Android 5.0 L Features, Officially Announced!

Contrary to what "industry insiders" and "reliable sources" had told us, Google ended up calling the latest version of their mobile OS simply Android 5.0 "L" -- not Lollipop or Leche Flan or whatever. Just L. The announcement was made just a few minutes ago at Google's I/O Developer Conference currently being held in San Francisco, California.

Now, I don't know if this formally heralds a new era of Android versions being named after letters of the alphabet but I kinda like it -- I mean, it's not like we have a choice, right?

Android 5.0 L

This refresh represents a radical departure from Jelly Bean and KitKat as it features a massively revamped user interface and big improvements to notifications and security as well as an updated suite of built in applications.

The foundation of the visual overhaul is Google's new Material Design Language for Android and Chrome. As I've shared in the previous post, this philosophy is highlighted by a flatter look and rounder elements with soft edges extending across all of Google's interfaces for mobile devices. Users will likewise see simplified shapes and experience smoother transition animations. Additionally, developers can add depth illusion through "elevation" that stacks visual elements and adds drop shadows automatically.

Google also greatly improved notifications on L, snatching some of the useful things about iOS notifications. For instance, on Android 5.0, Recents appear stacked on the lock screen making them more prominent when you unlock your phone. Incoming notifications likewise pop up on top of the screen even when you're playing a game or using an application.

Overall performance on Android 5.0 L has also been enhanced significantly with Google officially switching to ART runtime. To put it simply, ART makes applications run faster and more smoothly. It also makes Android more energy and memory efficient, and - just like Apple's iOS 7 platform - fully 64-bit compatible. Aside from that, Android L optimizes GPU performance on flagship or high-end smartphone releases closing the gap between Microsoft DirectX 11 desktop and console graphics rendering engine; This makes games on the Android platform more immersive and gorgeous.

Excited to try it out? Well, Android 5.0 L Developer Preview will be available for download on Nexus 5 smartphone or Nexus 7 (2013) tablet starting tomorrow, June 27, 2014.