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."