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18 ways to get the most out of Android 5.0

JR Raphael | Feb. 10, 2015
Got Lollipop? Then these tips and tricks will help you handle Android 5.0 like a pro.

Tip No. 4: Bone up on your battery use
See the battery-level indicator at the top of Lollipop's Quick Settings panel? Tap it to jump to Android's power consumption tool, which gives you a detailed breakdown of exactly what apps and processes are draining your device's battery. While you're there, tap the overflow menu icon (the three vertical dots) at the top right of the screen to set up Lollipop's new battery-saver mode, which automatically revs down your system's engines when the battery gets low in order to keep things running as long as possible.

Tip No. 5: Keep tabs on your alarms
The next time you set an alarm on your Android device, take a quick peek in the Quick Settings panel: Lollipop shows the date and time of your next alarm there, and you can tap on it to jump directly to the Clock app if you need to make any changes.

Tip No. 6: Tune Android to respond to the sound of your voice
Android 5.0 has a powerful new always-listening voice command system that's available on many devices, but you have to activate it before it'll work -- and the option to do so is surprisingly out of sight and buried.

Ready to dig it up? In your system settings, tap "Language & input," then "Voice input." Tap the gear icon next to "Enhanced Google services," then tap "'Ok Google Detection" and look for the option labeled "From any screen." (If it isn't there, your device probably doesn't support the feature. Sorry!)

Now follow the prompts to train the system to recognize your voice and your voice alone. When you're finished, you'll be able to say, "Ok, Google," to wake your device anytime -- even when its screen is off -- and give it all sorts of commands without ever touching it.

Tip No. 7: Bypass the lock screen at home
Nothing against pass codes, but unlocking your phone every time you want to check a sports score -- er, work email while waiting for pasta water to boil can be a real nuisance. Trouble is, that one time you turn off the lock at home and forget to turn it back on before catching the bus could come back to haunt you.

Enter Lollipop's newly introduced Trusted Places, which allows you to keep your phone or tablet always unlocked at a set geographical location -- like your house or office. To give Lollipop the go-ahead, head to your system settings, tap on Security, then Smart Lock. There you will find Trusted Places, where you can set specific trusted locations.

Tip No. 8: Bypass the lock screen on the go
Similarly, Lollipop can keep your phone or tablet unlocked whenever it's connected to a specific Bluetooth device you trust, such as your smartwatch or car audio system. While you're in the Smart Lock menu (see Tip No. 7), tap the option labeled Trusted Devices and follow the prompts to add a device onto the list. Once you're finished, your phone or tablet won't prompt you for your PIN, pattern, or password anytime the trusted device is present and paired.


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