At the Google I/O conference yesterday, Google gave a sneak peak at the next version of its mobile operating system, the boringly titled ‘Android L’.

If you are looking for a dramatic changeover, you won’t find it here. Android L is focused on synergy (yes, I used that word) between different platforms, promising a coherent and consistent experience across mobile, desktop and tablets.

The new OS contains over 5,000 new APIs for developers, along with a new flatter UI and new animations both between and within apps. Developers can also now customize their apps to add depth and elevations using lighting and shadows. Colors can also be utilized to match images and elements within an app, making it a more cohesive and colorful experience.

Notifications have received an overhaul as well. Now notifications can be accessed via the lockscreen, with functionality like expanding notices or swiping them away. Pop up notifications have been also been added, so for example, getting a call while playing a game will not interrupt the app and instead appear as a small notification at the top of the screen.

Google has also focused on enhancing the security of Android devices. During the conference, the company demonstrated that the phone or tablet now has the ability to use location cues to determine the level of security. For example, if you are wearing a Bluetooth-connected watch on your wrist, the device will unlock without prompting the security lock screen. If the device cannot find the Bluetooth watch near it, it will force you to input the unlock combination.

With the new version of Android, the operating system is even more capable of running high-end games on the platform. Thanks to its new Android Extension Pack, the company promises “PC gaming graphics in your pocket”, demonstrating a visually impressive Unreal Engine 4 demo using NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 processor.

Android L will launch sometime in Fall, however developers will have access to the new OS immediately.


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