The Android 5.0 L update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 will be made available for the public later this year, but, for the time being, the Mountain View-based giant didn’t reveal the exact moment when the new update will be released. Anyway, we believe it’s fairly easy to estimate the release date of Android 5.0 L based on Google’s previous launches.
So far, Google released two major Android updates a year: one in the summer and the other one mid-fall. Starting this year the company changed its strategy and it looks like they will be releasing the update Apple-style. As you may know, Google’s fierce rival is previewing new iOS versions in the summer, at WWDC, then it releases them to the public in the fall, when a new iPhone is released.
Google previewed Android L at Google I/O earlier last month and made the Developer Preview for Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 available for download a few days later. Most sources indicate that the final version of Android L will be released late October synchronized with the debut of a new Nexus device.
Even though it was rumored that Google plans to kill the Nexus program, one of the company’s officials dismissed the rumors. There have been reports of a new Nexus tablet developed by HTC and codenamed Volantis. If the rumors prove true, HTC Volantis will pack an 8.9-inch display with 4:3 aspect ratio, 64-bit enabled Nvidia Tegra K1 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 8 MP rear shooter, 3 MP user-facing camera, and “aluminium zero-gap” construction.
The folks at Google haven’t even revealed the dessert name or the official version number of the new Android iteration. Several voices claim that the new dessert name will be either Lollipop or Licorice. Given the high number of changes and improvements brought by Android L, the version number will most likely be 5.0.
Android 5.0 L is no doubt the biggest update Google’s mobile platform has seen since its debut back in 2008. The Material Design philosophy aims to improve the looks of the new Android version, in the same time making it more intuitive with the help of 3D effects and shadows. Dalvik runtime was replaced by ART and the new version comes with support for 64-bit chipsets.
The Android 5.0 L notification bar and lock screen went through a makeover. The lock screen now displays notifications and allows the user to interact with them, the notifications being prioritized based on the frequency you interact with them. On the other hand, the notifications bar introduces a new color scheme and ditches the Quick Settings button. The Quick Settings menu now lives a swipe down away from the notifications bar. In order to access Quick Settings you need to swipe down once to bring up the notification bar, then swipe once more to show the quick settings toggles.
The Quick Settings menu has been changed, as well, showing toggles for WiFi, Mobile Network, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb Mode, Sound, Rotation Lock, and Location. Quick Settings also displays a Brightness slider, while the Auto Brightness button is gone, being replaced by “Adaptive Brightness.”
In Android 5.0 L the status bar behaves differently. While being transparent in the home and lock screens, the status bar can now change its color to match the action bar of the app being opened on the display. Of course, it’s up to developers to change the way their apps influence the status bar.
On the other hand, the multitasking menu now has card-based interface which is a reminiscent of Chrome’s opened tabs menu. The recent apps cards are stacked one over another and apps can show more than one card. Chrome is one of those apps, being capable of displaying a different multitasking card for each opened tab.
As usual, the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 Android 5.0 L update will be the first one to be publicly released. The members of the Google Play Experience tribe will most likely be next in line, followed by Motorola’s high- and mid-end smartphones (unless the US-based phone maker changes its good habit). HTC revealed soon after the Android L announcement they will be updating their One M8 and One M7 handsets to the new Android version within 90 days after they receive the final code from Google. Other OEMs such as Samsung, LG, or Sony will probably release Android 5.0 L for their supported devices sometime in the late 2014 – early 2015 time frame.
What is your favorite Android 5.0 L feature? Please let us know in comments.