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Android 5.1 Release Date and Features: March 2015, Easier Screen Pinning, Cooler Quick Settings, More Efficient Lockscreen Method

Android 5.1 Lollipop (Credit:
February 23
6:10 AM 2015

Following the buzz last week that Android 5.1 is set to release by next month, remarkable features of Google's latest OS are coming out on the web like a wildfire which affirms the release's veracity.

HTC's Vice President for Production Management Mo Versi hinted in his response on a Twitter user that Google is brewing a maintenance release (MR) update for Android coming in March. The tweet read: "It'll be tied to Google's next MR, which is in March."

Mo Versi replied to an HTC One (M7) GPE (Google Play Edition) user via the microblogging site who inquired about button lights bug fix. In HTC's website, the executive said in an update news for Lollipop roll out: "We've been working hard in the labs with Google and our carrier partners ever since the code release and are making great progress so far."

With only a little attention given in Android 5.0, screen pinning makes a huge interface change in the up and coming Android 5.1 Lollipop update. Screen pinning changed a small yet useful makeover to settings in Android 5.0.

Android 5.1 release keeps settings screen with the main toggle to enable/disable screen pinning. However, the explanation box is removed, while the checkbox for pattern unlocking or PIN when unpinning will be placed here. This makes app on pin-by-pin basis is limited and choice will be granted once and for all. Need not to worry though about the checkbox that pops out every single time when user makes choice if more/less secure route has to be taken.

Other options will be available for security measures aside from the PIN. Users can also opt for Pattern unlocking. If no preference has been made, a general lock toggle will pop out on the screen and will let users choose between the PIN and Pattern unlocking method.

The second change outside of the settings is in the dialog that shows up when pinning a screen. White box has been removed. The major change is in the instruction set that has added Back and Overview options.

In case an app unpins even if enabling it through user's PIN, disable the app and re-enable in a while to get it working.

In Android 5.0, the settings display has only one toggle to allow screen pinning detail what it is and how it works. Users get a dialog box after pinning explaining what steps you have taken and how to unpin it later. For those who set up their phone with pattern unlocking or PIN, a checkbox will pop out and it comes out whenever an app is pinned.

Launching QS panel in Android 5.0 from the lockscreen has to be closed first by swiping it, then swipe again to unlock. When QS (Quick Settings) panel is open on the lockscreen, Android 5.1 allows one time swiping from outside the panel and it will close and unlock the phone at the same time in just 30 seconds.

Quick Settings toggles have been set with dynamic method when Android 5.0 comes out. Options there when rolling down the notification box include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth only whereas several other toggles are hidden, like Invert Colors and Wi-Fi hotspot.

However, the downside comes when a user opens any of these, it will remain in there for at least a month if touching them never again. Android Police found out that one can drive them out from Quick Settings when a user sets date forward a month, then go back.

Nevertheless, Google has introduced a simple solution to the matter: long press on a dynamic tile and an option to hide it shall pop up. This will work on both the Invert Colors and Hotspot tiles.

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