Google has just announced its new operating system, Android L. It was announced at the Google I/O Developer Conference. It is currently a work in progress but it is set to be released across the board onto phones and tablets. Unfortunately there is no catchy name like Jellybean or KitKat, Google just wanted to show off the operating system. I’m sure a great name is to follow.

Android L already has over 5,000 new API’s, but the most obvious change is the new design scheme called Material Design. It is already said it will look best on mobile devices. Everything is animated. Everything has an elevation value which calculates shadows giving depth. Objects will flow in and out of the screen and icons will ripple as they’re tapped.

It will also come with an overhaul to its notification settings. Android L will put all of its notifications on the lock screen. Currently you have to unlock the operating system and go into the specific app. Android L is focusing on making that easier for everybody.

Now for the complex bit. Android L is the replacement of Dalvik runtime to ART. Android L will speak more languages and work on more CPUs than before. In a nutshell, a huge performance boost.

Android will finally be 64-bit compatible which matches Apple’s iOS. It also opens up the operating system to cross-platform support with powerful hardware. It will also support DirectX11 giving a better graphics engine. Angry Birds has never looked so good. It will put the operating system’s graphics on par with games consoles. We saw the Unreal 4 engine run on a high end tablet and we were very impressed.

They will also be optimising the battery life with the new Project Volta which better visualises what the battery is doing at any given time.

The new Android L preview release is available from developerandroid.com. It is unlikely we will see it available to the public until the Autumn.

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Stef Murphy

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