Two of the most popular Android smartphones from 2014 are finally getting the bump to Google's latest and greatest OS

Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android 5.0 "Lollipop" -- like past builds of Android -- has been a little bit of a late bloomer, with a slow adoption cycle.  But things are finally starting to heat up.

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935) in the last couple weeks has rolled out Lollipop firmware updates to Galaxy S5 owners in:
  • Europe
    • Poland
    • Spain
    • UK
  • Asia
    • Russia
    • Malaysia
    • South Korea
The only minor gripe is that these updates are based on the base Android 5.0, not the latest patched build (Android 5.0.2).  Presumably Samsung is waiting for a minor update to Android 5.0.3, which is expected to patch a serious memory leak.

Samsung GS5

Lollipop in its most basic form packs a number of improvements, including:
  • Android Runtime (ART) (an enhanced replacement to Davlik, which runs most Android apps)
  • Material Design guidelines for consistent apps
  • Support for multiple pages of apps in the multi-tasking pane
  • Tap & Go (setup assistant)
  • Heads-up style notifications
  • Lock-screen notifications
  • Improved security/encryption options
  • MirrorLink support (compatible with most in-car infotainment systems)
Samsung's version of Lollipop for the Galaxy S5 was held up, in part, due to the fact that the new Material Design guidelines forced Samsung to redesign its proprietary replacements to Google's apps.  The redesigned apps include:
  • Dialler
  • Messaging
  • Calculator
  • Clock
  • S Health
The redesigned versions should be faster and more consistent with the overall look of Android -- the key reasons why Google forced OEMs to produce standardized apps if they wanted to replace certain proprietary pieces of Android.

The Samsung update also packs other improvements to TouchWiz and the device firmware, including an enhanced algorithm for faster, more accurate fingerprint scanning.  Samsung GS5 owners can check for the availability of the update in their region by going into the Settings app and navigating to System > About Device > Software Update > Update.

Also receiving updates is the HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) One M8.  Currently the update -- based on Android 5.0.2 -- is only available for the Developer and Unlocked editions of the HTC One M8.
HTC One M8

HTC's Product Management VP, Mo Versi, confirmed that the update was being pushed to those models worldwide: The update also packs HTC's latest Sense 6 UI update.  HTC says that the Lollipop updates for the HTC One M7 (2013) are still "going through certification." T-Mobile U.S., Inc. (TMUS) HTC One M7 owners should be aware that they'll be receiving an update that is not the Lollipop update (rather it's a minor audio fix).  Fear not, though -- HTC promises that all HTC One M7 and M8 models will have available Android Lollipop updates by Feb. 2.

Sources: HTC [VP Mo Versi] on Twitter, via Neowin, SamMobile

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