Android L arriving tomorrow

Android L's release, along with 5000 new APIs, will be coming to developers starting June 26 for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. Google announced at Google I/O that Android L is its biggest Android release to date and it wants developers to start trying and testing out Android L as soon as possible.

Be sure to visit developer.android.com starting tomorrow to download the images for your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7.

And if you're a developer running Android L, let us know how L works out! If you like it or if there are any kinks or bugs, be sure to visit our forums and comment! Also let us know what your favorite Android L feature is.

 
There are 102 comments

MERCDROID says:

So, that means the Nexus 4 and 10 have officially been retired.

unglued94ta says:

Inteesting. I wonder about the nexus 7 (2012) edition that came out before the nexus 10.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

Yeah, it may have been retired, too. One thing I've noticed lately is that Google is no longer stating when a release is the last update for a particular phone. It was publicly stated by Google that the Nexus S would no longer receive any updates. But, there was no such announcement when the GNex was abandoned. And, they didn't mention the Nexus 4, 1st gen Nexus 7, or the Nexus 10 as being eligible for the L release.

@MERCDROID in a way they did say that the GNEX would be retired when they said there was no official 4.4 release.

MERCDROID says:

I'll give you that. I forgot that Google did say that.

hfm says:

I wouldn't be taking this as officially no support for the Neuxs 4. This is a developer preview not a production reelase.

That said, it could be the case, lets not get ahead of ourselves though.

dr4stic says:

Google has always said that devices would get 1.5 years of updates. Nexus 4 is past that and L isn't even production quality yet. I think we can safely say that L won't come to N4 officially. However you can bet all those devices will be supported by 3rd party AOSP based ROMs... I mean, that's why you bought Nexus phones right? Community support?

thatguy97 says:

Depends if L supports Tegra 3 I guess

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

scouser73 says:

It actually doesn't say if it's just for the 2013 version, so people that have one maybe in luck. Hopefully Google don't let the original Nexus 7 users miss out.

Howard Sylve says:

They had a good run.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

Yeah, it just doesn't seem like it. 18 months flies by!

Bigballer says:

This is what pisses me off about Google. Abandons support after 2 years whereas Apple keeps support for 4 years then abandons support.

MERCDROID says:

True. This is one thing that Google could work on. Arguably, though, Apple has more devices in the wild. If Apple were to cut support after 2 years, they'd piss off a lot more people. Still, I feel your pain, though.

Premium1 says:

Apple not gives half updates though. Whereas google gives the full update

vansmack says:

Be careful with this comparison. Many times iOS# will work on your older iPhone, but many of the newest and most desirable features aren't supported, so it's not a fair comparison.

If you just want the glitz and the glam, sure, but if you want the meat, you need a new phone.

Thunder350 says:

Apple is both better and worse than Google in regards to updates. Ex. While generally they provide updates to newer versions longer. They like to gimp these updates, removing many software features that older devices can run just fine in hopes of driving up sales of newer devices. And if you mod these features back in yourself (like Siri on iPhone4), they block it shortly afterwards. With Google, if your device can run it, you get every feature no matter what.

Posted via Android Central App

hkklife says:

Yes, they gimp those updates but as the owner of a secondhand iPhone 4 (just for testing/support purposes) it's nice to see SOME of the latest goodness trickle down to a nearly 4 year old device. Whereas my lovely Nexus 10 that's barely a year old is already left out in the cold despite packing hardware that runs circles around most new Android tablets; What a shame.

vansmack says:

The Nexus 10 was released on November 13, 2012, and just received Android 4.4.4 last week.

That's 18 months of support.

HuShifang says:

Not a good comparison - the Nexus 10 is still the most modern full-size tablet in the Nexus line (whereas the 4 and 7-2012 have been superseded by the 5 and 7-2013 respectively). Plus, until Samsung's releases this year, there weren't really any good non-stock options in its size group.

TenshiNo says:

Like everyone else said, newer versions of iOS on older iPhones are typically "gimp'ed". From everyone I've ever known with an older iOS-based device, they also frequently make the device damn near unusable.

I've have several friends who were still using an iPhone 4 or 4s that updated to iOS 7 and have said that their phone is so slow and the battery life is so bad that they wish they hadn't upgraded. It made one of them actually go out and get a 5s.

Which might well be exactly what Apple is hoping for by allowing the newer iOS on older hardware: show users (painfully) that it's *old* hardware.

Silas0220 says:

It does not. No one said they weren't getting the update. They're just not the reference devices Google wants developers using to get up to speed on L. Knee-jerk responses help no one.

MERCDROID says:

Ok, I guess, lol. I just don't see why all 4 devices couldn't be references devices, if the update was truly meant for all of them. You don think that's a little peculiar?

dudenoway says:

Erm, not really. Think about it. The Nexus 7 is the flagship device (dev device as well) for mini android tablets. The Nexus 5 is the flagship device for phones. The previous devices are no longer the flagship. And most developers have the Nexus 5 at this point and would develop and test using it. Also, seeing as it's a developer download, that proves absolutely NOTHING when it comes to an official release.

MERCDROID says:

True. Fair enough, brother. I guess, we'll just have to wait and see when the official release occurs this fall.

AfroMetal says:

We should notice that screens presenting new Chrome UI running on Android L were in Nexus 4 resolution. I find that going for me. I hoped to change N4 to N5 next year not this.

Bigballer says:

If my N5 dosen't continue to get support until, say 2017, I might just jump ship to Apple.

I'd rather take updates/security updates rather than a useless brick after 2 years....

I can understand the Gnex fiasco, TI left. THat wasn't google's fault

MERCDROID says:

Yeah, the GNex was understood. I don't blame you for wanting to jump ship. But, whose to say that Apple continues supporting four generations of devices when 2017 comes?

thatguy97 says:

Just recently the iPhone 4 got killed off after 4 years of support not bad

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

MERCDROID says:

No, not too shabby at all.

jgauthier52 says:

But the last two years of updates for the iPhone 4 were either stupid slow or only half updates. "Here's the pretty update of iOS 7, but without any of the function."

Posted via Android Central App

TenshiNo says:

Yeah, but god forbid you actually update an iPhone 4 to iOS 7 and still intend to *do* anything with it. The 4 friends I know with iPhone 4's and 4s's who updated to iOS7 said it basically "broke" their phone because of how slow it was and how bad the battery life is.

jerrykur says:

Agreed. My iPhone 4s was so slow after ht IOS 7 upgrade I could not use it to realistically test apps.

Bigballer says:

By looking at Apple's support history. The cutoff is usually 4 years, which is very respectable.

What happens if I buy a N5 this year. You mean to tell me I only get updates for only a year?

Geez.

MERCDROID says:

Yeah, it'd be nice if Google changed that...

vansmack says:

You paid half the price for that Nexus 5 than you did for an iPhone 5. Buy a Nexus 5 and 6 and enjoy it because you break out even....

Bigballer says:

Now price has to deal with updates? Oh god, what about GPE devices?

You mean to tell me since the chromecast costs less I should receive less updates?

sojibby says:

He did make a completely valid point. Yes price does have to deal with updates. Not to mention Android has a very active developer community and it is very easy to keep a Nexus device updated via that route, which is unavailable to Apple, especially for developers.

Once again, people are comparing grapes to oranges and coming up with bullshit. None of this stuff really matters all that much.

hkklife says:

Apple killed off support earlier than usual for the iPhone 1, 3G, and iPad 1. Other than those devices, they've done quite well in supporting their older devices. The 3GS, iPhone 4/4S and iPad 2 have had a particularly long and good run.

Angel Zayas1 says:

I think that the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S will still continue to be supported for the rest of this year and maybe (but unlikely) next year, because they both run with the A5 chip, and the iPod touch 5th generation uses the A5 as well and it is apple's only supported iPod touch and they won't cut support for their only iPod touch. So until they make a new iPod touch (and no rumors have surfaced of a new one) I don't think that they will retire the A5, which includes the iPad 2, iPhone 4S and iPod touch 5.

TenshiNo says:

Actually, I thought I read something about new models of iPod touch being unveiled just a few days ago. Could be wrong on that, though.

TenshiNo says:

Sorry to keep replying with this, but older Apple devices on new versions of iOS tend to perform *really* poorly, in my experience. And Android version doesn't mean as much these days, with Google breaking the Play Services API out of Android itself.

bluesun3030 says:

I have a 4.4.3 ROM installed on my GNex. It is starting to show it's age & it is not a daily use device anymore. If you want longer support, I'd suggest unlocking the bootlaoder & ROM'ing.

jtmcmurdo says:

you do know what root is for right, the n5 will have a shit ton of community support after google stops updating it

dudenoway says:

I don't think so. I'm sure they are only supporting the latest flagship devices for the development. This isn't an official release or anything even close to such.

fuzzylumpkin says:

You're probably right, but I'm going to hope you're wrong. My N4 is still a very capable device, battery life not withstanding.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

I hope I'm wrong, too.

DeerSteak says:

By the time L ships, it'll have been 2 years (roughly) since they launched, so they had a good run. They won't stop working on that date or anything.

MERCDROID says:

Yeah, and that's what I was looking at. A fall release puts the Nexus 4, 2012 Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 just outside of that 18-month support window.

I don't know. My cheap AMD X64 desktop from 1998 ran the latest Linux distros until it died in 2012 - and it got progressively faster in recent years. The Nexus 4 has plenty of horsepower to run L - which seems not to have any particular increases in hardware requirements. So why not support it? People on here are talking about 18 months like that's a reasonable limit. I've been buying Nexus devices and running them on T-Mobile specifically because I don't want to buy into the planned obsolescence model of the mobile industry, and even at $400, my cheap Nexus 4 cost as much as my circa 2012 desktop computer. I fully expect that desktop to be current on whatever Linux distro I'm using 5 years from now, and it's far from unreasonable to expect something comparable of a pricey mobile - $400 is not a cheap disposable purchase, and only the duped (or the status conscious) would say it is. Maybe the Cyanogen folks will provide N4 support - at least the boot loader's unlocked...

TenshiNo says:

I think you're looking at this the wrong way. Yes, your 5-year-old PC can still get the latest version of Linux, but what about your printer? That Linux distro doesn't have to have custom drivers to communicate with all the different peripherals that you might have attached to your PC because the peripheral manufacturers build those.

It's a little different with a mobile device like this, where each device's ROM has to be built and configured for the specific hardware (cameras, radios, etc) in that specific device. It's a little unrealistic to expect the OEM's to continue supporting every device they've ever released for perpetuity. Eventually, they have to "End-of-life" a device to have time to work on the newer stuff.

And it's not really a new thing. If you bought a printer in 1998, I'd be willing to bet you couldn't find drivers to make it work on the latest version of WIndows. All companies have to eventually abandon their older hardware.

MERCDROID says:

This! +9000

Perhaps, but my 5 year old printer still works with Windows AND Linux. Seriously, just because they CAN change out the kernel in ways that render the old drivers unusable doesn't mean they SHOULD. And if Google can't negotiate more than 18 months of support from the vendor of any component that goes into a Nexus device, then they shouldn't use that component - or they should demand driver source that allows them to continue to build software for the device. Driver API's don't change so often that Google couldn't (with source code) get the Jellybean drivers for all Nexus 4 hardware to build against the Android-L kernel. In any case, Apple has more variants of iPhones than Google has of Nexus devices, and they don't seem to have a problem building versions of iOS to work on them for more than 18 months. I think that's a red herring. I'm not expecting Google to support the 50000 Android hardware combinations in the wild - just the ones *they sell*. And I'm not even saying they should support these indefinitely - just that 18 months is way too short. Not everybody bought their N4's when they first came out - so some people are getting way *less* than 18 months.

It just seems that because folks are used to getting a new phone every 2 years on their contract - and paying for it in perpetuity, you get comments on fan sites like this one that just assume dropping support for a device after 18 months is okay. I thought Google was at least attempting an end run around the Telecom's planned obsolescence model by selling devices outright and getting T-Mobile to go along with it.

Maybe the weak link in the Nexus program is that the devices are built by vendors that would rather be pushing their own devices with their own upgrade treadmills. Still, Google ought to be getting a better deal.

TenshiNo says:

I agree about the expectations with Google selling their own devices, but it doesn't seem to be where we ended up. As for kernel changes that render the old drivers unusable just because they "can" I'm not sure it's quite that simple. Especially with the speed at which the mobile industry is changing.

And you're not wrong about 18 months being awfully short. But that still brings to question "how long is long enough?" Would two years be good? I know people have mentioned on here that Apple allows devices to upgrade for about 4 years, but those older devices tend to run like crap with the newer OS, so that's not necessarily a good thing.

How long do you think would be long enough?

I may be in the minority here, but I'll bet the Nexus 4 gets an official OTA update. Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM... I'd be surprised if to see it ignored, honestly.

Posted via Android Central App

That's what I thought. They didn't need 2GB back when they built the N4. I assumed they did it to give themselves some headroom for future Android versions. That's what killed the Nexus One - and they didn't make that mistake twice. The Galaxy Nexus had driver problems, and I was hoping they solved that problem with the N4 too - though the Galaxy Nexus problem didn't crop up until after the N5 was out. So yeah - maybe they just have the preview available for a few devices so far - but more to come. I sure hope so.

This is a developer preview, not an actual update. So your comment is FUD..

jubeldum says:

Maybe there is hope. Wasn't that leaked photo of Android L the other day on a Nexus 4?

Posted from my LG LS970 using my thumb

MetalMike901 says:

If the N4 doesn't eventually get the official L release, I'm going to be very disappointed. I bought it last summer, so about 1 year ago, and I expect support for it after 1 year!

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk ATT

MERCDROID says:

You bought it during the price cut, didn't you? I bought one, then. I eventually sold it, when I got the Nexus 5.

MetalMike901 says:

Yep, bought two at $250 a piece. That was when the white version was just released. So technically, that version is barely over 1 year old, thus I believe cutting the cord would not be good.

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk ATT

MERCDROID says:

Yeah, and I believe the hardware can more than handle it.

thatguy97 says:

Snapdragon s4 pro is still very capable and pushes phones like the Xperia Z and N7 2013

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

MetalMike901 says:

I agree, but I guess I need to keep an eye out for a N5 fire sale too, lol. But I do really like my N4 so I hope that the L release is at least its last upgrade.

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk ATT

MetalMike901 says:

As a side note, my N4 is updating to 4.4.4 as i type this. One can hope this isn't its last hoorah! It would be odd to me that it's getting an OTA today, but wouldn't get the next in just a few months, but we'll see i guess.

Posted via mostly ghost taps on OG N7, in the Android Central App, therefore posts may not be my own.

MERCDROID says:

That's awesome, man!

sentinelred says:

Still haven't said what L stands for...

Posted via Android Central App

Taz89 says:

Does this mean we can try Android L tomorrow? By sideloading it via adb or is it only something devs can have access too.

Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)

NoNexus says:

You might be able to if you compile everything yourself. I really doubt (and very well could be wrong) that you are going to see a complete "beta" release. I think it is too early to put this out there for public consumption. Lots of people will end up borking their phones...

Nick Garza1 says:

This is one thing I think Microsoft handled really well with WP 8.1. Create a free developer account, download the free app studio app and anyone can install the developer preview for 8.1. Was pretty awesome.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

Yep!

NoNexus says:

You doomsayers are really jumping the gun a bit. This is more of just a preview of what is to come, not a full fledged release. Wait for the release before you get up in arms about your _____ tablet/phone is discontinued.

Google I/O is great for developers, it is nice to hear what is coming around the corner, but really should not be taken entirely to heart by the masses.

MERCDROID says:

But, but, but...

NoNexus says:

Nope, no lip from you young man...

MERCDROID says:

Sir, yes sir! Lol

TenshiNo says:

lol

sojibby says:

:)

Ry says:

..yep.

+googol

scouser73 says:

Perhaps we all just need to cool our collective jets and see what pans out, no good jumping to conclusions.

davidbonatz says:

OK so I'm not a developer and want to try this out. Do I just have to sign up for a Dev account and side load the image? Do I have to pay for the account? (Cue people telling me THIS IS FOR DEVELOPERS ONLY

MERCDROID says:

THIS IS FOR DEVELOPERS ONLY!

On a serious note, I don't think you have to pay for the developer account. I'm not sure, if Google's process is the same as Microsoft's: the account is free, but you only pay if you actually want to publish apps. I could be wrong, though.

davidbonatz says:

Went to the Dev site and I couldn't sign up without paying $25. Maybe I took the wrong route but I'm not paying $25 to sideload an open source image. I bet you any money somebody will post the image for free on a website sooner or later. But android L looks sick af. What a great keynote for google, they are finally using these major upgrades to actually upgrade the OS substantially

MERCDROID says:

Yeah,mid definitely wait for XDA or some other reputable site to post the images for free. But, yeah, Google has done a great job of greatly improving an already great operating system and ecosystem.

davidbonatz says:

I'm rooted but will indoor as soon as an image becomes available. But what I'm worried about is an unlocked boot loader. You think an unlocked bootloader will be a problem?

davidbonatz says:

*unroot

TenshiNo says:

You would generally *have* to have an unlocked bootloader (s-off) to flash a firmware like this. Understand, though, that this is likely to have numerous bugs. I wouldn't recommend flashing this onto your daily driver.

davidbonatz says:

I'm planning on flashing this on my nexus 7 (2013). I think if it explodes its warranty can handle it....plus potential lawsuits ;) plus I don't plan on flashing this until the 2nd or 3rd beta. That's always been my safe zone when I load up apple betas

MERCDROID says:

That's the spirit!

TenshiNo says:

Sounds like a plan. I don't mean to say "DON'T DO IT!" just to offer a warning from someone who has been down that road and discovered it dead-ended at a cliff just a little too late ;)

Bought a tablet a few years back that I managed to brick about 2 hours after I had bought it. I almost had a heart attack. Luckily, it had a hardware recovery mode and I was able to use a tool to flash it back to life.

Also, make sure you do a NAND backup in recovery before you start flashing. I tried out a custom ROM on my Note 3 a few weeks back and didn't bother doing a NAND backup first. I ended up spending several hours getting the new ROM setup only to realize that I *hated* it, and had to flash back to stock and re-setup everything again. It was a painful 60 hours in my life ;)

MERCDROID says:

Yeah, I learned the hard way, from flashing CM onto my GNex, which was my daily driver at the time. I definitely messed it up a few times (and was panicking, lol) before I got it right.

davidbonatz says:

Yeah ikr.

scouser73 says:

As far as I'm aware, the people who know how to access the Developer Options on their devices should be able to install it.

davidbonatz says:

If it'd actually like that, that will be amazing. But how would you install it from the Dev options ?

TenshiNo says:

Access the developer options is simple enough that it does not automatically validate one's ability to adequately understand the risks involved with flashing a beta version of an Android ROM. Just saying.

davidbonatz says:

If you don't know tho, why would you risk flashing a beta. I bet google will try and scare some people away by putting something like " YOURE PHONE COULD BECOME FUCKED" or something to that extent. I would love if I could just flash it in the Dev options rather than sideloading it and wasting 7 mins of my life ;)

cowboys2000 says:

I know many of us LOVE our phones and tablets. Many of us on forum sites are already looking forward to our next device right after buying the current one. As such, all the concerns about a device not being supported after 2 years it a bit interesting (IMHO).

I purchased my S4 in November 2013 knowing the S5 was going to be released in March/April 2014. My carrier released 4.4.2 last (with VZW). I knew that going in.

Those buying Nexus 4 or 5, you bought it outright anyway right? So just buy the new phone and sell the old one. I

MERCDROID says:

Have you tried to sell a Nexus 4 now? It is not easy. Believe it or not, consumers buying off of sites like, eBay, Swappa, Craigslist, etc are becoming more and more savvy about what they're spending their money on. If I still had my Nexus 4, I'd be lucky to get 100 bucks for it. Sadly.

SmItH197 says:

Meh, if there is no official release for the nexus 4 I will just wait for the CM12 builds to start rolling out.

Sunofabob says:

Well I'm still in the clear. Not that it would matter, if the next 'Nexus' is a true upgrade, I will have it.

AC App via Nexus 5

mochange1 says:

Common people stop moaning before you have any real facts. Its obvious that the nexus 5 and 7(13) are the most recent devices and what most serious developers would be using as a test platform. For all the Nexus 4 owners the 7 uses the S4 chipset so its probably safe to say it will get 'L'. The OG 7 has the Tegra 2, if nvida does what they are supposed to do and delivers drivers and binaries then there's a chance it will get it as well. How quickly we forget, TI dropped the ball with the Nexus S, not google. Add to that the fact that 4.4 was designed with lower system requirements in mind and I wouldn't count last years flagships out so fast. Just my 2¢

Yahya Dodo says:

Hello, I'm a Google developer and using a Motorola Moto G. I want to install Android L tomorrow on my phone. But is it possible? Because I see that it'll be available to Nexus 7 and 5 only.
Someone answer my question please?

You just answered your own question.