The shortcomings of Android 5.0 Lollipop - here are 6 backward steps that Google took with its newest OS

Although the majority of Android users have not had the chance to give Android 5.0 Lollipop a try yet (and some will never have), the platform has been out for a while, giving us more than enough time to experience it to the fullest and form an opinion about it. Normally, at first sight it's nothing short of an utterly-amazing version of the most wide-spread mobile OS. 

But after you spend some time with it, it quickly becomes as clear as day that Lollipop is certainly marred by a number of small issues and gripes that can quickly embitter your lives. 

What's more, most of these did not exist in pre-Lollipop builds, namely KitKat, which means that Google has taken a lot of steps forward, but also quite a few backwards with its newest Android release. 

We don't want to be nitpicking here and there, but it's quite surprising that Google has decided to release Lollipop the way it is, making it less customizable and flexible than it's predecessors, while forcing users to get used to the new state of things in the meantime. 

Of course, these won't turn off the Android devotees, which are patiently waiting to get Lollipop, but still, we feel like Google could have done way better with its Lollipop child.



1. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

We don't want to be nitpicking but have to as Android is smoking everything in its sights, so damage control steps must be taken!! 8)

16. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

That makes no sense!

22. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Really? Perhaps speak it out as you read it. Wtf??

54. sgodsell

Posts: 7367; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Whats wrong with pressing either the volume up or down button once and then press the none option to silence the phone on lollipop. It was less intuitive to press and hold the power button and then choose the mute option to silence the phone. The lock screen option is dumb especially since you can install third party lock screens that can do almost anything. The bugs option is dumb as well especially since every updated OS comes with bugs.

82. Cicero

Posts: 1129; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

This is why Samsung use TW on top of Android. You will find more of the problems related here solved. Nexus line is boring and lack some useful things.

85. copasetic

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 07, 2010

Bump. People pick on TouchWiz, but for all its supposed shortcomings, Sammy users don't experience many of these bugs, and usually avoid Google's penchant for deleting highly useful, common sense stuff. I have always had a speed dial. I didn't know till much later that they had removed it.

26. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

They do have a point. Too much focus on design hurts user experience - which I myself felt.

28. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I'm giving PA a hard time. Of course there's issues an bugs, show me one that doesn't have them an is popular or in use at same time right. WP has been in a constant state of morphing for three years. IOS, has gone through same result, update, new update to fix bugs an complaints then onward. BB same again. Not one lost an eye, so its still game. Android is front an center on issues, while Apple is front an center on upswing articles.

2. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Most things I tend to agree on, although I don't miss silent mode (but can imagine someone will). I do prefer the new recents list over the old one though. As to volume control, I use Tasker for this, but it should have been how CM implemented it. What I am missing on the list, is the reboot menu. Pressing the power button a bit longer, only shows power off. A restart option is missing there. Nvdia implemented this their selves in their Shield tablet. And I used Tasker for this. But this is surely a shortcoming of Lollipop.

11. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Stock Android has never had this. I've had HTC and Samsung devices that had it, but I'd imagine that those were part of Sense and Touchwiz. There was a big debate on this in the Nexus 7 forums, with others like you thinking it got removed. In KK on my Nexus 7 there was Power Off, Airplane Mode, and Silent Mode, but no Reboot option when pressing the power button. However, there is supposedly a workaround. Pressing and holding the Power button for around 10 seconds until it powers down is supposed to be the same as a battery pull. I've heard that instead of just powering down, it restarts. While not officially a reboot, it accomplishes the same thing. I haven't tried it yet but I'll give a try on my tablet when I get back there and let ya know.

14. sam_tek

Posts: 105; Member since: Feb 18, 2011

It in fact is! But why wait 10 seconds when you can do in 2! :)

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Never knew this, but never really had stock Android anyway. Before my N5 I had TW or some custom rom. And I don't need the reboot option anymore, since I can easily do this using a Tasker scene (even includes reboot to recovery and bootloader).

31. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

There's Quick boot for that too if rooted which no doubt you are.

35. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yup I am :) Looked for a few, most of which I found ugly and this works too (for free) :)

55. AmitMajumder

Posts: 178; Member since: May 21, 2012

Every phone out there has that feature. It's called Hard Reboot (I guess), it's there for instances where the phone freezes, so you don't have to pull the battery out. (or if you can't do it)

13. sam_tek

Posts: 105; Member since: Feb 18, 2011

Restart option was never there in pre-Lollipop versions either. But yes, I miss that on pure android (as opposed to the skins that tend to have 'em) 1, 3 & 4 are my personal gripes! Never could comprehend why Google would go backwards! Here's hoping, they bring them back sooner than later!

17. sam_tek

Posts: 105; Member since: Feb 18, 2011

Another issue with the recent task switcher is that once you are in it, you need to hit either the homescreen button or the task switcher button' to go out of it. In the previous versions, you could just hit anywhere outside in the background to leave that space. That was so simple and convenient considering how often we use the app switcher!

3. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

My biggest issue is how they changed the lock screen. I don't care much about the widgets being gone, but I hate how I have to swipe up now. Furthermore, if I swipe slightly up and to the right or left, instead of unlocking my phone it will launch the dialer or camera. I think they made those shortcuts way too sensitive. I liked it better when I could just swipe any direction.

33. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Postscript: I disagree with PA's example in 5. The notification shade in KitKat worked the way it does now: one-finger swipe brings up notifications, two-finger swipe brings up quick toggles. The only difference now vs KitKat is that you can swipe down again to access quick toggles, whereas before you would tap a button to "flip" the shade to quick toggles.

40. torr310

Posts: 1659; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

User Experience, take note... this is how Apple become successful. Now I am hesitant to upgrade to 5.0... I guess one reason phone manufacturerskeep pushing back the 5.0 release date is that they cannot find the optimization of user experience on their phones.

43. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

No, I'd absolutely upgrade if I were you. The whole thing feels so much more unified and refined than before. Anyone can come up with six things they don't like about anything. The vast majority of the User Experience is much better than before.

46. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Well said. +1

47. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Same here, I prefer Lollipop over Kitkat and they will work out the kinks (as every OS maker does). And if not, custom roms. But the base is their and I do like Material Design in it's core. Also someone said that every app out there that upgrades to MD, will look & feel the same. While it might look the same on first glance, they will need to focus more on features and how it works, than how it looks. I think that's a good thing.

4. peace247 unregistered

Just select the none option.... I think its same as silent.... At least for me it is :-)

6. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

But that does silence everything, even appointments and alarms.

5. Ashoaib

Posts: 3282; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

very bad upgrade, why no silent mode? I always use it during meetings. Very bad take on by google. Its time to push other OS as well like ubantu, firefox, tizen etc

25. Exempt1 unregistered

The review sites are making silent mode very unclear. There is an option called "Priority", and "Do Not Disturb". If you setup Priority to your liking, you can have certain things notifiy you, while others stay silent, but they still come through. I leave my phone on Priority most of the time now, it's perfect. On Do Not Disturb mode, nothing at all comes through, a very aggressive silence mode, perfect for meetings and everything needing quietness, I use it for meetings, funerals/weddings etc. It's far better than silent mode because you know nothing at all will come through. And it even comes with a timer, so you can select the mode to turn off after an hour or whatever. Lollipop has no silent mode, it has three versions of silent mode. Vibration only, Priority mode and Do Not Disturb mode.

38. alexhdkn

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 25, 2014

And if I need to receive every notification but I don't want to hear the sound? Because it's night or because someone sleeps?

56. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Press the volume down until you see the vibrate icon. It's the second to last level right before silent, which is how it's always been.

48. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

What they're saying is that it's not intuitive. What should happen is when you press the volume down key to its lowest level it should then toggle between all, priority, and none. The first time a user does this a popup should explain what each mode does. Better yet, get rid of the "none" option and have the volume down key go all the way to silent.

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