Google has announced the next major version of Android, its mobile operating system, at Google I/0. Android L offers a fresh new user interface called "Material Design," along with several new features.
There's been a growing trend of companies making their desktop, mobile, and web experience share a uniform look. In a move to make a radical change to Windows 8, Microsoft decided to use its Metro UI that is found on its Windows Phone smartphones. Apple has been releasing major updates to iOS and OS X in recent years that offer users similar features and design language. Apple's just-announced OS X Yosemite has been given a face-lift that matches the bright and flat look that Apple debuted in iOS 7.
Google has decided that it will also bring a uniform look to Chrome OS, Android, and the Web with its new UI "Material Design." Sundar Pinchai, Android chief, described it as a "fresh, bold and new look. Android L was created with the idea of creating perceived depth within pixels." Google wants to provide users with the same experience -- on smartphones, tablets, laptops, televisions, cars, smart watches and other devices.
Android L also brings a new look to notifications. Notifications are now displayed in order of importance. You'll also be able to access them right from the lock screen and they also appear less intrusive.
Google is also addressing one of Android's biggest criticisms, its lackluster battery life. "Project Volta" is a set of developer tools that allow developers to quickly find out why their application is impacting battery life, a move that should greatly improve battery life. Android L also brings a feature that Samsung and HTC introduced with the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8; an option to enter a mode that turns off all unnecessary features and extends battery life and standby time significantly. Google's version will slow down your device's CPU, lower its brightness and limit background updates.
You can check out more features of Android L Developer Preview here. Google is making Android L available to developers, but has not given an exact release date. We'll keep you posted.