Google Unveils Android L
Wait, we don’t even get a mouthwatering dessert?
Typically, Google debuts each new release of Android with a dessert-themed nickname, but in previewing the next version of the mobile operating at its annual I/O conference Wednesday, Google called it simply “L.”
Ice Cream Sandwich? Don’t mind if I do. A couple Jelly Beans? Why not. But, L?
The technology preview itself wasn’t super tasty, either, with only a couple mouthwatering bits.
Android L is due out this fall, Google said, with a developer preview going live on Thursday along with a system image that can run on the Nexus 5. With 5000 new programming interfaces, Google says L is one of the biggest Android releases ever.
Android L will feature, among other things, improved performance and battery life, interactive notifications and a new “Material Design” interface.
The “Material Design” interface is supposed to offer more depth while maintaining a consistent look across different apps and content. Also part of L: Project Volta, Google’s effort to measure and improve handset battery life.
Said Android engineering director Dave Burke, “You can’t improve if you can’t measure.” L will feature a battery saver mode that can be turned on manually, or automatically activate when a device’s battery level gets low.
On a Nexus 5, Burke said that users can get an extra 90 minutes of battery life in a typical day’s use.
As expected, Android L will use the app-running engine known as ART, rather than the Dalvik engine it has relied on in the past. It will also support a variety of chips including those from Intel and those using designs from ARM.
Google promised that the new engine won’t require any work by developers.
“This one is on us,” Burke said.
More Google I/O Coverage
- Re/code on TV: Why Sell to Vox Media? Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg Explain.
- Re/wind: The Code Conference, Google I/O and That Vox Acquisition
- With Its New Mobile Features, Google Returns to Form (And Buries Its Flops)
- Google’s New Wearable Plan: Turn Everything Into a Wearable
- The Challenges Google Needs to Deal With at I/O
- At Google I/O, Spotlight Will Be on Spruced-Up Android, Virtual Reality
- Google Reins In Android Device Makers
- Meet Project Ara, the Modular Google Phone of the Future
- Google I/O, by the Numbers
- Google Courts Businesses With Android for Work Initiative
- Google Takes Baby Steps Back to Health
- Don’t Worry, Xbox and PlayStation — Gaming Is Just a Bonus on Android TV
- Google Buys Mobile App Testing Firm Appurify, Will Maintain Support for iOS
- Google Says Android LG and Samsung Smartwatches Ready for Order (Video)
- JackThreads Turns Google+ Hangouts Into Virtual Try-On Rooms
- Google Tackles the Living Room With Android TV
- Razer Developing Android TV-Based Microconsole, Due Out This Fall
- Protesters Disrupt Google I/O (Updated)
- Google Unveils Android L
- Google Launches “Android One” Effort Targeting Affordable Phones in Developing Markets