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Operating system loses power button functions

Android 5.0 Lollipop: Operating system loses power button functions

Gradually Android 5.0 Lollipop arrives for more devices: first we had the Moto G 2014 and, little by little, many of the most popular custom ROMs are already beginning to adapt their software to the latest version of Android. With that, we will notice which resources have had their positions changed or that no longer work in the same way. Yesterday, I talked about the silent mode that was replaced by «Interruptions», today is the time to take a longer look at the options on the power button menu that in Lollipop are all about just turning off the device.

Nexus 5 button power options

Android 5.0 Lollipop: Operating system loses power button options! / © ANDROIDPIT

Android stock serves as a basis for manufacturers to adapt their user interfaces and use the Google operating system on their devices. Thus, it is quite common to see a greater number of features on Sony, Samsung or LG phones, for example, than on Nexus. However, this does not mean that pure Android necessarily has to be lean. Like Android 5.0 Lollipop Google’s team of developers has made the OS a little more intuitive; removed, added and moved assets. However, some relevant functions in the power button options menu have fallen apart, and now it offers only one possibility: to turn off the device.

The Nexus 6 hasn’t made it to the AndroidPIT newsroom yet, but I don’t need to have the device in my hand to say it’s big. So, I don’t really understand why the option like «activate airplane mode» left the options menu of the button to turn the device on and off or why the option «restart» is not yet part of it (an extremely common feature in custom ROMs) . Using a 6-inch smartphone with one hand is not easy, and now it is even more difficult to have to access the quick shortcut bar with one hand and activate airplane mode, for example.

Below, you can see the power button options menu for different ROMs based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat:

android power button lollipop

On the left is the Nexus 4 power button option menu with CM11; on the right, the Sony Xperia Z2 menu! / © ANDROIDPIT

kitkat PA power button

Nexus 7 2013 running on Android 4.4.4-based Paranoid ROM brings a number of options to the power button menu! / © ANDROIDPIT

I still think Android 5.0 Lollipop is one of the most complete and innovative versions of Google’s OS, however, there are some features that should be kept, especially when we consider the intuitive side of the software. Using a 5-inch phone like the Nexus 5 with just one hand is no longer very simple, imagine devices like the LG G3, Note 4 and Nexus 6, which are between 5.5 and 6 inches. The shortcuts on the power button are essential for an excellent operating system usage experience and I hope the devs Android can bring them back with an upcoming update.

As a user of an Xperia Z2, I see the possibility of restarting the device from any screen where you are using the power button as an indispensable function and I expected to see it on Android 5.0 Lollipop finally, but it was not this time.

And you, what do you think about the extremely limited use of the «Power» button options menu on the phone?