Google finally took the covers off of Android L in 2014’s Google I/O keynote. Unlike past Android releases, L is only available as a Developer Preview on Nexus 5 and 7. The public release will come in fall of this year.
Elements in Android L will have a sense of space. You’ll know where they came from and where they’ll go. There will be layers, one element on top of other. Floating elements will be clearly marked by drop shadows. Android is also going the iOS 7 way and taking up a minimal approach with bright colors. I not really a fan of the overused animations and transition effects but overall, the L release does look beautiful.
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Will Your Phone Get It?
Even if your device manufacturer does update your phone with Android L later this year, it will be painted over with their own skin. Few people will get to use Android L the way it is right now.
While we wait for that to happen, let’s at least play with some of Android L’s features.
1. Install Android L Keyboard
Android L brings the biggest change to the keyboard in years. Now there’s an easy way to install the keyboard as an app from Google Play Store and you don’t even need to be rooted.
After downloading the app (UPDATE: This app is not available anymore. Use Google’s official Keyboard app instead.), follow the instructions given by the app to enable the keyboard. They are as follows.
Step 1: Enable Android L keyboard from Settings.
Step 2: Switch from current keyboard to Android L keyboard.
Step 3: Customize with addition languages if you like.
Android L keyboard is now activated. If personalized text suggestions are not working for you, just turn them off and on again from Keyboard settings.
Google decided to give Android’s default font – Roboto, a bit of makeover for the L release. The change is not major and on a phone it’s not even that noticeable (unless you’re a designer). It was updated to look good on larger screens. So if you have a tablet or desktop, you should get better use out of it.