As expected, Google has today announced Android L, and it is called “Lollipop.” Google had announced and detailed the features of the operating system at I/O in June earlier this year. Lollipop is making its debut on three new devices including the Nexus 6, the Nexus 9 and the Nexus Player media streaming device. It will then be released on the Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Google Play Edition devices in the coming weeks. With the Android Lollipop now announced, let’s take a look at some of the features and improvements that you can expect on the new operating system. Also Read - Apple CEO Tim Cook claims iOS is more secure than Android
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One of the major changes you are going to notice on an Android L-powered device is the user interface. Since Ice Cream Sandwich, a major facelift was a much needed request, and Google has delivered it with style. The UI is a lot smoother, graphics rich, and responsive with rich animated touch feedback including nice ripple touch effect. At the event, the company had only a handful of apps that could reflect the changes, however, a plethora of apps have got updated since to flaunt the new interface design. Also Read - Honor phones to come with Google Mobile Services: Report
The notifications look nicer as well. They have become more interactive, and have Google Now’s cards like feeling to it. Another interesting addition is the heads up notifications, which appears when you are working on another app. It gives you the ability to respond to that notification without leaving the app.
ART, Project Volta, Battery Saver
ART, also known as Android Runtime is an interpreter that is also available on KitKat, though users had a choice to switch to Dalvik, the other interpreter. With Android L, Google is making ART the default interpreter for the system. The new runtime offers a 2x boost in performance, as well as offers compatibility with ARM, x86 and MIPS processor architectures. Among several features, ART also provides significant boost to performance, and battery. It will provide PC-level graphics for future devices.
Project Volta is a feature that gives developers detailed information on how different processes are hogging battery. The Battery Saver app, on the other hand, will close all but the most essential apps thus giving your device an extra hour and half of life.
With Android L, the company is also making the Android-powered device more compatible with other devices including Android Wear-powered smartwatches. The connectivity will also work with Android Auto, Android TVs and more. One example of such seamless connectivity is that it will let you pause work on one device – say a game, and let you continue it from where you left on an Android TV. Another example is that when you get the same notification on your phone and smartwatch, replying on device will make the notification disappear from the other device as well. Chromebook users will get notifications of calls and texts on their computer.
Camera API and DNG support
The new operating system version is also giving developers the ability to do a lot more with the camera. It comes with a new camera API which works with third-party applications. The manual control over the hardware will likely result in better images.
Additionally, the images taken by the camera can now be saved in the DNG (Digital Negative) format, a feature that prevents the phone from processing (and degrading) the quality of the image.
Finally the operating system is upping its Bluetooth standard, with support for Bluetooth 4.1. It may come as a surprise to many, but this is completely a software change, and no new hardware is required from user’s end. The new version brings better integration with LTE radios, botching the excessive interference. It also improves the bulk data transfer speed.
Google recently announced that with its latest operating system update, it is making the Android devices so sophisticated that even the company won’t be able to unlock a user’s phone and access its data. This is a big win in the wake of Snowden’s revelations.
There are lots of small things going on behind the curtain. The update also provides improvements to the audio support. It also brings support for the latest high definition codec H.265, improves AV sync, and a host of other features.