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Android 5.1 APIs

API Level: 22

Android 5.1 (LOLLIPOP_MR1) is an update to the Lollipop release that offers new features for users and app developers. This document provides an introduction to the most notable new APIs.

For a high-level look at the new platform features, see the Android Lollipop highlights.

Update your target API level

To start building apps for Android 5.1, use the SDK Manager to download the Android 5.1 SDK Platform and System Images. Then set your app development project to use a targetSdkVersion of "22". Install your app on an Android 5.1 system image, test it, then publish the updated app with this change.

You can use Android 5.1 APIs while also supporting older versions by adding conditions to your code that check for the system API level before executing APIs not supported by your minSdkVersion. To learn more about maintaining backward compatibility, read Supporting Different Platform Versions.

For more information about how API levels work, read What is API Level?

Multiple SIM Card Support

Android 5.1 adds support for using more than one cellular carrier SIM card at a time. This feature lets users activate and use additional SIMs on devices that have two or more SIM card slots.

You can access information about the currently active SIM through the SubscriptionManager class, including whether or not the device is considered to be roaming on the current network. This information is useful for developers who want to throttle their apps' data access down or off for device users who are sensitive to data access charges. Your app can be alerted to changes in a device's current network connection by requesting the READ_PHONE_STATE permission and setting SubscriptionManager.OnSubscriptionsChangedListener on the SubscriptionManager object.

Deprecated HTTP Classes

The org.apache.http classes and the android.net.http.AndroidHttpClient class have been deprecated in Android 5.1. These classes are no longer being maintained and you should migrate any app code using these APIs to the URLConnection classes as soon as possible.

Carrier Services

Android 5.1 provides support for telecommunication service providers to create apps that can perform carrier provisioning tasks on an Android device. These APIs provide a secure and flexible way for carrier-developed apps to perform these tasks and be distributed through Google Play. Apps that use these functions must be signed by a certificate that matches the certificate in the device's Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC).

The carrier service APIs have been added to the TelephonyManager class, the SmsManager class, and the new CarrierMessagingService class. Apps can check for access to these APIs by calling the hasCarrierPrivileges() method. Apps that call these APIs without access receive a SecurityException.

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For more information about specifying the API level your app requires, read Supporting Different Platform Versions.