As expected Google announced the next version of Android at their Google I/O event, called Android L (well at least for now), the system, comes with a selection of new features that will enhance smartphones which run the new OS.
One of the first features to be revealed for the new OS was something they called material design, which Sundar Pichai, a senior vice president at Google said was one of the most comprehensive design releases Google has ever done, featuring a brand new design that will carry over to phones, tablets, Chrome and all of Google itself, and claims to have been crafted to create a uniform design for “mobile, desktop, and beyond”, featuring bright colours, updated iconography/ typography and a more consistent interface hierarchy.
“One of the things as we thought about L is that we wanted to take a radical new approach to design. User experiences are evolving rapidly and we wanted for rethink the user design experience in Android to have a fresh, bold, and new look,” Pichai said.
This will all be called Material Design, which is based on “unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion” according to Google, featuring new animations, themes, 3D views with real-time shadows, and much more. One of the examples which Google gave is in the video above, which shows a ripple effect when the user touches the phone dialer, and according to the company, the new Material Design will even be featured in the Chrome mobile app.
Search results have also been updated, with a new 60fps animation. Google also improved Touch Latency, and added a Recents feature in Chrome for Android.
Next up in the keynote was performance boosts, and most notably a new feature called ART, which is a new runtime complier that will reportedly process applications more efficiently, granting a 2x performance boost over previous Android devices, with support for ARM, x 86, MIPS and 64-bit instructions.
There’s also a new graphics boost, that will allow for new graphics capabilities, allowing for more realistic environments, characters and improved lighting in games.
Battery Life has also been improved with a new feature called Project Volta, which will include a tool called Battery Historian, which offers a breakdown of what is taking the most of your devices battery.
There will also be a new battery saver mode, which allows the user to clock-down CPUs, turn down refresh rates and shut off background data to conserve their devices battery. All of this can be set to automatically turn on when the battery level is low on the device.
Google Fit was also announced during the show, which is basically Google’s answer to Apple’s HealthKit, allowing developers to process data from multiple data inputs in one application, with both Adidas an Nike already confirmed to be onboard, Google Fit will basically bring hardware and apps from developers into one application, making the process of tracking data from multiple pieces of equipment much easier.
The API will be open, meaning that any developer can use it, with other partners currently including Withings, Runkeeper, Polar, Basis, HTC, LG, Asus, Intel, Motorola and more.
Google also announced new features for businesses and companies that allows for data separation, allowing both corporate and personal applications to run on one device without sharing their data.
This feature will also be controllable remotely, allowing IT departments to deploy apps and bulk manage data easily.
Lastly there has also been other improvements in Android L including a new keyboard UI, quick settings, a Do Not Disturb mode, multi-tasking and more.
Google will release the developer preview SDK of Android L on 26 June after which he consumer version will launch in Autumn.