Android L: all the new features

Android L: all the new features
It's been less than eight months since the last major Android version was announced, under the inconspicuous name KitKat, and the for the first time then Google partnered with a confectionary giant, of all things, for the marketing purposes. Today marked the arrival of the Android 4.4 KitKat's successor, dubbed Android... L. That's right, regardless of the blank associations that come to mind when one hears the new naming scheme, L might be considered as one of the most visibly significant updates in Android's history.

We got a thoroughly revamped interface with the fashionable "flat", but colorful demeanor that many Android manufacturers, like Samsung and LG, adopted for their respective TouchWiz and Optimus overlays. In addition, Google finally overhauled the aging notification system, which looked pale and barren in stock Android, when compared to Samsung's, LG's, or third party efforts you can find in the Play Store. The multitasking options also got a boost with a Google Now-style card system, and there are plenty of other changes to Android under the hood, like the 64-bit compiler and the Project Volta battery life enhancer, so let's dig in, and round up all the novelties for you. The Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Android L SDK is rolling out tomorrow, when we'll know more about the subtle changes that weren't mentioned, and update accordingly.

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28 Comments

1. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

this is awesome.... it is basically what android 4 was to 2.3.....

2. somad

Posts: 169; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

I can't wait to use it.

15. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Me too....I'm lucky to get first.....Nexus 5 user. Ui looks so clean and slick.

3. dil2abu

Posts: 315; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Simply Awesome..

4. magnanimus

Posts: 565; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

When do we get this. I want now and this is why I'm only considering google play editions next time :(

7. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

welcome to android ONE. google introduce android ONE...

5. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

The main feature I love is the "context aware unlocking"! Now, I can set up password on my phone and don't get annoyed by having to input my password just to check something really quick every time. I might have to ditch my Z2 for a while to check it out on my Nexus 4 when it comes out this fall.

26. phxarchitect

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 25, 2014

Agreed on the context unlocking! There is actually a new product on Kickstarter called Vi-TL that works similar... it locks your phone if it is separated from you so you don't have to constantly unlock it all the time.

9. generalAladeen06

Posts: 11; Member since: Oct 04, 2012

And I just sold my Nexus 5 :'( damn it!

10. babalove

Posts: 23; Member since: Dec 30, 2013

those on-screen navigation keys are a waste of space.

11. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

They are exactly the same as every Nexus device since 2011. They are not wasteful at all. The go away in immersive mode and when not needed, unlike physical buttons.

19. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

Physical buttons were never in the way to begin with...

30. blingblingthing

Posts: 948; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

To each his own. I TOTALLY disagree. Phones with on screen keys have a cleaner look to me. Notice the G3 is about the same size as the S5 with a bigger screen. The physical button is lost screen estate.

31. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Your phone still has power button. You will need to press it often besides turning on your phone. The home button is my spare button that off load the power button without sacrificing screen estate to display those buttons. if Samsung is going to give me 5.7" will they change it to 6" because they are feeling generous and I deserve 6" using screen buttons.

12. god996

Posts: 34; Member since: Oct 27, 2013

I just love this new version, but man, those new navigation keys look tragic. And they shouldn't have changed the look of recents, now you have to swipe through these pages to find a desired app instead of just selecting it on the straightforward list as it was earlier.

21. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

In the grand scheme of things the navigation buttons won't be a big deal but I can't help but wonder: Why??? There was really nothing wrong with the previous design. And I like the look of the recent apps menu and I'll enjoy it if I only have two or three apps open but much more than that and it'll feel cluttered

13. Angst

Posts: 35; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

"context aware unlocking" Hopefully, this means that they will integrate NFC unlocking as a locking method. I just ordered a NFC Ring and it would be nice to use it (natively) as a means of locking/unlocking instead of using a 3rd party or work-around to provide the same functionality!

14. av911 unregistered

I want to know more about what they're doing with USB Audio.

23. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

It just means they are finally going to make it available. They should have done that years ago.,

24. av911 unregistered

It was available, just not across the board for Android devices. Some had to avert to using a specific app to use their DAC (USB Audio Player PRO). Samsung has done a good job of providing the feature, although it's still hit or miss on certain DAC/phone combination. I'm currently using a Fiio E17 with my S4.

16. georgevillanueva

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

This makes me want to get of my iPhone 5S to get a Nexus even more..

27. steedsofwar unregistered

You should have done this in 2010

17. Cyberchum

Posts: 1040; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

With all these whites, I think it's safe to say that (s)amoled will be the biggest victim. The real dark feature will be very important now more than ever.

20. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

Samsung is aware, if its a problem it will probably be fixed on the note 4 display.

28. Robert235

Posts: 70; Member since: May 30, 2010

it would be cool if Volta can manage your phone sensors to save battery.

29. kabilan.ravi

Posts: 21; Member since: Apr 08, 2013

Thanks google for Copying from Apple.

32. haroonazeem638

Posts: 141; Member since: Mar 29, 2011

Am I looking at a new keyboard? Picture #9

33. monkeytown

Posts: 125; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

Samsung Knox contribution :D so that means no flashing anymore?? = kills the purpose of an "open" OS

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