Google I/O 2014: Android’s Got a New Look With ‘L-Release’

Google has pulled the covers off of the next version of Android, known as the Android L-release. As the rumors have suggested, the next version of Android brings a visual overhaul that hasn’t been seen since the days of Ice Cream Sandwich. L-release flattens icons, softens corners and even adds the ability to add elevation to icons creating a sharp-looking depth illusion. The cornerstone of Android L’s visual aesthetics is Material Design, which will unify the Android ecosystem’s visuals across platforms.¬†Android L claims to have improved battery life by adding a battery monitor which alerts users to how much power an app is using, as well as an improved power saving mode known as Project Volta.

As part of an Android design overhaul, Google has unveiled a new universal design language dubbed ‘Material Design.’ Similar to Google’s aesthetic guidelines which the company currently employs, Material Design lays out a template for the creation of visual effects which will span across mobile devices, tablets, smartwatches, desktop applications and the recently announced Android TV.

Material Design adds an element of depth to Android all while keeping things looking smooth. The system font Roboto has been redefined, with super quick and colorful animations. Material Design is all about bold icons, a united field of motion and basic effects of light, surface and movement. Basically, Google wants all apps to look as if they are functioning in the same visual environment, much like Apple’s iOS 8.

For a look at Material Design in action, check out the video below.

Notifications have been streamlined, adding a layer of usefulness to the otherwise annoying cluttered notification bar. The lockscreen will display “heads-up” notifications, displaying the notification type and a short description. Users will then be able to launch apps by tapping on the notification directly from the lock screen. Google has upped the ante in the graphics department, adding Direct X 11 support for devices running Android L.

Google hasn’t let slip just what the ‘L’ in L-release stands for, or what version number the build will take. The developer preview of Android L will be available tomorrow, June 26th.

Android L is Google’s most ambitious Android release to date, working seamlessly across Android smartphones, tablets, Android Wear devices, Chromebooks and even Android TV. It looks great on paper, now let’s see it in action!


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