Google announced a new ‘Android L’ design for its mobile operating system today, and it’s got a new layered, shadowed look.
Android L seeks to unify the Android experience on phones, tablets, and smartwatches by using a new “Material Design” aesthetic.
“Material surfaces slide around with the physics of card stock,” said Google’s Vice President of Design, Matias Duarte. “But they respond to touch with splashes of virtual ink that are like ripples in a pond.”
Android L is only available as a developer preview at the moment, but Google has mentioned that it will arrive this fall.
Here's a comparison of how the old Android Mail app looks like compared to the Material Design version.
The phone dialer has 'bold material colours and shadows,' and the dialer button is actually elevated above the rest of the UI.
A new feature called 'Nested Scrolling' allows recent calls to fade away as you scroll, and menu bars to lock into place naturally.
Notifications in Android L are prioritised now, so that only the most important notifications are brought to your attention. Double-tapping a notification launches the app, but for notifications that aren't as pressing, a simple swipe will dismiss them.
'Personal Unlocking' enables a device to determine if its in a trusted environment. For example, it will detach whether or not it's in your hand or on the table near you. Or, if you're wearing a smartwatch, it will use Bluetooth to know it's in range. If the phone doesn't know it's near you, it will present a PIN for you to unlock the device.
Improvements to the Chrome browser means that open tabs in Chrome can now be added to Recent Apps, so you can view them all in one place. Links in Google Search can also take you directly to an app such as Open Table.
Project Volta, a new feature that helps optimise and improve battery life, allows developers to go under the hood with 'Battery Historian' and see how battery usage is affected by particular apps.
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