As expected, Google has now given us a first look as the so-called Android “L release”, which will officially make its way to consumers in the fall. While Google has yet to tell us what its actual candy-flavored naming convention or number will be, they have given us a pretty solid look at what to expect from the update.
So what’s new here? In a word: tons! We’ve been hearing for a while that Google will dramatically change up the look of the platform, and boy were the rumors right. The entire look of the platform has evolved significantly with Android L release, in large part thanks to the new Material Design language.
The new language will bring tweaks to grids, space, scale, color, typography and so much more. It is also a unified design style — previously known as Quantum Paper — and should affect other platforms from Chrome OS to the web and more. As for how it influences Android? L release comes with a flatter look with rounder elements and softer edges. An example of the new language in Android can be seen by looking to recent apps like Google+.
Another change we’ve known about for a while is Project Hera, which is in fact coming to Android L Release. Hera basically brings web data in the form of cards to the multi-tasking menu, enhancing the experience dramatically. The details on how all of this will work are still a little iffy, but the takeaway here is that the multi-tasking/recents menu is about to get a whole lot more interactive.
In Android L Release notifications will now be presented as cards, using the Material Design interface. Notifications on lockscreen and shade will also be organized in order of importance instead of just in the order they show up, allowing you to address the most pressing notifications as quickly as possible. New banner notifications will also arrive with L release, popping up when you receive a call or other important things and you swipe them away to dismiss, or you can click on them to respond.
Equally interesting, there’s now a way for Google to provide you access to notifications without having to enter a pin or password, provided it nows your in a secure location — like your home Wi-Fi network.
Performance tweaks, battery improvements and more
Android L introducing over 5000 new APIs, 64-bit support, performance enhancements, new battery optimizations, a power saving mode and so much more. Some of the key performance/battery-related improvements can be read about here.
Developers can get in on the action early
Google says this is the most dramatic evolution of Android since ICS back in 2011, and we don’t disagree! There’s tons here and likely many more surprises to come. For developers interested in getting in on the action earl, however, you’ll be able to do so later today if you own a Nexus device and are part of Google’s developer program. If your just an “ordinary Joe” interested in what’s new? It’s probably only a matter of time before this “leaks” out to the modding community as well.
Interested in learning even more? Google has now put up its L Release page on itsGoogle’s Developer page. Not much is on the page just yet, but we expect that to change in the near future.