It's official. Google will give us a live preview of Android L at its I/O developer conference that officially kicks off in San Francisco on Wednesday.
The rumor mill was buzzing with reports that Google's latest iteration of its mobile operating system will be unveiled in the fourth quarter of this year. However, in a lengthy profile for Sundar Pichai on Bloomberg, the Android chief discredit rumors and said attendees at the 2014 I/O conference will definitely get first dibs on the next Android version.
"I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner," Pichai says.
He didn't say though what it will be called, but many Android followers think Google will keep up with its tradition of alphabetically naming its Android platforms after sweet treats. People say it's going to be Android Lollipop, but a few other suggestions have popped up, including Lemon Drops, Licorice and Laffy Taffy.
On Tuesday, Reddit users grew excited over an alleged screenshot of Android Lollipop, the name most people think Google will adopt, posted on Google's Chromium Issue Tracker. The photo, which has been taken down, shows a distinctive letter L on the upper left corner of the screen, which suggests that the screenshot shows a debugging version of the next Android OS. Android is known to use symbols for debugging versions of previous Android platform. For instance, it used a slice of pie icon for Key Lime Pie, which was changed to KitKat before its announcement.
The leaked photo, which shows a screenshot of Chrome on what looks like a Wi-Fi only device, confirms one of the major stories going around that Google is taking a page from Apple's playbook and giving its mobile platform a major redesign to provide a more minimalist interface. Reports say the new Android will feature flatter, more colorful apps and cleaner navigation buttons. Sure enough, the image gets rid of the gradients in the notification bar found in previous Android platforms and features flatter, darker icons.
The mute icon has also undergone a makeover from a megaphone to a Chrome browser bell with a slash over it, which indicates Pichai's effort to integrate Android with the rest of Google, a move that has been previously opposed by former Android head and founder Andy Rubin, is taking its roots.
Other things notable about the screenshot include a subtle border around the Chrome app, which makes it look like the app was floating on the screen. The image also shows a navigation soft button bar that floats on top of the app.