L Preview

At the Google I/O keynote presentation in San Francisco today, Android chief Sundar Pichai and Matias Duarte have revealed the next version of the mobile OS. Say hello to the new version of Android, known right now as simply the "L Preview."

The Android L Preview is based on the design idea of "Material Design" — the idea that pixels and interface elements react to your touch in an intuitive way, like you'd expect materials to in the real world. Developers can define depth and motion in their apps to respond the way they want them to when users interact with the interface. Google Now design language with cards and sharp colors start on the lockscreen and notification shade and go throughout the interface.

The interface of the L Preview is flatter overall in individual elements, but the interface as a whole shows off more depth, bringing important elements "forward" to the front of the interface, with other less-important elements fading to the back. Buttons have more subtle animations and uses of bold colors to give a "fresh user experience." A new collection of features called Project Volta aims to give improved battery life.

Matias Duarte says that the new release of Android will include over 5000 new APIs, and will be available for attendees of Google I/O to use on development devices later today, with test code available for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 tomorrow. For a consumer release, the best we can draw from the keynote is "this fall."

There are 51 comments

LightaDroid says:


Posted from Google Nexus 5

bergeronjc says:

Is Verizon Wireless sponsoring the change? The red color looks like Verizon Wireless.

tomh1979 says:

if that was the case, no one would ever see a timely update ever again, lol.

WolfpacDAR says:

Oh great, now every time I unlock/wake my phone I'm going to get charged a service fee to use their OS...

bergeronjc says:

It'll be competitive. Only $0.75 for each time...

flychinook says:

Needs more Verizon logos.

cwmont13 says:

5000 new API's should lead to a new truly unique user experience for the next Android version. Let's hope it'll run on older hardware platforms too.

From the Death Star using my LG G2

ccskimmer04 says:

Do you know how many API's were new in the previous releases? Just wondering as to use for comparison.

sigmamason says:

This might pull into getting a Nexus 5 again...just to play with the new software.

That looks like the updated g+ app

TheDroidKid says:

So is L going to changed to an actual name later?

hmmm says:

They are probably waiting to see if they can get a sponsor brand so they don't have to change it mid cycle again like they did with kitkat/key lime pie

smeghead4269 says:

Android Lifesaver? Android Lemonhead?

Wollombi says:

Or Lemondrop. That way they keep the candy/dessert association, but also associate with a fancy cocktail for the crowd who thinks of themselves as more "sophisticated".

I thought Google went along with the KLP name to keep the real name a secret?

gzzzz says:

The new UI looks ugly. Is there a video of it ?

Posted from the Future via Android Central App

BldyIdt says:

The UI reminds me of Sense 6

Posted via Android Central App

K White1 says:

That was my first thought, too.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

Thee QuanLee says:

Yes it does.

Posted via Android Central App

cronindes says:

Totally agree.. definitely not a bad thing!

mstrblueskys says:

Yeah, blend Sense 6 and WebOS and you're almost all the way there!

Looks iOSish. ..

WestonCory says:

No. Looks Sense 6ish.

milesmcever says:

Dang it i'm going to have to unlock my phone but I was doing so good....

thatguy97 says:

Tomorrow we get system images and sdk sweet! But their servers are going to be packed with people trying to pull the system images and sdks off their sites

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

JeffDenver says:

This is a preview of iOS12.


Hahaha. You're probably right.

TomW093 says:

I wonder how long it will take third party app makers to incorporate the new design

thatguy97 says:

I think a while devs have to get ready for the fall release now but I hope Android 4.1+apps will run with no problems on L this is a big change

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

OK, I know you guys will probably be all over this but... I'm really hoping you'll be able to post links to the preview once Google gives you access. That is, if they don't keep it just an I/O thing.

TenshiNo says:

Check XDA. I'm sure they'll have copies of the developer preview available there. That said, I would be very cautious of installing this on your "daily driver" since it is almost certainly not full functional.

D13H4RD2L1V3 says:

Looks a lot like Sense 6, if you ask me.

Anyway, I hope HTC gives us One M7 owners this update. Given their recent vow to give all HTC One owners 2 years of Android upgrades, it'll probably happen.

shadamehr says:

Am I the only one missing something here...? Style over function leaps out to me...

Take the image above of the new look Gmail under Android L... Three functionality issues straight away...

1) It shows less emails per screen than current Android...

2) Each email shows less of the Subject message...

3) Doing away with the (recently introduced) User Images of those in the thread, make it a lot harder to see who's talking to/about who...

This is what I hate about Google... Their style improvements always seem to come at the expense of actual functionality.

Unless this "interface Reactivity" somehow resolves this loss - but I can't quite see how...

So if this is Android L, your welcome to keep it thanks Google...

ruhban says:

Looks similar to BlackBerry OS 10.3
Posted via Android Central App

TheMimic12 says:

This materialistic thing sounds a lot like skeumorphism that Apple used all the way up to iOS 7.

Posted via Android Central App

jerrykur says:

So is this mostly a cosmetic UI update? What about the stuff under the hood? That is, new services, OS changes, etc.?

Wollombi says:

What, 5000 new API's isn't enough for you?

paisley99 says:

All i ask is that you can pull down refresh for all inboxes at one time. if it has that, i'll be happy.

soldierblade says:

Anyone catch the version number yet?

Posted via Android Central App

XavierMatt says:

It's nice. But the general public won't really see it.

stab244 says:

No nexus 4? And I'm guessing it'll only be system images and no source code being released.

Posted via Android Central App

Sunofabob says:

It's interesting to watch as each software company adjusts their setup based on the market on the whole. For example the iOS 7 update was very flat with the colors and a lot of third party apps are adopting that as well.

AC App via Nexus 5

mariocf says:

Those nav buttons look wayy too ugly

Posted via Android Central App

I'm not sure I like the basic geometric shapes for the nav buttons. The triangle I can see as meaning "back", but how am I supposed to get "home" from a circle, or "app switching" from a square?

Isn't a less intuitive interface a step backwards?

vividrich says:

Yeah my first reaction is the square is home and the circle is.....I have no idea.

Wollombi says:

Well, the task switching button has always been square-ish. I imagine the circle for the home button is reminiscent to somebody of the physical home buttons we used to see on just about every smart phone, and is still on Apple devices. That's my speculation, anyway.

EDIT: Corrections. I can't type/spell today, apparently.

seyss says:

lol so this is the type of "macho man" that designs Crapoid?

cowboys2000 says:

IMHO, If the code release where coming soon , a product announcement (phone/tablet) would have been hinted at or announced.

I just don't see "L" being available on an exiting device "before" appearing on a new device first.

blg923 says:

Nope, don't like it. What is with these flat colors and simple themes (eg. iOS)..not to mention the explosion if colors, everywhere. This also appears a lot like Sense 6 which is why I left my HTC One M7 for the Droid Maxx. Crossing my fingers that the Maxx goes no further than 4.4.

Posted via Android Central App

cdmaloney1 says:

Hope the 2012 Nexus 7 gets it.

manleym7 says:

Will I get use to the 3 icon shapes at the bottom who knows but it's been a long time coming for a revamped android os upgrade.