NO APPLE WATCH, BUT HERE’S A LOLLIPOP

lollipopRemain calm. We are not going to talk about the features of Apple’s new Watch. Enough ink has already been spilled there to float this newspaper for the next thousand years. And the watch isn’t even out yet! Let’s talk about smartphones instead; hardly anybody ever talks about those.

Want a Lollipop?

 Only 3.3 percent of phones have a Lollipop, the latest Android operating system. Is it worth buying a new phone just to get it? The next question obviously is … what are the features?

Here’s what impressed us: Lollipop phones go on for hours, even after you’re down to 15 percent of battery life; that is, providing you enable the battery saver. The saver stops the phone from constantly checking for new email, texts, notifications and other floating trivia of the digital life. After you enable it, your phone won’t open apps quite so fast, but you probably won’t notice it unless you’re multi-tasker like Joy.

Lollipop makes it easier to keep working or playing when a call comes in. Instead of taking up your whole screen, a small notice tells you there’s a call coming in. If you don’t want it, tap to dismiss. Lollipop lets you pin shortcuts to your home screen, making it easier to find an important file. Put your finger on the shortcut. Lollipop also lets you restrict notifications to priority calls and messages. If someone borrows your phone, you can restrict the phone’s use to one app. Finally, your apps can run on the memory card, saving storage space.

Google’s Nexus 5, around $430 without a contract, or Nexus 6, around $650, are two Lollipop phones getting great reviews. The other giant is the Samsung Galaxy S6 which generated 20 million pre-orders. We considered a Nexus phone when we thought we’d lost our Samsung S3. (It was in our Phone Soap charger getting cleaned, which made it invisible to the forgetful eye.) But we’re too cheap to spring for an upgrade while the S3 is working well. In short, if money is less important than having the latest phone tricks, this could be the upgrade you’ve always wanted.

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