Apple iPhone 6 has been the talk of the town for about a week. The new iOS8 promises to usher in a new era in mobile operating systems. Google isn’t lazing around and is expected to take the competition head on with Android 5. Announced during the Google I/O Conference, Android L as it is popularly known would have a redesigned interface, more fluid animations and promises to improve battery life and would be compatible with 64 bit processors.
There are no confirmed dates but it could be around as early as November. Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 are likely to come with the latest offering from Android. The preview form is already available with the Nexus5 smart-phone and Nexus7 tablet.
The release of any new version of Android raises speculation about updates. If you are using an HTC or Motorola smart-phone you can afford to relax. HTC has promised an update for HTC One M8 and M7 while Motorola’s new Moto G and Moto X would also be upgraded to the new OS. For others, well, you can get your hands dirty and try installing it with a custom ROM.
What Would It Be Called?
Android has always been creative in its naming. Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Cupcake, Donut, Ginger Bread, Ice Cream Sandwich and the creative list is endless. The recent tie-up with Nestle saw a version 4.5 named as KitKat. So what would Android L be called? There are rumors that Google would choose one among Liquorice Allsorts and Lion Bar both of which are legendary in their own right. .
With over 5,000 new APIs in this OS it promises to be a generational leap. The most apparent changes would be visual ones. Google has been adopting fluidity in its design across the portfolio and the new OS would draw inspiration from it. Also shadows would be creatively used for icons to give a sense of depth. New animations would see objects flying into view and tapped icons rippling.
It isn’t ‘old wine in a new bottle’ Android would have a new Personalized Unlocking Mode. It would also introduce voice imprints to activate/deactivate locks screen and apps. The developers have finally responded to the calls of those with large thumbs and would have the keypad letters sit on a flat background making it easier to type texts and mails.
Google has finally moved from the Dalvik runtime to ART and this would support ARM, x86 and MiPS instructions, and a mix of AOT, JIT and interpreted code. This would result in better performance and improved user experience immensely. Another improvement is with the introduction of DirectX 11- level graphics and thus users would be able to enjoy advanced effects such as tessellation, geometry shaders and texture compression to name a few. Finally your smart-phone or tablet would be at par with game consoles.
KitKat had disappointed users with its battery life but Google has done its homework and improved battery life significantly with Project Volta. A new battery historian would better analyze battery discharge, and find out apps that drain the power. For the first time the battery saver mode would be included in stock Android, after seeing all third-party manufacturers working on one. Google promises an extra 90 minutes of use within this new version.
Android Wear & Others
This new OS would come with the same design and with matching colors, icons, fonts and animations for the different wearable gadgets. Notifications would be synchronized and paired with the smart-phones. Apart from Android Wear the new operating system would also bring in a host of new features onto Android TV, Android Auto and Google’s health and fitness hub ‘Fit’.