Android L Preview

Google has just unveiled a developer preview of Android L, its latest software version for smartphones and tablets. Android L has several improvements to its design, graphics, notifications, multitasking, battery life and more. We’ve recapped the major new features in Android L ahead, ranging from Material Design and Project Volta to Android Extension Pack and Enhanced Notifications ahead… 

Material Design

Google has announced a new design language called Material Design that aims to deliver an improved user experience with a seamless design and animations. The new user interface is a lot more streamlined and minimalistic on Android and Chrome across mobile, desktop and web, and it will be extended over the summer to be even better. The systemwide Roboto font has been optimized to work on all different screens and platforms.

The colorful and simple user interface has additional shadows and depth to ensure that the correct perspective is provided. A new feature called “palette” allows developers to determine the colors used in images and match the user interface accordingly. There is also rich, animated touch feedback, with developers able to control how things animate between screens.

Project Volta

Project Volta Battery Saver

Google is focusing on improving battery life in Android with Project Volta, a new feature that intuitively tells users what is draining the most battery life and at what time of the day the battery is being drained the most. There is also a Battery Saver feature that will automatically kill apps, shut off Wi-Fi or dim the display to give you up to 90 minutes of additional battery life.

Android Extension Pack

Android Extension Pack

Android is about to get a lot better graphics with the Android Extension Pack, which includes geometry shaders, tessellation, computer shaders and ASTC for more realistic characters, lighting and improved rendering overall on mobile. Google calls this PC-level graphics on mobile, and it has partnered with several handset makers that will release smartphones and tablets with better GPUs later this year.

Enhanced Notifications

Enhanced Notifications Android

Google has improved notifications in Android to make it a more streamlined process, from the time you take your smartphone out of your pocket to checking your notifications. Enhanced Notifications allows you to read, open and dismiss notifications directly from the Lock screen, without needing to fully unlock your device. This seems a lot like interactive notifications in iOS 8.

Multitasking

Multitasking Android L

Android L also gains improved multitasking, with overlapping cards that are rendered with realistic shadows and perspectives. Chrome tabs automatically appear on Android in a new Recents view, so that you’re in sync with your desktop browser at all times. There is also improved Google search directly within apps, and apps can provide autocomplete suggestions too.

Android statistics

Google also revealed some interesting numbers surrounding the Android ecosystem at Google I/O this afternoon.

  • 1 billion active Android users based on a 30-day usage period
  • 100 billion: the number of times that Android users check their phones per day
  • 20 billion text messages sent on Android per day
  • 93 million selfies taken on Android per day
  • 1.5 trillion steps taken by Android users per day
  • Android has 62% global market share for tablets based on shipped devices
  • Android tablet app installs up 236% year-over-year

Android L packs several other features, including 5000 new APIs for developers and an all-new runtime called ART for less application stuttering, improved memory efficiency, 64-bit compatibility and more.

Android L will be released later this year, although early images of the software will be available for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 as soon as tomorrow. Keep it locked for further Google I/O coverage.

  • Kieran.Lillis

    Is Android L the full name?

    • RarestName

      Yeah. Everyone got trolled big time.

    • skypawn

      Have this question also. What kind of dessert is L?

      • Zeus

        They haven’t officially named it yet. It’s expected to be Lolipop or Lemon Meringue Pie or something like that since they always go the sweet tooth route.

  • RarestName

    Can’t wait for it to be released!

    • felixtaf

      A launcher first please!

  • Coming to every 4 year old Android phone out there!

  • Khan Rulzz

    IOS 7 ??? SHAME DROID !!!!!

    • Tony

      Their lockscreen clock information all looks just like IOS. I’d say a 100% identical. The icons look nice though.

      • nyangejr

        pictures and colors

      • Jake Passafiume

        Ya they went with a flat ui which makes me wonder what the future of software is going to look like, in one word ugly. Kit Kat looks good and iOS 6 looked good, if Steve jobs was alive he would kill Jony Ive and now thanks to him everyone has to deal with it.

      • I disagree, flat design is the future.

      • Aironfaar

        The problem is that there are probably as many people who think that this future is ugly as there are those who like it.

        Will devs ever learn that giving users a choice between different styles is the only way to make everyone happy? But no, they go and declare “Material style makes a good app, everything else is bad!” or similar bs.

    • Sunny

      Lmao at you fools did you realize the many blatant copy IOS 8 DID FROM ANDROID?
      No kos your blind isheeps

      • Android252

        I love how you’re calling people blind iSheeps for stolen features, yet you’re so blind you can’t evens see that your shitty Android UI looks exactly like iOS 7 now being flat, minimalistic, and way too bright and colorful.

  • Vijay Panjwani

    Lol! Those AndroTrolls were trolling around with the “white and colorful approach” used in iOS 7-8 like there were no limits *Ouch My eyes hurt* *It looks like a child drawing* *Yucks those whites sucks!*
    And now we see, the Android L is just white!

    • grumpyfuzz

      considering android was starting a white ui before ios 7…

      • SkyFall

        Really? Have you seen iOS 1-2-3-4-5-6? All the menus where white, sure a little skeuomorphic but it was white.

      • grumpyfuzz

        also in those very old versions of iOS, the wallpaper was black and you couldn’t change it. back then, it was pretty inconsistent, as many apps seemed to have a different UI.

    • At least it’s got f’n options for skins/launchers/icons instead of sticking with the lazy-flat look…that’s what I’ve always wanted since iOS 7 was unveiled; system-wide themes.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        System wide themes though can’t really exist though since everything is programatically drawn with no images used…

      • “since everything is programatically drawn with no images used”

        Says who? How do you think Winterboard has been working? As you don’t seem to be aware, here’s some insight; Winterboard themes the system by exchanging system cached images withe user-made custom ones. So, no, iOS isn’t programatically drawn without images…

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Perhaps you didn’t understand what I meant. Winterboard as you you’ve stated swaps out cached images with no images. However in terms of the UI the majority of it is done via code. Only things like app icons are images…

      • There are some parts which are drawn by code. However, the code doesn’t do it out of nowhere. If you look in the following directory, you’ll see some small shape image files, like the “SBBadgeBG@2x.png” file:

        “/System/Library/CoreServices/SpringBoard.app”

        The code takes that particular small shape image and copies/pastes it multiple times in a programmed pattern in order to draw the notification badges that contain more than 1 digit. That’s how I’m able to theme the notification badges as show below.

        If by UI, you’re referring to say the animations or the way you transition from one app to another, then that’s far from the majority of stuff that can be themed. Theming is just changing the appearance, not the usage.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Aren’t the images in iOS 7 just masks though? I’m denying the fact there is images I’m just saying that afaik most of the images are now masks which are then coloured and altered via code which is why nearly all of the themes in Cydia for iOS 7 are just icon packs when in iOS 6 themes used to be able to actually alter the UI and do things like theme the stock Music app…

      • Oh, they’ve ditched those in iOS 7? Didn’t know that…thanks for the heads up. Wonder if there’s some proprietary file (like the one they used for Siri’s mic in iOS 6) that controls those colors…Either ways, won’t be using iOS > 6 until finally copies and implements theming in iOS…

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I don’t think themeing like iOS 6 will ever happen 🙁

        On the other hand though the advantage of everything being a mask / vector is that images will scale better which means less work for Apple, better looking images and probably better for larger screen devices…

    • Sunny

      It looks professional on android with its darker palleted but in iOS all candy kiddy like
      Admit it apple cocksucker

  • Markus Hudobnik

    Well pretty good so far. I still wish companies like Samsung would not plaster the beautiful stock android with ugly interfaces. But looking forward to the potential of android L! Let’s keep this healthy competition going.

    And btw to all the people below me and any future commenters: stop with the apple fanboy bullshit. Android is a perfectly awesome OS (although I do prefer iOS) and you should focus your hate to shady companies like samsung.

    • SkyFall

      And btw you should remember that people are entitled to their own opinion and have the right to express it. Now whether they are fanboys or not they have the right to express it, even if someone does like it or not.

      • Markus Hudobnik

        Yeah they have the right and I never said they didn’t. But spewing random “ANDROID SUCKS, LOL” is quite childish and immature.

      • SkyFall

        I agree but that’s how the world is and most of these comments are troll comments so they do it on purpose

    • Frank Ding

      Thank you so much… I agree with you. I use an HTC One (M7), and I’m a huge Apple fan. However, I know to appreciate both Android and iOS, as they each have their advantages and disadvantages. As much as we are fanboys in some way, we need to see from the other side as well.
      I also highly agree that manufacturers need to leave Android L alone for the most part. Especially Samsung. HTC makes minimal modifications with HTC Sense, but Samsung completely overdoes it…

  • How did google get this information??? What’s happening?? Apple’s WWDC shows what users really need 79% Apple devices have iOS 7 thats it! Plus 93% of the users have latest Play Store… But not Android! No double sided peanut jar FAIL!!! FAIL!!! FAIL!!! FAIL!!! FAIL!!! FAIL!!! APPLE NEVER FAIL WHY GOOGLE ALWAYS FAILS?

    100 billion: the number of times that Android users check their phones per day

    20 billion text messages sent on Android per day

    93 million selfies taken on Android per day

    1.5 trillion steps taken by Android users per day”

    • Dan

      did you just have a seizure?

      I would hardly say that Google is failing, quite the contrary actually

      • True, but it is creepy how they gathered all those data…

      • Rowan09

        Google wants to control our lives with ads and Google services. I watched a news clip where they made over $1 billion from illegal videos.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Google is in the business of data. For them nothing is creepy about data gathering it’s just how they stay in business. This is the main reason I will never get an Android device (at least not as my main device). Did you know that when Google drove their Street View vans around they were actively performing packet analysis on open wireless networks…

      • Kash Gummaraju

        oh no! Google will steal all of our stuff! Get real Google collects data only and only when its services are being used. That’s all part of the agreement when you sign up for Google’s services.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I am real it’s a shame you can’t see that. Perhaps your search engine isn’t up to scratch?
        duckduckgo[.]com/?q=google+street+view+packet+sniffing

      • Stepand

        did u say that iphone dont have usage statistic?
        just how blind isheep is, this remind me of my friend saying that big phone is just dump and when iphone6+ realese they say it was awasome, i just lost at word.
        and few thing i realize on ios8 is more and more resemble to android and still isheep say that android copy on ios…i guess the fact fact that was saying if iphone say its ok then isheep will all say ok even if they do realize that was complete bullshit, try to deny it all u want but that the Fact.

      • Kash Gummaraju

        Wait what? I’m not an isheep in the least. I own an htc one(m7), surface pro 3, and a dell xps 15. I’m saying how stupid it is for people to complain about a company collecting their data when they’ve agreed to the terms of services.

  • Andrew Roth

    People Android won’t be called L by the time it’s released. They’re just not ready to unveil the name yet. Just like they didn’t say if it’s 4.5 or 5.0.

  • Elvin Topalov

    I don’t understand why everyone is complaining about the new design and how Google copied Apple. The flat, minimalistic design is the new rave. It’s not like Apple created the design. And Apple’s iOS doesn’t even use shadows or shading as much as Android L. Android L is all based on the use of a flat, minimalistic design and displaying information in “cards”.

    • Dan

      wow, some common sense, +1 to you good sir

    • Rowan09

      I think some people are complaining because anything Apple does is copied from Android like widgets.

      • SkyFall

        Get your facts straight bro. Apple was the first to use widgets with Mac OS X Tiger (2004) so they definitely didn’t copy widgets from Android.

      • Rowan09

        I didn’t say it people does and so did the guy in the Google I/O. He said “they are years ahead when other are just adding keyboards and widgets, we’ve done it 5 years ago”

      • SkyFall

        Of course he will say that he is launching a software upgrade to a competitive software. Every company does that. People on the other hand aren’t always informed correctly and most of the time they tend to support the platform they like.

  • UJ

    That wallpaper is shit

    • Zeus

      Obviously the most important part.

  • Rowan09

    I’m very confuse with Samsung. They released the Gear 2 with Tizen and replaced Android on the Gear 1 with Tizen just to release Samsung Live? What happened to the Tizen Samsung phone?

    • They went with Tizen at first to quickly fix problems with battery from the original gear series. Guess Android wear fixes that so, they quickly jumped back into that band wagon…I believe the Gear 3 will come with Touchwiz wear.

      • Rowan09

        I understand. They kept on bragging about making a Tizen phone since last year and still nothing.

  • Lucus Bendzsa

    On iOS we have enjoyed all of these features for quite some time.

    • Kash Gummaraju

      really? which ones? the ones that were android first?

      • Rowan09

        Like find my iPhone, do not disturb, etc, continuity (IOS 8), etc but it doesn’t matter.

      • Not that it matters, but other than continuity, the other two were always available as apps. Like the GotYa! app (http://bit ly/1o519Ce), which is pretty much iCaughtU Pro for Android, Find my iPhone is a sub-part of that…

      • Rowan09

        I know, my brother used I Got Ya to catch someone that stole his iPhone 4.

      • Do not disturb was in CyanogenMod 7. It’s called “quiet hours”

      • Rowan09

        That’s another OS in itself. I’m just playing the games Android fanboys do, we did it first so you’re copying nonsense. I don’t agree with that nonsense because if you go far back enough someone did it first.

      • CyanogenMod is based on android.
        I don’t mind apple pulling stuff from others and making it better. But what grinds my gears is that they would call said features and call it their own.

      • Rowan09

        Yes but CyanogenMod is not Android, it’s an OS. What features did they call their own? I see them implement features, but they are usually last to implement a lot of features. Fans usually try and make it seem as if they created everything.

      • Cyanogenmod _is_ android. It uses android as a base and adds extra stuff to it. They pulled LG’s system toggles from android 2.2 and claimed it as “innovative”. (Google added this later with android 2.3 but didn’t say it was their own.)

      • Kash Gummaraju

        Cyanogenmod= Android, but Android does not = Cyanogenmod.

  • ic0dex

    Man I want the Nexus 5 so bad as a second phone but stupid Verizon does not support it. From all the Andriod phone out the if you have not tried the Nexus 5 then you’re missing out by far the next best thing next to the new iPhone 6.

  • justme

    Project Volta?? is like one feature of the iOS8

    • Kash Gummaraju

      what feature?

  • justme

    Android L?
    L = Losers? or L = Lammer? L = LOL? or what?
    what “L” means?

    • Kash Gummaraju

      iPhone 5S. S= same? S= shit? S= stealing everyone’s money? 5C, C= cheap? C=Crap? iOS= i Only Steal? i Only Sue? That’s right

      • justme

        agree with you, iPhone5C is just Crap… but 5S?
        galaxy S5 tried poorly to copy the finger printsensor and…. oh God why?…. a gold version too.. -.-

      • Rowan09

        Apple was sued the most out of all the companies, so you’re wrong on that.

      • leart

        5s is for speed
        5c is for colorful

        Now explain for what the heck is android L?

      • Android is for open-source operating system
        L is for Lollipop

      • leart

        no one asked you

      • Yeah, asking a question out loud in public thinking it’s a private conversion…asinine.

      • leart

        I feel sad for you, spending you life reading comments of others on a blog of a company that you even like.

      • I’m no ignoramus hater like you pathological fantards. What I hate are mindless zombies like you…

      • leart

        Asinine

      • leart

        The word asinine and your big android you can put it in your a s s mother f u c k e r

      • Kash Gummaraju

        yeah speed and colorful? nope. Android is an open source mobile operating system managed and owned by Google. Android L is the latest version of the operating system announced in this year’s Google IO. Does that answer your question? Didn’t know companies needed to justify their naming schemes, especially considering Apple fanboys let Apple’s unexplained naming go about. What does Yosemite mean? What’s the X in OS X? Why did Apple choose to name their desktop OSes after cat species? You let those slide, but you start to fling your shit like a chimp if Google doesn’t justify its name choices? Maybe L means Light, because Google is trying to make Android a resource light OS now? L means Lime Key Pie? Who knows? Why do you criticize companies that aren’t Apple?

      • leart

        cuz its so obvious that they are ripping off whatever apple push out, i am a designer and yeah, i hate when someone copies my stuff

      • Kash Gummaraju

        Yes because they ripped off what again? You mean the flat design that they were implementing before iOS 7 came out? Or the keyboards that were on Android since practically the beginning? The normal and logical direction of trying to make an operating system less resource heavy? Widgets? You mean the things that were also on every other OS before iOS? The list keeps going on and on…of the things Apple ripped off from other OSes particularly Android.

  • Jacob Chang

    I have been a very keen user of Android, and it has always amazed me

  • Yujin

    this lollipop looks ugly…hahha

  • brooks whiffen seale

    They should trip people up and call it Android “Lettuce”

  • Disasterpiece

    I tried to like Android tablets… but the apps just aren’t there. Yes, I know they scale for different screen sizes, but most of the time I’m getting a blown up phone app. I tried Galaxy Note 10.1-2014, Galaxy Tab 12.2, and most recently a Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4… Great hardware but sucky software… plus Touchwiz is awful for tablets. Kudos to you that like Android tablets

    • coLin

      I tried to like the iPad but I ended up selling it because it is soooo limited in every way. (I bought a MacBook Air 😀

      • Disasterpiece

        I own a 128GB iPad and a MacBook Air. I’ve learned to over any limitation it has lol

  • Nigel Antonio

    L means Layer Cake

  • nas33r

    just another Android .

    • Kash Gummaraju

      just another ignorant fanboy