Today appears to be the official release date for Android 5.0 Lollipop with the release of Nexus 6 reviews, not to mention the official Android 5.0 Lollipop update is rolling out for an array of Nexus devices. And now a few key Android 5.0 apps are available from the Google Play Store for everyone else.
Android 5.0 Lollipop was announced nearly one month ago on October 15th along with the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, and since then Android users have been waiting patiently for its arrival. Google promised it was coming soon, updated many key apps to the new Android 5.0 material design UI, and now two more apps are available for those interested.
While we’ve seen multiple Google apps all receive updates to support the new look and feel of Android 5.0 Lollipop, today they pushed brand new apps to the Google Play Store giving users the chance to add parts of the new Android experience to devices still awaiting updates.
Today Google published and released the official Android 5.0 “Google Keyboard” app, as well as the new Messenger app in Android 5.0 Lollipop to the Google Play Store. Available now to download for an array of smartphones with Android 4.4 and above.
For starters, the Google Keyboard app is nothing new, but today was update to support Android 5.0 Lollipop as well as the new Material Design user interface. The keyboard will now look completely different from the subtle and casual view of before, and there’s four themes to choose from. Those being Holo Blue and White from Android 4.4 KitKat, and a new Material Light and Dark option for the Android 5.0 look and feel.
The new keyboard doesn’t get much in terms of new features, and this is mainly just a visual overhaul for those curious. That being said, it brings more of the new Android look, feel, and experience to your smartphone. If your keyboard doesn’t have an update on the Play Store, it will arrive soon, or get it from AndroidPolice.
Secondly, the brand new “Messenger” app (above) for sending text and picture messages on Android 5.0 has been pushed to the Play Store. Lately Google’s moved to Google Hangouts for messaging, but a new dedicated app is available for those who’d like to keep those two separate. It has the same new, fluid, and stylish material design user interface and a few nice new features. Here’s what to expect from the Android 5.0 Messenger app released today.
• Faster sharing: Select or take pictures and videos directly from the app and share easily. You can even send audio messages to your contacts.
• Easy search: Search through contacts and conversation threads to find exactly what you are looking for.
• Purposeful design: New, fluid, material design that is intuitive and delightful.
• More control: Ability to block SMS senders. No interruptions when you don’t want them!
• More features: audio messages, emoji support 😃, colored text threads, message archiving and more.
Google has confirmed that the brand new and improved messenger app is available for all Android 4.1 and above devices, meaning they’re supporting extremely old devices here instead of just Android 4.4 Kitkat and above like we’ve seen from other apps lately.
Being able to add certain numbers to the new block SMS feature is a nice touch, allowing users complete control over which text messages are received. It has a nice new look, simple layout, easy features and navigation, and can be had right now from the Google Play Store.
Hopefully in the future it will get more features an customization like many 3rd party text messenger apps, like Textra for example, and we’ll be sure to let you know once that happens. Get Android 5.0 now, or get some of the newly redesigned apps while you wait.