Android L

Google took the time to explain a few of the major features we'll come to love in the next version of Android — still known only as "L" — during this morning's Google I/O keynote, but there were a great many that didn't quite make the nearly-three-hour address. They did, however, make it onto a slide during the presentation.

Here, now, is everything listed on that slide:

  • Burst-mode camera APIs
  • H.265
  • NDK media APIs TV input framework
  • Low latency audio recording audio patch panel
  • Improved AV sync
  • USB audio
  • Cast receiver hardware assisted hot word
  • ART
  • 64-bit trusted execution environment
  • Volta
  • Improved battery stats, predicted time remaining
  • Battery historian
  • Time to charge time on lock screen
  • JobScheduler
  • Multi-network
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • BLE central & peripheral modes
  • HFP 1.6 SAP
  • Multi HFP
  • Map Email
  • Open GL ES 3.1 & Android Extension Pack
  • Personal unlocking
  • Enterprise
  • Lock to app APIs
  • Document-centric multi-tasking
  • Lockscreen notifications
  • Heads-up notifications
  • Do not disturb
  • New quick settings
  • Phone rotation lock
  • Improved game controller support
  • Closed caption
  • Color inversion
  • Color space correction
  • Improved text rendering
  • Material theme
  • Activity transitions
  • View shadows
  • View elevation
  • RecycleView
  • CardView
  • Path animations
  • Color extractor

Reader comments

What's in the next version of Android (aka L)? All this stuff


Root, install custom recovery and you'll have it next week. Well.....maybe not next week.

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I'm won over. Without any reservations.

Also, USB audio! It's about damn time. Google delivered today.

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I'll be 3rd with that

I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.

It bypasses the digital audio processor on your device. This is useful if you want to use an external DAP, like to connect directly to your car stereo through USB or for recording programs for musicians.

Basically it allows access via USB/USB-OTG to USB audio devices like Mics, Speakers, and high-quality DAPs. This is necessary for any good Audio manipulation on the Android OS. So far, app makers that wanted such abilities had to code the drivers themselves and build them into their apps(like this one: ). Coding drivers from scratch and supporting them is cost prohibitive for most Devs, causing iOS devices to surge ahead of Android in this app category.

Allows apps to send the digital audio data out over the USB, rather than "rendering" the audio internally and then sending out that stream. Similar to the difference between using an S-Video cable (HQ analog signal) and HDMI cable (pure digital signal) in your home theater.

So, in theory, I could pay Spotify in my car through the USB port? In the same way that it can currently be played via AUX or BT?

Not so much for the USB port that may be in your car, more for the one on the phone. You could plug in a single USB cord to your phone, that would provide both power and audio output (higher quality than BT audio). You would still probably use your car's aux in Port.

With the upcoming Android Auto initiative, this will probably be used to play audio to car stereos, using the USB connection. Some car stereos also have USB ports with the capability now. My JBL car stereo will actually do this with iOS devices.

USB audio was the first thing I noticed. I hope they implement it universally on all Android devices.

The purpose is to use an external USB DAC so that you can bypass the internal DAC on the phone, which can improve the quality of the audio.

Didn't we already have this too an extent tho? I've seen more than a few DAC that claim Android support? Is it like native now rather than requiring 3rd party apps/drivers or something?

Card View? I wonder if this is similar to WebOS cards? If so, I'd prefer that over the current method of switching between / discarding current apps.


OK man...bury webOS already! Its gone! Well, unless you have an LG TV!

Brought to you by the Nexus M8

Hey, WebOS had some great features. Just because it's long gone doesn't mean some of what it had going for it couldn't be implemented & improved on.

I wonder what happened to Android silver. Maybe there will be a New Nexus this year!

Brought to you by the Nexus M8

Except for the Nexus that IS high Just kidding...the Android One and Silver are two different things.

Yea, but that's for emerging markets. That solely to reach the next billion people. Android silver was rumored to be a Nexus replacement program.

Brought to you by the Nexus M8

This is more software related, that is a whole new hardware platform. I would expect that later in the year

Whatever. If Android Silver does not come to life non of this will matter. I don't wanna be the only one walking around with a Nexus device. That's no fun.

Why does it matter that anyone else owns the phone you do?

From my Moto X+1 running Android 5.0 in the world's worst dummy case

Shoot. Sign me up. I feel like I'm the only one walking around the Nexus, and when people ask what kind of phone it is, it gives me a chance to "enlighten" them!

Brought to you by the Nexus M8

My hunch is that "L" is just the code name being used; the helps keep everyone guessing as to what the release name will be, etc.

Winner of the OnePlus Storm of Invites contest thingy...

°Sony XPERIA Z2 white
°LG Optimus G Pro white
°LG Optimus L70 black

Its amazing how few people know about ART runtime being available on KitKat under developer settings

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What?! You're telling me many in the general public don't know about a "feature" that is hidden in the developer menu and not officially supported? SHOCKING!

No option for it on my Note 3. I checked. I've heard the same from other Samsung owners, so I believe at least Sammy is removing the option from their devices. It's also entirely possible that the carriers in the US are the ones removing it. Makes sense, since they don't want to deal with people changing the setting and then calling into their carrier's help desk complaining that their phone isn't working correctly.

Would it be to much to ask for better battery saving without having to lose functions? I want stuff blazing on my nexus and still use very little juice. Everything else does not matter. I love my nexus and KK 4.4.4. Just save my juice when I turn the screen on.

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That's impossible. That's like saying "I want to drive my car at full speed but not use as much fuel as I currently use" performance will always suffer when saving power

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Ever wonder how a big ol 350 sucks down gas and makes less than half the horsepower of modern engines half the size

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I think you're all missing the point upgrading the car is out of the question. If we take that into account with a phone then we could just put in a bigger battery and problem solved. That's why upgrading in any way shape or form ruins the whole argument

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It's probably the synopsized single color for an image.

In the keynote video showing Google Now, there was a showing of a Gallery, each painting's card had a border/frame of a single color that sort-of matched the painting. Android Central might not have a snapshot up.

Posted via Android Central App on my HP TouchPad (Schizoid PAC-ROM 4.2.2)

USB audio? I didn't think this could get any better. Also, I'm wondering why they didn't mention this during the Keynote.

From my Moto X+1 running Android 5.0 in the world's worst dummy case

Yea.....and also say how much better their users lives are who switched from Android Wear....

Brought to you by the Nexus M8

Sounds like Android is maturing even further to me. We're already at a point where these mobile devices are crazy powerful. Good to see Google add some "polish" to all the existing features, IMO.

Nothing in there about being able to block numbers? WTF, Google? Hopefully this will be apart of the do not disturb mode, or something.

I know this isn't being able to block a number but... On a nexus 5 anyway, there is a checkbox available under each contact number to send all calls directly to voicemail. As I says, isn't being able to block... But better than nothing, for now

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I'm running KitKat 4.4.3(slimkat rom) on my lgG2. In the call settings there is the option (blacklist) to block all the numbers that you put on the list, all private numbers, and all numbers not in your contact list. It's a great feature.

Unfortunately, I'm on a carrier-locked Moto X, which is a work phone where I need this the most, so custom roms aren't really an option :(

Avast has a block feature but its limited to a certain amount until you pay. Its worth a look though

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Mr Number can't block the 'you have won a free gift card' text messages with Android 4.4, so then you're forced to download TWO separate apps in order to have functionality that should've been there since v1.0. Perhaps when they get done with auto awesome and making the UI widgets do jumping jacks, they'll finally have time to put in this very basic feature.

Yeah, I saw in the description that it can no longer block SMS in 4.4. Maybe they'll find a way to fix that. Your carrier might have a "block" feature, too. I know Sprint does, but it requires you to log into your account and add a number to the list, which is not nearly as convenient as being able to do it from the device.

Low latency audio recording patch panel..... Let's see how well that works! :)

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The only thing I care about: can we install apps in the microSD again or not?

If not, then to me the L will not stand for Lollipop nor Lime Pie, but for "Lame". And therefore I will keep using WP because at least there I can do that.

Are you perplexed WP can do something Android no longer can? Yeah. So was I when I was told the unfortunate news.
Luckily I hadn't pressed the "buy" button on the Z1 Compact yet. And now it seems I'll keep not doing it...unless, of course, Sony starts shipping their phones with 32GB minimum with microSD.

I wouldn't put money on Google ever bringing that feature back officially, since it reduces the performance if the device and they're trying hardcore to get away from the stigma that "Android is slow" because your average user doesn't understand what they're really doing when they move apps to the SD card.

My Gs5 already has burst mode camera, and heads up notification for incoming calls (only that though), plus power saving mode (not to mention UPSM), blocking mode. Still looking forward to "L" and the new card notifications and lockscreen notifications and new notification shade.... hopefully Sammy doesn't kill those features with TW!

You're right about your S5 having those features, but only because Samsung modified Android to include them. This is about getting those features built into Android itself, which will mean more devices have those features, and there will be less "modification" of Android by the OEM's which will (hopefully) mean faster updates.

so many people here attack people who comment logical things and lots of you reply saying things like ''wow nice work sherlock'' on things that 90% + never knew in an effort to make yourself look more knowledgeable. if you do that you are pathetic. stop trying to impress people. you are ruining this site

Yet, we still don't have a stock way to show the battery percentage. I use the "kit kat battery % "hack"" app on the play store to enable a halfway decent one now but I wish that something basic such as this would show up. It's very annoying not knowing what my battery is on... (the kkb% app only really shows you below 50%). I know Galaxies and Sense 5+ has it as an option but I like the current half baked implementation on my Moto X. I don't want 10% of my status bar taken up by my battery percentage like they do.

I don't know about "proud" since I didn't really have anything personally to do with it, but I definitely understand and agree with the sentiment :)

I was waiting for such thing as changing the whole look of the Android menu look thing, I am an owner of Note3 and the phone is a kick ass phone so i said they had to change the look of the menu and now it's coming with L Wounder if N3 will get it

The Note 3 will most likely get "L". It will barely be a year old when L comes out, and the carriers have all pretty much agreed to support devices for at least 18 months.

HELLO! (I just happen to get up at 4:52 A.M. this morning, and I MUST tell you; THIS MADE MY MORNING READING Android L (Lolipop): 5.0 !! ...) I am definitely fully awake! I'm trying to see if I could get the Android Preview SDK mentioned that is going to be at starting later today (Thank Goodness for that, that's for sure!)! I read three articles so far that happen to mention Android 5.0... I just recently happen to get a new smartphone near Early April, and I later found that Android 4.4 Kit Kat was what my operationing system happened to be running from (I thought it might have been one of Android's more main and general functioning ones were. After all,... It was even mentioned recently... It must'be been the one.) ...
I like the 4.4 Kit Kat for what I need the busier aspects of my schedule supposedly, would probably need. ... But I read that features that will be anticipated on Android L will almost do it with a sense of "fluidity", AND almost seemingly totally "SWALLOW" up the more "bUSIER!" areas of my schedule (that would also conjunctionally, use a smartphone). I want to see if I could get Android Preview SDK at to see if I could symbolically stiill get it. I was told on my smartphone recently that when the update area would learn of the new material that would be released following Android KitKat, that they would automatically obtain it and put it over in the updates area of the Mobile phone ( It was a good bit of days before this report concerning Android "L", or "Lolipop", had been released.

Oh, well! ... I sure wouldn't want some one to miss this ANDROID L debut! ... So, maybe if you'd have a few moments of time BEFORE your morning part of the day, would REALLY GET started; go over to the website, in its developer area of it and go check that out.

Andrea L. **

There was talk of bits of support for this being baked into (I think) 4.4, so it may still be part of the final OS release. Even if it's not, I'll bet some OEM's (or dev's) find a way to make this possible, assuming it's actually working when L is released.

Well, I guess iOS 8 required some kind of answer, but this is like slamming a nail with a sledgehammer. Go Android!

I for one am very pleased to see usb audio. But sadly the first thing that came to mind was Apple execs throwing hissy fits and filing another "you copied out product" lawsuits and all the ios sheeple slagging android off more than they already do.
Props to Google for what's sounds like a great android update.
Just hope the carriers don't drag the release out like usual.
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What's "Document-centric multi-tasking"??

Is that code speak for apps like Chrome being able to split their tabs into multiple entries within the task switcher? I thought Andrew mentioned something like that in the L hands on video... Would be nice for other apps, but for Chrome it sounds horrible. I'm usually at 25+ tabs which would make a mess of my app switcher.

Did you know Chrome's tab counter button turns into a happy face after 99 tabs btw? Keeps running amazingly well even at 150+ too (better than on some laptops even).