We're no strangers to Lollipop updates around here, but Dell adding encryption during the update is something new.
One of the big topics to come up during the launch of Android 5.0, especially after using the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, was the inclusion of full disk encryption to the platform. Nexus users quickly discovered they had little say in the matter, but most manufacturers have left encryption as a choice in both updates and new device releases. During the update to Android 5.0.2 today, Dell Venue 8 users will notice a step in between agreeing to reboot and start the update and the "Android is upgrading" screen. This sleek little Intel tablet is encrypting the device during the update process, and it's happening without user consent.
We've discussed the upsides and downsides to full disk encryption at length, and the bottom line is always the same. Encryption only makes your device more secure in a handful of specific scenarios, and the performance hit many users see as a result isn't worth it if all you're doing is browsing Facebook and watching movies. Dell's target market isn't exclusively casual users, however, so the encryption update makes a lot more sense here. Enterprise customers and folks who plan to use this device as a lightweight laptop replacement will appreciate the added security measure, especially knowing it can't be disabled once the update to Lollipop happens.
This is the first time we've seen a manufacturer enable encryption during the update process, and aside from adding an extra 3 minutes to the update process there doesn't seem to be any difference, which is great. As we discussed in our review, performance has never been an issue with this Dell tablet, and an initial look at the update doesn't reveal any immediate cause for concern. Lollipop appears plenty fast on this device, and now that the device is up to date it stands as a reasonable alternative to the HTC Nexus 9. Dell's update will likely roll out to all of their users throughout the day, so keep an eye out and be sure to head to the forums to discuss your Lollipop experiences!