Google Android L Developer Preview – Explained

Just a few hours ago, Google has announced Android L Developer Preview which is focused primarily on bringing great user experience with slick animations for touch response as well as major shift towards optimizing battery performance. This time around, the launch of the next android version i.e., Android L Developer Preview has been quite different. Google used to launch the android and push up updates for nexus devices immediately. That is not the case now. In simple words, Google has teased us by showing the sneak peak at how the Android L would have polished user interface. If you have missed that part of Google I/O event, sit tight because I’m gonna get you through the all of the features that were announced have been announced.

Android L Developer Preview: What is L?

Right from Sundar to other Google employees who have been explaining things on how new Android has been polished to bring new UI elements, referred the next android version as Android L. Nobody knows what L stands for but we do know that the next version is perhaps coming with an L being an initial alphabet (officially).

You might need to wait for couple of months to see what this L stands for as Google has just released a developer preview giving a quick look at the Android L. It will take some time for it to come on the nexus devices and subsequently others which are eligible.

Android One Program

Android One Program

Google announced Android One program which is aimed at providing an easy solution to problems such as regular android updates, excellent hardware quality on budget friendly devices. Specifically talking, Micromax, Karbonn and Spice have been releasing budget smartphones and what was lacking was the perfect mixture of hardware with software. With the Android One program, the devices released under this program will get android updates like nexus series phones. Yes, you heard it right. Since Google will be helping out these companies to get the right hardware to run on their fully stock Android L, it will be lot easier for them to push updates.

Currently, Micromax, Karbonn and Spice have tied up with Google to release smartphones under this program. There aren’t much details available about the Karbonn and Spice smartphones but we do have some inputs about the Micromax phone that will be launched under this program.

Micromax Android One Device

The Micromax Android One device will have 4.5 inch display, dual SIM capability, SD card slot and FM Radio. We are not sure about the camera pixels but it will definitely have an LED flash.

Google Android L Developer Preview : Features

  • Material Design
  • Default runtime – ART
  • Batter improvements with new battery save app
  • 64 bit compatibility
  • Enhanced notifications
  • Recent Tab revamped
  • Camera API Enhancements
  • Lock screen enhancements
  • OpenGL ES 3.1 support for games
  • New Enterprise Features

Let us look at each of these features one by one.

Material Design

The material design is the whole new concept that has been incorporated in Android L. It is primarily focused on providing user interface that responds to the depth of the touch. It gives a whole new look to how applications can react to the touch responses with slick animations. Calling it a “fresh, bold and new look” Sundar went on to mention that this is inspired by the depth of the pixels. In addition to this, the material design is clearly visible in the Google now cards as well as dialer app that is being built. The new feature called “palette” has the ability of seeing the color of the pixel in the image. That color can even be set around the image to enhance the UI experience.

Default Runtime – ART

We saw how smoothly apps were running through the ART runtime which was added in the Android Kitkat as an experimental feature. The Android L will have the default runtime as ART and that will gradually help in better app performance. THe image below shows how the ART has improved the performance against Dalvik.

Here is the old article by pocket now explaining the difference between ART and Dalvik.

Android L Performance under ART vs Dalvik

Project Butter is now Project Volta : Battery Improvements

With the project butter, Google has been focusing primarily on providing the smooth experience through android. With the target being achieved throughout the couple of years, Google has turned its focus on improving the battery life. The project butter is now project volta. With this new approach, Google has introduced a battery saver app that shows remarkable improvements on the battery life. The “Battery Historian” app will help you in identifying those battery eating apps so that you yourself can take action against them. The all new battery saver mode in clocking down the CPU speed as well as switching off the data package and other things that may cause battery drain when battery is low.

64 bit compatibility

Yes, Android L brings the 64 bit processors compatibility and I’m really excited to see the phones built on that kind of hardware. It brings the larger number of registers, newer set of instructions, increased addressable memory space, cross platform support and all this with no modifications for java language.

Enhanced notifications

Enhanced notifications - Android L

Notifications on the Android L have been enhanced to brings quick buttons to react and respond such as replying to the message. Additionally, users will be able to check out notifications from the lock screen itself. They can even open, dismiss or read the notifications without putting down the drawer from top. The heads up notification are particularly useful when you’re gaming or doing some work in full screen immersive mode.

Recent Apps revamped

The recent apps interface has now been revamped to bring the card style layout to show the recently accessed applications. In addition to the apps, the Google chrome tabs will also be shown separately giving you the easy access to these tabs.

Camera API Enhancements

The Advanced camera API gives developers an ability to build apps by making use of parameters such as exposure time, ISO sensitivity and frame duration.

Lock screen enhancements along with Kill switch

With the Android L, users can define the home location where the phone would be automatically unlocked without asking you any pin code or pattern lock. Additionally, users can connect the device to Bluetooth smartwatch or similar accessory and thereby unlocking the phone without entering pattern lock. There has been a lot of buzz about the kill switch and what it does it reset your device to factory settings making it completely unusable if it has been stolen. Google is working on to incorporate this feature in Android L.

Open GL ES 3.1 support

Gaming enthusiasts, this is something for you. Android L brings Open GL ES 3.1 support along with the android extension pack which will take the gaming experience to the PC like graphics.

New Enterprise features

The Android L is now ready to be used by enterprise people for work. The Google has already partnered with Samsung to brings the Knox like security layer at the core of the Operating system which would give extra layer of security. The Android Work feature enable people to the phone for work as well as personal life. All your work and personal content would be safe and saved securely.

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