgets, but Kitkat plays it simpler, doesn’t it?

App Compatibility and Stability Glitches

Image : Google Play

Google does not waste time in updating its own apps for Lollipop but that has not been the case with all third-party app developers! It may not be the same with every user, but users of some specific devices such as Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 tablets have reported usability issues. It is ironical that Google’s newest mobile OS has rendered Its Nexus lineup of devices perform poorly, as per user feedback.

App incompatibility has plagued a lot of users. Especially users have complained about Adobe Air based apps being removed from their devices. So, you may stick with Kitkat for some more time.

Enhanced Security at the Cost of Speed

Image : droid-life

Google has tried to address needs of security conscious Android users in Lollipop by offering encryption option. There is no denying its advantage- especially at times when you sell the device and want the data to be secure. However, the protection of encryption comes at a cost- by slowing down the device.

While Google does not enforce encryption in Lollipop by default and you choose not to use it- several devices reportedly have taken a hit on speed after enabling the feature. The Nexus lineup of devices is again the worst hit.

ALSO READ: 5 Tweaks and Tips To Make Android Lollipop Even Better

In Conclusion

It ultimately comes to your discretion whether you should upgrade to Lollipop or stick with Kitkat. The drawbacks of Lollipop are not necessarily applicable to all Android devices, though some devices including Nexus are the worst affected.

The upcoming updates from Google may address and  iron out some of these performance issues. While that happens you may want to hold off on a Lollipop upgrade for your device yet.

  • Lollipop removed the ability to add widgets to your lock screen.
    Some Nexus devices have had problems with Lollipop
    Manufacturers/Phone Carriers have slow to upgrade to Lollipop.

  • BetsyRogers says:

    This is a great article. Thanks for the detailed information! My Samsung Galaxy S4 keeps nagging me to install the new upgrade to the Lollipop OS, from KitKat 4.2. I’m SO glad I decided to research this first!! As it stands, I’m giving Lollipop a big thumbs down! I’ll just wait for the next thing to come out of the candy shop. (Seriously who ever thought a Lollipop was better than a KitKat anyway?)

    From reading several articles, there are MANY elements of Lollipop that I’m not impressed with. Aside from whatever bugs might remain at this point. I’m incredibly disappointed with so many of the “intentional” features.

    The loss of the lock-screen widgets is a dealbreaker on its own. I use those on a daily basis, and I have customized them in a way that makes my life easier. I know, it’s a crazy concept, making life “easier”… Google would probably say I’m just being lazy. Their new motto seems to be “anything that can be done with just one click isn’t worth doing at all”!

    The changes to the multi-tasking screen is an even bigger dealbreaker. If it’s true that with Lollipop, “every open document and browser window is displayed as an additional pane on the multitasking screen”, then for me that basically makes it un-usable! I often have Multiple apps open and Multiple documents/windows open within each app. Grouping these open windows by their respective apps isn’t just a no-brainer, it’s the OS industry standard. Un-grouping all of the windows in this way just makes it harder and more time-consuming to do any sort of multi-tasking on an Android device.

    For me, and for many other users, “mulitasking” is not simply about wanting to watch a YouTube video while an app downloads in the background. A more typical, and professional, scenario is having to compose a message in my Email/Gmail app that requires me to refer to information in Multiple open Browser windows, multiple open Word documents, a few open Adobe pdf documents, plus my Calendar app, my Contacts app, my Google Maps, maybe even the Travelocity app & Weather Channel app (if I have to schedule a flight somewhere)… That’s already 9+ apps with multiple windows open per app! And Google expects me to be able to multitask efficiently by showing all open my open windows “ungrouped”?

    I don’t know of ANY other OS (of the currently available mobile and/or desktop OS’s) with a multi-tasking interface that “forces” you to hunt through every separate open document & browser window from all apps simultaneously. Some OS’s provide this as an “option”, if that’s what you want, but the default setting is to have the windows grouped by application.

    Lately it seems like Google & Android have forgotten that their goal should be about making things Easier for their users, not more difficult and cumbersome. Why has this become such a foreign concept to them?

    Google developers’ new motto increasingly seems to be, “Anything that can be done with just 1-click isn’t worth doing at all”!

    My response would be, “Any developer that changes a 1-click task to a 20-click task is just making the iPhone look more and more appealing!”

  • Shahnewaz Ahmed says:

    Also performance takes a noticeable hit.
    So much for lovely material design. Form over function? That’s not why I chose Android!
    Also lots of bugs and stability issues.

  • Article written by an individual with the phone with no Lollipop upgrades (its better writing an article than rooting a phone)

  • This is what happens to every OS or website or app. They finally reach perfection, but people feel like they have to make changes to improve it somehow, so they end up downgrading the product. The biggest annoyance of lolipop for me is that stupid task switcher. I mean damn, that was such a bad idea. I don’t understand it.

    • Can’t stay stagnant and risk getting outdated. Some aspects of lollipop aren’t great, but the next one has good, important features – like better permissions control, finally!

      • I tried a few Lollipop roms including stock with my LG G2. I can say that battery life is phenomenal. In particular, Idle drain is much lower. I lost 3-4% in 24 hours. However, at times the new runtime lags hard.

        Dalvik has been so well optimized at this point that ART has to catch up. I wish we would get an official Marshmallow update for the old LG G2. I know that ART will improve.