Google has officially unveiled the next instalment of its dominant Android OS, with Android L previewed ahead of an official release in the near future.
Teasing the new design and enhanced features of the upcoming Android OS, Google has revealed that Android L has been designed to bridge the gap between smartphones, tablets, desktops and wearables.
“Today, for the first time since we launched Android with the open SDK, we are giving you a preview of the upcoming ‘L’ release,” Google’s Senior Vice President of Android and Apps, Sundar Pichai said speaking during the company’s Google I/O keynote.
He added: “This is one of the most compressive releases we’ve done, it has about 5,000 new APIS and we are thinking about L release not only for mobile, but for form factors beyond mobile.
“We wanted to take a radical new approach to design. We wanted Android to have a fresh, bold design.”
Android L Design
An update very much focused on refreshing and unifying the look of Android, the new Android L OS is built around a new design based dubbed ‘Material’.
“We challenged ourselves to create a design that was not just for Android phones and tablets,” Matias Duarte, Google’s VP of Design said adding Google wanted to achieve “one design for mobile, desktop and beyond”.
A design all about depth, bold colours and recognisable themes, Material will offer one unified set of style guidelines for every screen and benefit from “consistent, beautiful design experiences.”
Android L Features
Needless to say, the biggest refresh to the Android OS to date will see a raft of new and improved features introduced.
From a new keyboard UI and improved quick settings to an updated notifications tab, improved Bluetooth 4.1 support, improved AV syncing and new lockscreen notifications, Google is readdressing most elements of the mobile platform.
One feature given a hearty overhaul is the notifications menu. Android L will not only allow users to read, replay and dismiss alerts and notifications within seconds, the new OS will add improved functionality for interacting with and responding to notifications without leaving the app you’re already in.
Another Android L feature is one which echoes back to functionality introduced to the BlackBerry Z10, with future Android users to be able to better split their work and social applications and settings directly on a single handset.
Google’s ProjectVolta will also be included as part of L. The gist of ProjectVolta is one which sure to please many, improved management of your phone’s processor and memory along with more refined software all to help extend battery life.
Android L will also introduce a number of new features to better allow smartphone connect and with the company’s new Android Wear OS – a piece of software specifically for wearables such as the LG G Watch.
With personal unlocking, the Bluetooth connected Android Wear watch can be used to unlock your device more quickly. If you haven’t got the watch close to your device, it’ll automatically bring up the passcode lock.
With 5,000 new APIs being introduced to Android L, this is just a selection of the new features set to come in the Android 4.4 KitKat follow-on.
It is currently unclear what the ‘L’ in Android L will stand for – although Lollipop is the leading guess. Nor is it known if Android L will be Android 4.5 or 5.0 although, based on the size of the update we would hazard a guess that it will justify the full numerical update.
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