Integrated restoration in the Core version. Users of Akeeba Backup Core, our free version, can now restore backups on the same server through the component, without having to upload Kickstart and go through all the manual restoration hassle.
Bug fixes. The 5.0.x series were arguably very buggy. Rewriting the component from scratch did introduce several obscure issues we had never run into before and couldn't test for: tests will only detect the problems the testers have run into into the past and designed their tests to detect. This time, with your collective feedback, we ran more tests than we thought was sane – and fixed the issues you reported and a few more which almost everybody missed. We hope we get bonus points for fixing issues caused by third party extensions that break the Joomla! core API (FaLang, I'm looking at you) and hosts disabling the public API to innocent built-in PHP features (Tokenizer) which exist in PHP for 10 years and are, ironically, used by PHP itself to parse PHP files. There are a few more obsure issues but we'll spare you the gory details; we fight these dragons so you don't have to.
The following features were originally added in the 5.0.x series.
Automatic detection and working around of temporary data load failure. Some servers remove Akeeba Backup's "memory" files, causing the backup to fail. Now Akeeba Backup detects this error condition and automatically works around that, using the much slower but safer database storage instead.
Better workarounds for PHP opcode caches during and after backup extraction and site restoration.
Direct download link to Akeeba Kickstart in the Manage Backups page for easier manual restoration.
Easier discoverability of backup scheduling with links shown after the Configuration Wizard has completed and a toolbar button in the Configuration page.
Download log button in ALICE for easier filing of tickets.
Better workarounds for browsers' password auto-fill, making sure that the ANGIE and JPS password fields are not magically filled in by your browser with the wrong password.
We only support Joomla! 3.4 or later, including 3.5. We strongly advise you to run Joomla! 3.4.7 or later for security reasons. Older versions of Joomla! have known major security issues which are being actively exploited to hack sites. Do note that these security issues were fixed on Christmas Eve 2015 thanks to the effort of our development team who contributed their time and knowledge to make Joomla! more secure.
Support for PHP 5.3 is discontinued. It's end of life since August 2014 and widely considered a security risk, unfit for production sites. Our software requries PHP 5.4 or later and is compatible with PHP 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 and 7.0. We strongly recommend using PHP 5.6 or 7.0.
We'd like to remind you that Joomla! 3.4 does NOT support PHP 7. PHP 7 is only supported by Joomla! 3.5.0 and later versions. Akeeba Backup will work perfectly fine (and very fast!) on a Joomla! 3.5 or later site running on PHP 7.0.