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Get familiar with Android 5.0 Lollipop

We go hands-on with the new version of Android. Check out what's new!

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Sarah Mitroff
Sarah Mitroff is a Managing Editor for CNET, overseeing our health, fitness and wellness section. Throughout her career, she's written about mobile tech, consumer tech, business and startups for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat.
Sarah Mitroff
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1 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

Meet Android Lollipop

Android 5.0 Lollipop is the latest flavor of Google's mobile operating system. We saw a demo of it from Google and it looks like of the biggest releases in a long time.

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Material Design

The most obvious change in Lollipop is the fresh design aesthetic, called Material Design. It uses a lot of bright, rich colors and adds depth with shadows to give Android a sleeker, more minimal look.

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Whimsical look

Material carries over to most of the pre-installed Google apps, with bright colors and whimsical illustrations.

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4 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

New notifications

Lollipop also introduces a new notification approach. You'll now see notification cards on the lock screen, and you can respond to certain alerts from there.

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Priority mode

If you want to take a break from your endless app notifications, but still want to hear from important people, there's a new mode called Priority. You turn it on from the volume controls and it blocks any less important alerts.

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Quick Settings menu

The new Quick Settings menu, which appears when you swipe with two fingers from the top of the screen, shows new options, including a flashlight and an improved Wi-Fi toggle.

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Overview

The new name for "recent apps" is Overview, and it shows your recent activity in your open apps.

Not only does the menu show your recently opened apps, it will also show multiple tasks within each app, such as your inbox and an email draft in Gmail.

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User accounts

Android tablets have had multiple user accounts for several years, but now phones can have them too.

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Screen pinning

Another new feature in Android 5.0 is screen pinning, which means you can lock an app on the screen so that the user can't exit it. It's useful if you loan your device to kids, so that they can only play a game and not mess with your Facebook account.

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Pinned app

Here, a game is pinned to the screen.

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People app

The People contacts app gets a major redesign, with bright colors and a grid of contact photos.

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Google Now search

Google Now has been part of Android for a few years now, and it's getting smarter with every new release. Here, you can talk to it to send a message.

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Quicker setup

You can now set up a new Android phone much more quickly than before. Port over apps, settings, account information and more by tapping your new phone against your older NFC-enabled phone.

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Streamlined volume control

Material Design extends to the volume control, which looks sleeker than ever.

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