Google Gives Developers Early Access to Android L
The Android L preview version gives developers an intriguing look into what the next version of Android will look like and how it will work. Read all about it here.Android developers are getting their first look at the future with the new Android L Developer Preview edition of the mobile device operating system, which was unveiled by Google on June 25 at the Google I/O 2014 developers conference. The early preview version provides developers and users with glimpses of the evolution of Android as it approaches its seventh birthday in September 2014. Android L marks the first time that Google has ever provided early access to a development version of the OS to device and application developers, according to a June 25 post by Jamal Eason, an Android product manager, on the Android Developers Blog. The preview version, which is available for use as of today, will allow developers to explore many of the new features and capabilities of the next version of Android while providing tools to allow development and testing on the new platform, wrote Eason. Among the key updates in the preview version of Android L is the inclusion of improved design requirements that will help Android gain a more integrated approach to visual, motion and interaction design across a number of platforms and form factors, wrote Eason. "Material design is a new aesthetic for designing apps in today's multi-device world. The L Developer Preview brings material design to Android, with a full set of tools for your apps. The system is incredibly flexible, allowing your app to express its individual character and brand with bold colors and a variety of responsive UI patterns and themeable elements." Also featured in Android L are capabilities for enhanced notifications for users, including new lock screen notifications that will allow users to obtain specific content, updates and actions with a quick glance, rather than having to unlock their device screens, wrote Eason. Related visibility controls will allow users to manage the types of information shown on the lock screen, while heads-up notifications will appear on a small floating window on the device.
The preview version of Android L also includes new tools and APIs aimed at helping to conserve battery life on devices through a power-saving effort called "Project Volta," wrote Eason. "Battery Historian is a new tool that lets you visualize power events over time and understand how your app is using battery," he wrote. "A job scheduler API lets you set the conditions under which your background tasks and other jobs should run, such as when the device is idle or connected to an unmetered to a charger, to minimize battery impact."