Android M vs Android Lollipop: A visual comparison

Android M vs Android Lollipop: A visual comparison

A little less than a year after Android Lollipop was announced at I/O 2014, Google took to the stage just five days ago and made its successor, Android M, official. Mind you, like before, we’re talking about nothing more than a developer preview — hence the M name — and we’re told to expect three updates to the build within that window.

In short, technically speaking, none of the features you see in Android M right now are certain to stay. That means Android Pay may go, Now on Tap may be reverted, and even the new app permissions system might get scrapped. Of course, the far more likely scenario is that most of what we have already will be a part of Android M’s commercial release, save for a few tweaks and changes. That’s precisely why we wanted to take a side-by-side look at M and compare it with the now older Android Lollipop build.
Quite a bit has changed in Android M already, despite it being mostly focused on the user experience. Various settings menus have been tweaked or completely reworked, some apps have benefited from extra functionality, and a few essential interface elements have changed their underlying behavior — like the app drawer and widgets panel. For the most part, we feel Google is making changes for the better, but feel free to see for yourself and disagree.
Android Lollipop always on left; Android M always on right.

Android M vs Android Lollipop: A visual comparison

1. Lock screen

Shortcut for Phone replaced by a shortcut to Google Now
Lock screen

2. App drawer

App drawer now vertical, with a ‘Favorites’ dock on top and a search function.
App drawer

3. Notifications panel

Notifications panel now includes a quick toggle to trigger DND mode on and off.
Notifications panel

4. DND mode

DND mode is no longer activated by lowering volume all the way down — instead, you do it through the notifications panel.
DND mode

5. Widgets pane

Like the app drawer, the widgets pane has also gone vertical.
Widgets pane

6. Google Now

The Google Now inquiry screen now includes the four apps from your ‘Favorites’ dock found within the app drawer.
Google Now

7. Calculator

Calculator’s functionality slightly expanded.
Calculator

8. Clock

Brighter white used for the font within the Clock app’s settings menu; new feature lets you set a start day for the week.
Clock

9. New contact

New contact creation window re-worked. Tapping on ‘More Fields’ reveals the rest.
New contact

10. Google Keep

New note creation changed from the Material Design-esque circle to a more standard bar. This change will probably be reverted.
Google Keep

11. Google Maps

Google Maps has seen some improvements — upon initial location lock, the app now pushes a small bar containing your current location to the bottom. When looking around any area on the map, the app now gives ‘Around X’ suggestion, which reveals…
Google Maps

12. Google Maps’ new ‘Around X’ feature

Suggestions including restaurants, leisure, museums, sports, etc.
Google Maps' new 'Around X' feature

13. Google Maps’ new ‘Around X’ feature

You can filter results by the time of date, if you want to.
Google Maps' new 'Around X' feature

14. Phone app

The Phone app has seen some small tweaks with the tab indicators — instead of text, those have been reverted to icons.
Phone app

15. Phone app

The call log looks different, too.
Phone app

16. Phone app

The settings menu of the Phone app has also been re-organized, with more options available at a first glance instead of buried within submenus.
Phone app

17. Settings

A new ‘Google’ menu has been added to the root Settings menu, containing all the options previously available with the stand-alone Google Settings app.
Settings

18. Dark theme for the settings

A new setting, available through Developer options, allows you to set the theme to Light, Dark, or Automatic. As you can guess, you’re looking at Dark, while Light looks alike to what we have in Lollipop already. Automatic switches between the two depending on the time of day.
Dark theme for the settings

19. SystemUI tuner

New ‘SystemUI tuner’ setting within Developers options spawns a submenu inside the root Settings menu. It allows you to customize the quick toggles within your notifications panel.
SystemUI tuner

20. Sounds & notifications

The Sounds & notifications menu has seen some small changes, the most interesting of which is the switch to a non-white background. This extends to all submenus within the root Settings menu.
Sounds & notifications

21. Internal storage

Storage section now dubbed Internal storage; new gray background also seen.
Internal storage

22. Apps menu

The apps menu has also been re-worked — horizontal tabs, for example, are gone.
Apps menu

23. Apps menu #2

But that’s not all — the new menu now includes many more options, including the ability to easily set your default apps for various categories.
Both screenshots from Android M.
Apps menu #2

24. Apps menu #3

App permissions have also been revamped, and you can now easily control which apps have access to what, and revoke that privilege at will.

Both screenshots from Android M.

Apps menu #3

25. Apps menu #4

Lastly, a new ‘Memory’ tab lets you monitor the needs of your apps.
Apps menu #4
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Android M vs Android Lollipop: A visual comparison

Posted:02 Jun 2015, 03:37, by Chris P.

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Android M vs Android Lollipop: A visual comparison
A little less than a year after Android Lollipop was announced at I/O 2014, Google took to the stage just five days ago and made its successor, Android M, official. Mind you, like before, we’re talking about nothing more than a developer preview — hence the M name — and we’re told to expect three updates to the build within that window.

In short, technically speaking, none of the features you see in Android M right now are certain to stay. That means Android Pay may go, Now on Tap may be reverted, and even the new app permissions system might get scrapped. Of course, the far more likely scenario is that most of what we have already will be a part of Android M’s commercial release, save for a few tweaks and changes. That’s precisely why we wanted to take a side-by-side look at M and compare it with the now older Android Lollipop build.
Quite a bit has changed in Android M already, despite it being mostly focused on the user experience. Various settings menus have been tweaked or completely reworked, some apps have benefited from extra functionality, and a few essential interface elements have changed their underlying behavior — like the app drawer and widgets panel. For the most part, we feel Google is making changes for the better, but feel free to see for yourself and disagree.
Android Lollipop always on left; Android M always on right.
Android Pay

27. Network settings reset

A new option is available within the Backup & reset menu: Network settings reset. This will reset your WI-Fi, cellular data, and Bluetooth settings.
Network settings reset
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