The release of the Android 5.0 L update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 is yet a mystery. Even though Google didn't officially reveal when the Android 5.0 L will be made available for the masses, the latest reports and leaks are hinting that the new release is closer than expected.
Before talking about the release date of the Android 5.0 L update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10, let's have a look at the main features of the new Android iteration. There's no doubt that Android 5.0 L is the biggest update Google's mobile operating system received since its debut in 2008. It's even bigger than the transition from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich.
The most notable change introduced by Android 5.0 L is the new Material Design philosophy. Material Design makes the interface more colorful and more animated, while the 3D effects and shadows are there make it more intuitive. It also arrives with support for 64-bit processors and introduces ART instead of Dalvik runtime. Besides performance improvements, the users who tested Android L Developer Preview reported increases in battery life.
The Android 5.0 L notifications bar and lock screen have also received notable improvements compared to previous versions. The lock screen is now capable of displaying notifications and it even allows users to interact with them. Furthermore, the lock screen notifications are sorted based on the frequency you interact with them. On the other hand, the notifications bar has received a new color scheme and improved functionality. The Quick Settings button introduced in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is gone and now you will have swipe down once to go to notifications, then swipe once more to access the Quick Settings menu. In Quick Settings you will find toggles for WiFi, Mobile Network, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, Sound, Location, Rotation Lock, and Do Not Disturb Mode. There's also a slider that allows you to control the screen brightness and the Auto Brightness has been replaced by Adaptive brightness. In the main Settings menu you will now be able to find certain options more easily, courtesy of the new search bar.
The Android 5.0 L also brings modifications to the status bar. The Android L dynamic status bar is transparent in the lock and home screens and it's also capable of changing its color to match the action bar of the app running on the screen. Google have already shown they changed the the Android L native apps to work this way and now it's up to developers to change their apps for us to be able to enjoy a unified visual experience.
The Android L recents screen also received a makeover. You should be able to notice that the last opened apps are now displayed as cards stacked one over another. Furthermore, certain apps (Chrome is one of them) can display more than one card in the recents, one for each opened tab.
It's no longer a mystery that each Android iteration had its name inspired by a dessert and a unique version number. Google has introduced the latest Android release as Android L, but that will definitely change by the time it's made available for the public. Given the large number of changes it brings, the version number will definitely be 5.0. Even though early rumors have indicated that Android 5.0 will be named Lollipop or Licorice, the latest reports are indicating that Lemon Meringue Pie might be the dessert-inspired name of the new Android version. Therefore, we believe that the final name of the latest Android iteration is Android 5.0 Lemon Meringue Pie (or Android 5.0 LMP).
Over the past few years, Google used to release two major Android updates a year, each debuting along with new Nexus hardware (one released in the summer, the other one in October, usually around Halloween). Google's strategy for 2014 (and probably for the coming years, too) has changed, being a reminiscent of Apple's iOS launches.
Apple made a habit out of presenting new iOS versions during their WWDC event (in the summer) then releasing them for the public in the fall, when a new iPhone is usually announced. Between the moment a new iOS version is announced and the moment it's released for the public, Apple offers the new OS to developers for beta testing. How is Google's strategy similar to Apple's? I'm glad you've asked. Google introduced Android L back in June at Google I/O conference and made it available for testing purposes as Developer Preview (there's an update available for Android L Developer Preview for Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013, you can check it out here), then they will make it available for the masses this fall, when new Nexus hardware will also be released. Even though it was previously reported that the Android 5.0 L update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 will go live late October, a new report is hinting towards a late September release.
As you may know, it was rumored a couple of months ago that the Nexus devices will be replaced by a new Google program called Android Silver. Anyway, new Nexus devices are definitely on Google's work table. Soon after a Google employee dismissed the rumors that said the Nexus family will be ditched, new details of a Nexus tablet surfaced online. Early reports have suggested that the tablet unofficially dubbed Nexus 9 is manufactured by HTC and that it's known internally as Flounder. The leaks also revealed that it has an 8.9-inch screen with 4:3 aspect ratio, 64-bit enabled Nvidia Tegra K1 processor, 4 GB RAM, 8 MP main camera, and "aluminium zero-gap construction." The other new Nexus device is a smartphone. The Nexus 6 is allegedly manufactured by Motorola and is known as Shamu. The said smartphone packs a 5.2-inch screen with 1440 x 2560 resolution, Snapdragon 805 CPU, 3 GB RAM, and 13 MP primary shooter with OIS. Either way, both devices will run Android 5.0 L out of the box.
Just like it happened over the past few years, the Android 5.0 L update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 will be the first one to see a public roll out. The Nexus devices will be followed shortly by the Google Play Experience smartphones and tablets and by Motorola's supported devices. HTC also promised to bring Android 5.0 L on their One M7 and One M8. According to the Taiwan-based phone maker, the new update will be issued within 90 days after Google makes the final code available. Samsung, LG, Sony, and other big OEMs will most likely release the new update late 2014 or early 2015.
What are you favorite Android L features? Did you have the chance to test Android L Developer Preview? Please let us know in the comments section below.