Last week at their I/O conference Google showcased the next major Android version. In the ‘L’ Android release Google has completely redesigned the interface and how some base functionality will operate. The new software version will be officially released this fall at a specific date TBD.
As a self-described Android fanatic, I couldn’t be happier with the changes and additions Google announced at their annual I/O conference last week. I currently use a Nexus 5 so I was thrilled to see Google make the ‘L’ version of Android available as a developer preview for the first time. There is so much that Google has changed that I couldn’t resist the temptation to try it out.
After a couple days of using Android ‘L’, I’m in love with the new “Material Design“. Along with the preview Android build, Google provided extensive documentation around their new design framework. This is the most striking design work that I’ve seen from Google in their history. Material Design represents the first real emphasis on design and its affect on overall user experience.
To me, the most noticeable changes in the developer preview are to the way Android handles notifications and multitasking. Notifications will now be presented in a card-like design. Anyone who has used Google Now will feel comfortable with the new look of notifications. In addition to the design, notifications will now be present on the lockscreen and will be immediately accessible. As for multitasking, more cards that stack instead of the previous vertical list. The recent apps cards are more condensed, but still just as quick to switch back and forth.
Alas, I had to revert to Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) due to stability issues. These issues are to be expected. After all, Android ‘L’ has only just been released in developer preview. I look forward to seeing how the system will evolve with greater developer involvement than ever.
These other blogs have even better writeups of all the new features of Android ‘L’: