There’s strong anticipation for the pending release of the next Android operating system. The project goes by the code name “Android L.” Fans of Android as well as industry analysts, bloggers, and technology experts are looking forward to an operating system that extends battery power, improves overall performance, and gives users an amped up interface. Check out this list of the seven best features of “Android L.”
1. An Enhanced Notification System
Perhaps attempting to rival the improved message alert system that comes with Apple’s iPhone 6, Google’s next operating system for Android devices brings its own enhancements to notifications. Users will see alerts about incoming messages even when the device is locked, and they can double tap them to open an app or dismiss them with a finger swipe.
Just as Apple’s newest device gives a small alert at the top of the screen, android phones will offer a similar top-of-screen notification called Heads-Up. The beauty of this feature is that you can receive notifications without having to interrupt an activity or game. Previous operating systems required you to close out of your app to check texts and other incoming messages.
2. A Faster Way to Unlock Your Device
Rather than entering a PIN or password, users who have an Android Watch will enjoy having the ability to unlock their phone by pressing the power button. This feature reduces the need to remember a number or trace a pattern. There’s one downside to using your watch to unlock the phone. If you move the phone away from your watch, you’ll have to enter your PIN or pattern because the device will think someone else is attempting to access your device.
3. Easier App Access Via Chrome
“Android L” comes with a handy feature that’s called app indexing. It’s one of those brilliant innovations you never knew you needed. If you search in Chrome for something that connects to an app you have on your phone, the browser offers links that let you open the appropriate app. This feature means you won’t have to engage in the painful process of trying to copy and paste links from your web browser into an app. This kind of interaction between apps helps create a more seamless experience for users.
4. Increased Security Measures
In a nod to companies wanting to implement BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs, “Android L” encompasses the Knox secure container. Google achieved this integration through a deal it undertook with Samsung. This innovation lets corporate IT staff send out apps to employees via mass distribution. It also creates a barrier that separates personal data from work information. Google is betting that these capabilities will make android phones more appealing to companies looking to distribute new devices to its employees.
5. Better User Interface
Image via Flickr by Yuri Yu. Samoilov
Anyone who uses a device running “Android L” will notice improvements to several key parts of the user interface. Open apps show up as stacked cards, with each new instance of an app getting its own card. Removing an app from recents still just requires a quick right swipe. Keyboard improvements include less space separating letters. The return button and space bar are larger for fewer mistakes when typing. Expect the icons on the navigation bar to have a less 3D appearance. Designers hail the flatter style as a more modern look for the icons.
6. More Juice
Image via Flickr by Danny Choo
Project Volta by Google enables devices running “Android L” to manage battery power when juice is low. Google says this capability extends battery life by up to 90 minutes.
7. Faster Performance
Thanks to a 64-bit chip and the implementation of ART, a new Android runtime, devices running the new operating system will have a smoother, quicker performance. Google claims these improvements mean a two-fold enhancement in performance.
HTC Nexus 7 is slated to be the first smartphone to have “Android L” preloaded. In addition, Samsung plans to unveil this new operating system on its Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5. Consumers will have ample opportunities to give this new operating system a try.