EXPLORING THE L FEATURES
The upcoming version of Android is built on a new theme for apps called “Material,” that has new animation support, 3D views with realtime shadows, and so on. Basically those are the tools to make apps that match this design. There’s a new feature called “nested scrolling.” which lets you decide which parts of the UI scroll differently. The colors are super bright here, bold. Over the next months, Material will come to the rest of Google’s own apps (but it’s not there yet).
There are also new notifications in the new Android L. Looks like they show up in little Google Now-style cards. You can get full interactive access to notifications on the lock screen. You can swipe down to get the full list. The notification pane and the lock screen are basically combined. Clever and cool if you ask me. There’s a new kind of notification, a “heads-up.” It’s a big pop-up but you can easily ignore and dismiss it.
PERSONAL PHONE UNLOCKING
There’s a new lock system. It’s called “personal unlocking.” You can set up locations, Bluetooth devices, or your voice as “trusted” so you don’t have to enter your PIN. In the demo during the key note, they showed how you can use your Android wear watch to keep your phone unlocked.
NEW ANDROID PERFORMANCE
ART RunTime and 64 Bit support
Most Android phones are running the Dalvik engine, as of today there’s a new “runtime” that will be realeased in L, it runs exclusively on the Android Runtime, ART. This is a deeply nerdy thing, but it should make Android faster. Google says it’s twice as fast as the old runtime, Dalvik. And developers shouldn’t have to make any big changes to work with ART. ART is also better at “garbage collection” inside apps. Told you: developer conference. ART also is better about managing RAM and it’s fully 64-bit compatible.
And for graphics nerds, the Android Extension Pack supports graphic bits like tesselation, geometry shaders, and other things that matter to gaming developers. The graphics look good at least ion what we saw during the demos of the keynote.
Android L will also be better on batteries, apparently was called Project Volta: The goal of optimizing every subsystem in Android for battery life. There’s a new battery saver mode in L.”You’re going to see new high-end tablets and phones” with “PC Gaming” capabilities. It has a new look, better notifications, better battery life. SDK and early system images for Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 going up tomorrow.