We got our first look at Android 5.0, codenamed ‘L’, at Google I/O. Google has not released the OS’s actual name yet, but they have released a developer preview with a couple of major changes.
Among the many new features, the most notable is the complete design scheme overhaul, known as ‘Material.’ This is the biggest change since Google’s HOLO design with Android 4.0. Material is an extremely minimalistic design scheme with a lot of depth in the visual elements as well as shadows. It is also much more colourful than previous versions and also features real-time effects and animations, as well as consistency across devices, all in a very neat package.
Android ‘L’ is more than just a pretty face with a completely revamped notification system. You can now natively view your notifications on your lockscreen, and interact with them without having to unlock the device. The most important notifications will be situated at the top of the list, and you can swipe to expand or minimize them. You will also get heads up notifications which will appear as a header at the top of your screen designed to allow you to acknowledge and interact with a notification without it disturbing your current process.
Android 5.0 also brings a new 3D form of multitasking, where your recent Apps are displayed as three dimensional cards that you can scroll through.
Lastly, Android 5.0 features ‘personal unlocking’ which will allow you to unlock your phone seamlessly, simply by swiping on your screen. But how is that secure? Well, you will only be able to do that if your set criteria is met. For example, if your Bluetooth enabled Smartwatch is in range, or you are at a specific location, or even by your ‘voice print.’ As a backup, though, you can enter a PIN as well.
Google made huge improvements with their new version of Android, but obviously much is yet to be discovered.
Read more on Google I/O here.
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