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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Google Previews The Next Big Release Of Android: "L"

It's got a new, subtly skeuomorphic look, performance enhancements for developers ... and it's 64-bit.
Google announced the preview of its
latest version of Android today at its I/O developer conference. Google
isn't yet ready to give the newest version of Android a name, instead
calling it the “L” preview (Google names version of Android in
alphabetical order after tasty desserts).

The biggest change for the “L” version of Android will be a
completely new design and user interface that Google calls “material
design.” The new design allows developers to build apps that will work
for every size screen without having to code for individual smartphones
and tablets. Animation, typography, color, design components and layout
are the featured changes of the “L” preview of Android.

Google’s head of Android engineering Dave Burke showed off some of
the new user experience and elements of material design in Android “L”
including new material themes and animation capabilities, 3D views with
real time shadows, and shared "transition elements" that assist in
switching from one app to another.

Here are some other features of Android “L” that you need to know.

Design, Performance And 64-Bit

Android “L” enhances the notification in the operating system as well
including new lockscreen, prioritized and “heads up” notifications.

“L” also introduces new authentication system for Android smartphones
and tablets called “personal locking.” It recognizes when a smartphone
is in a trusted environment by noting if it is near the Android Wear
smartwatch it is paired with.

Google updated the mobile Web experience in “L” as well, employing
the themes of material design in the Android Chrome browser. Animation
for material design works at 60 frames per second, giving it a smoother

Chrome's “recent pages visited” will be more card-like in “L,” rather
than appearing like browser tabs. The stacked card style of the recent
pages visited includes apps as well, blurring the distinction between
apps and the Web.

App indexing—Android deep linking—that was announced with Android
KitKat 4.4 in October 2014, has been updated for the “L” preview
allowing users to search through a browser but directly open an app. App
indexing is being opened up to all 3rd party Android apps as of today.

Android Runtime—ART—is officially replacing Dalvik as the compiling
engine in “L” as ReadWrite reported last November. ART supports
ahead-of-time (AOT) and just-in-time and interpreted compiling. ART
supports ARM, x86 and MIPS computer processors.

Android is finally gong 64-bit with ARM processors, as Apple did when
it announced the iPhone 5S last year. 64-bit Android has increased
addressable memory space, cross platform support and doesn’t require
modification in Java.

Graphics performance in Android has been improved in “L” with new
tessellation and computer and geometry shaders to bring videogame
quality graphics to smartphones and tablets.

The battery support in Android “L” for battery life called Project
Volta that features a variety of functions to help apps cut down on
battery use.

The Android “L” software developer kit will be available from at starting tomorrow.

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