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Android L Developer Preview: 4 Things you Should Know

android-l-material-designAndroid L Developer Preview was announced at Google I/O this year and it is just a look of what to expect from the next version of Android. I had some Awwww moments during the Keynote when this preview was announced and here is what I think you should know about the L developer Preview in case you missed it. I will be summarizing the take away points at the end, so look out for the bold takeaways. Here we go:

  1. Material Design:

Material Design to me is a set of clear, simple visual designs and animations that are interactive across devices and platforms. According to Matias Duarte, Head Android Design, this design is focusing more on the depth compared to the pixels and this will give a better experience to the users. Developers and Brands can take advantage of the new themes to build a theme that will match their Brand.

Material Design has very smooth animations and has an improvement to texts and the light balance which improves the shadows in the app.

  1. Notifications:

Besides the Visual changes via Material Design, the notifications have been improved to intelligently sort the notifications in 2 layers. Users can Swipe down to get the high level notifications and down again to get other notifications. Notifications can also now appear on top of the lock screen and this can be decided in the phone Settings.

The good thing I like about the notifications in Android L is how you get a heads up notification for high priority activities like Phone calls while you are in another activity like a game. You can either pick the call or ignore it and get back to your work.

Improved Intelligent Notifications that give a heads up on high priority Notifications

  1. Recent Screens:

Android L also has an improved recent screen which now brings more details of your recent interactions with the apps, for example if you were in the browser going through different tabs, in the recents you will see the browser with cascaded tabs you have been looking at.

Improved Recent Screen.

  1. Bluetooth Broadcasting:

This last one is something my fellow wearable developers will love. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) was introduced in Android 4.3 it’s one of the reasons the LG G Watch and other wearables are limited to 4.3+ devices, however the Android L Preview can now make your device act as a Bluetooth Low Energy peripheral device. Take for example a wearable wrist band that can send your running mileage to your phone.

Ability for devices to act as Bluetooth LE Peripheral devices.

Well, I hope you have learnt something and If you are a developer, why don’t you go ahead and download the SDK and get started.

Image credit: XDA Developers


Nicholas Kamanzi

Computer Engineer and Tech Reviewer.
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