Android L officially unveiled by Google

Something to sink your teeth into

After months of rumour and speculation Google has officially launched Android L at its IO conference in San Francisco.

With over 5000 new APIs Google is promising big things from the Android L update - its biggest release to date - and the developer preview will be available from June 26.

Something users will immediately notice is the change in navigation icons at the bottom of the screen, with the home key changed to a circle and the multi-task button now a single square. The back key has also been updated to a triangle. It's like a Playstation controller without the X key.

Notifications have been streamlined in Android L and you can now get interactive access to notifications from the lock screen.

These notifications are automatically organised and prioritised based on your usage habits.

Android L also adds 'Heads up notification', which pops up an interactive panel on top of whatever app your using, allowing you to respond to a call or text without leaving the current application.

Material things

Google has added a new user interface to Android L, something it's called 'Material UI' and the search giant claims it gives all navigation and animation on screen a more natural effect.

Apps have been cleaned up, with a fresher appearance and less clutter, while smoother transitions persist throughout the interface.

There are hundreds of more enhancements in Android L which Google didn't have time to show during its keynote including a new keyboard UI, do not disturb setup and quick settings.

You can look forward to PC quality graphics on high-end phones and tablets thanks to Android L, and Project Volta looks to ensure battery life keeps up with the performance.

Developers will be able to use Android L on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 from June 26.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones and Tablets Deputy Editor

John (Twitter, Google+) got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile, churning his way through a multitude of handsets, tablets and operating systems. Signalling his arrival at TechRadar by becoming a Guinness World Record holder in his first week (for the highest score on Super Mario Bros using a giant controller), John hasn't looked back since.