It’s easy to be duped by the seemingly simple aesthetic of Google’s Material Design language, yet, Android 5.0 Lollipop offers more depth than you might see at first glance. It’s a pretty major overhaul, lined with lock-screen notifications and tools for saving battery life, so even veterans of the platform may be a little lost at first. In this roundup, we offer some Android 5.0 Lollipop tips to help you uncover handy features and find shortcuts to what you want, whether you want to quickly silence your smartphone or wirelessly cast a myriad of content on your high-definition TV via a Chromecast.
How to quickly access quick settings
You might be frustrated considering a single swipe simply brings down the notification shade with a list of your notifications and you have to swipe a second time to get into your Quick settings. If you want to get straight into those Quick settings without a second swipe, then just swipe down with two fingers instead of one.
How to silence your device
Gone is the old silent mode from Android 5.0 (you used to be able to hold Volume down to quickly silence your device). If you hold Volume down now, the volume will merely go lower without every becoming silenced. You can tap the bell icon to switch to vibrate only. You can completely silence your device by pressing the volume rocker and then tapping None, but that means you won’t receive any notifications at all. If you’ve taken the time to set up your Priority notifications via Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications, then you’ll have fine-grained control over what notifications you receive. You can set None and Priority to last indefinitely or specify a particular amount of time, which is handy for meetings. You can also schedule regular Downtime where only Priority notifications come through via Settings > Sound & notification > Interruptions. You’ll know when Priority mode is on because it displays a star icon in the top-right of the display.
How to deal with notifications
We just discussed the Priority system in the last tip. You can set Priority apps for notifications in Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications and you can toggle Priority mode on and off via the volume option, or you can schedule it in Settings > Sound & notification > Interruptions.
You can also set notifications for individual apps directly from any notification by tapping and holding on it before tapping the “i” icon. By default, you’ll find that notifications show up on the lock screen, too, but you can change that by tapping When device is locked in Settings > Sound & notification.
If you use a PIN, Password, or Pattern lock, then you can find a Sensitive option within each app in Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications, which lets you hide potentially sensitive content visible in lock screen notifications for that specific app.
How to create profiles
The ability to create profiles and dictate what they have access to is especially handy for shared tablets. To get started, pull down your notification shade and tap on your profile picture in the top-right corner. There’s a Guest profile there by default, which is great if you’re passing your phone to someone and you want to make sure they don’t stumble on anything they shouldn’t. For more customization options you can create new profiles via Add user. Just remember to set up a Lock pattern, PIN, or Password for any profile you don’t want others accessing.
How to pin your screen
If the guest profile doesn’t go far enough to protect your privacy when you pass your phone to someone else, then the ability to pin an app on your screen should suffice. It will stop nosy friends or curious toddlers from switching away from the open app. To turn it on go to Settings > Security and scroll down to turn on Screen pinning. Now tap the Overview (multitasking or recent apps) button and you’ll see a green pin at the bottom right of each app. Tap on that and you can pin it, which will fix it on screen until you tap and hold Back and Overview together. If you have a Pattern, PIN, or Password set up then you can specify that it must be entered in order to unpin the app.