Google has finally announced the release of its new Android OS version, Android 5.0 called ‘Android L’, in the Google I/O 2014. The release is Google’s first developer-only preview, and while it’s not the final version of the next flavor of Android, it gives us a great look at what’s next from Android.
There are plenty of cool new features introduced in Android L, including a revamped interface, better battery life and performance boost.
While it’s still not yet released for public but you can download developer preview from here. The SDK is available for developers to download onto Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices .
The final release is expected later this year but no specific date has been announced. And it’s not clear if “L” is the final name of the next version of Android or it will likely be called Lollipop, Licorice, or other delicious dessert starting with the letter L when it eventually releases to the public. Now, let’s see some of the new features and improvements come with Android 5.0 L.
New UI: Material Design
The first noticeable change in Android L will be its new user interface. Android 5.0 L featuring a new UI layout called Material Design, which adds more animations and shadows. Android will have animations and transitions like never before, and visual cues that you’ve tapped a button followed by fluid motions and transitions.
Not only does Android L have great visuals and neat animations, but all these transitions work together in and out, and between apps. So while using apps, switching apps, opening new windows and more. Everything moves smooth and fluid.
The navigation bar also get a whole new look. With this release, the Home, Back and Multitasking keys are now symbolized by a triangle, circle, and square that make it looks like the PlayStation controller buttons.
Google has improved notifications on Android 5.0. The users will now be able to get a full notification appear on the lock screen, then either double tap to launch apps or swipe them away. You can still swipe down to check your notifications, but you now have more ways to view them.
There’s also a new type of notification in Android L called ‘Heads Up’. It basically provides pop-up notifications at the top of your display, whenever you’re inside of an app. You can accept them or dismiss them. They’re meant to show what you’ve received – without taking up your whole display or interrupting.
Battery Saver mode
Google brings a new project called ‘Project Volta’ for Android L. It comes with a smart Battery Saver mode which will turn off all the beauty of the UI as soon as the battery charge goes below 15%. The company claims that it extend battery life by up to 90 mins on the Nexus 5.
A battery predictor will also tell users exactly how long they have to leave the device plugged in before it is fully charged.
CPU Performance Boost
Android L will feature Android RunTime (ART), a new runtime compiler that processes applications more efficiently.
Google claimed that by switching to ART, Android devices will have 2 times performance over Android device running the older Dalvik runtime compiler. ART is also 64-bit compatible allowing Android L to benefit from the larger number registers, cross platform support and the increased RAM support.
Graphics Performance Boost
Android L adds support for OpenGL ES 3.1 and includes a new set of tools called the Android Extension Pack which provides features like tessellation to improve the detail of geometry rendered onscreen, and geometry shaders which also add detail to what is rendered onscreen as well as to add shadows to a scene.
The Android Extension Pack also includes support for compute shaders, and Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) that Google says could bring desktop-class graphic to android devices.
Android L also makes it easier to unlock your phone without having to enter a pin or draw a pattern. The new personal locking feature will help users to make the device aware about their location or proximity with other Bluetooth connected devices like smart-watch and program it to unlock on its own.
Android L also include kill-switch that allow users to wipe data if the device is stolen. This feature was included in earlier versions of Android as well but it seems Google is going for a re-branding this time around specifically for this feature.
3D Multitasking Menu
The multitasking menu of Android will get a 3D look in android L. This is also courtesy Material Design and shows the open apps as overlapping cards. The 3D effect is generated with the help of “shadows and perspectives,”. This will make multitasking on your devices easier.
These are just some of the more notable changes in Android 5.0. There are a number of other new features included in Android L, such as a new keyboard UI, new quick settings, a Do Not Disturb mode and much more. To see the complete list of changes, please visit the official website here.