Google I O 2014  L Developer Preview

At the Google I/O at San Francisco today, Android’s Chief Sundar Pichai and Matias Duarte have announced the next version of Android: “The Android L”. This is based on the concept they earlier announced at the meet , Material Design.

Read about Material Design,introduced at Google I/O 2014 here.

Dave Burke, Director of Engineering, Android, explained some of the highlights of Android L developer Preview. We will mention those highlights here.

The Android L is based on the Material Design which was previously explained – pixels reacting in a way real world materials would. Users can see elements floating on the UI of this Android L and the framework will cast a real time shadow.

Ripple touch and Nested Scrolling:

Dave Burke demonstrated the highlights starting with the basic phone dialer. the speed dial, recent tabs respond in a ripple touch effect and the caller selected not only gets highlighted, but it moves up towards the user. Yes, it just appears popping out, floating above the UI (user interface) casting a shadow underneath.

Android L developer preview material design

Another feature is the ‘Nested scrolling’. The concept is as the user scrolls down the screen, different areas under the user’s view respond differently. This was explained with the dialer case again. As the user scrolls upwards in the recently called list, the recent caller at the top of the list starts to shrink and disappear, and the recent, speed dial and the Contacts tab will get locked at the top.

Enhanced notifications:

In Android L, notifications are improved in such a way that the user can read, open and dismiss notifications within seconds, all from the lock screen!

The notifications, when slided, go one behind the other -another material design implementation- and when a notification is selected, it pops out and appears floating on the screen. Android gets smarter in the L version and based on how you use your phone, it provides only those  that are important to you. If you want the list of full notifications, just swipe down the notification list.

Android L enhanced notifications

Double tap on a notification to open it or swipe it to the right to just make it disappear. Do not want to bother about any notification and just want to unlock the phone? Just swipe up on the phone’s screen and your back into your phone where you left off. As simple as that.

Another feature in the notifications area is the heads up notification. This comes into play when the user is using any app. The notifications pops up on the top of the screen. The user can tap to open it or just swipe it away to dismiss it and continue working.


This is a new feature that is introduced to save the time we all waste in pattern unlocking our phones many times a day. This feature is called ‘personal unlocking’.

Personal unlocking enables the device to recognize if its in a safer environment. Personal unlocking uses signal such as location, visble bluetooth devices or voice recognition. Dave Burke demonstrated this with an android phone that is paired with a smart watch. So if the owner’s smart watch or any bluetooth device is under visible bluetooth devices list of the phone, Android L does not ask for a Pin or a pattern to unlock. If the device is away, the user needs to provide the pin or draw the patter. So that’s how personal unlocking works on Android L.

Along with the above, Android L also intends on improving the mobile web experience of the user.  Check out the full details on Android L here.

This new Android will be available to developers later today and is expected to be announced officially this Fall, said Google.

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