Rumors have been going haywire about the next version of Android, and now Google is giving us a look at it. Currently codenamed Android L, this next version of Android is the biggest overhaul of Android to date. Not only is it a huge change behind the curtain, with over 5,000 new APIs, but it’s also a system-wide design change. Material Design is Google’s new design language for Android, Chrome OS, and more.
Material Design uses depth and tactile animations to help make Android’s design more realistic. Animations include ripple effects and seamless transitions when scrolling or selecting. The entire language is designed to be extremely fluid and carry smooth transitions throughout actions. Different elements can float above other UI elements, with dynamic lighting and shadows. Splashes of color bring life to the UI, and a new feature called Palette allows the OS to instantly source color from images and use that same color in other UI elements. The entire design is seamless throughout Google’s products, allowing a consistency that has never been seen with Android.
Android L also brings more powerful notifications, including a combination of the notification shade and the lock screen. This allows for faster and easier access to notifications. There’s also a heads-up feature for when you’re using a full screen app. Heads-up can give you instant access to actions regarding the notifications.
The main feature of Android L is obviously Material Design, which can expand between different screen sizes while still retaining the same consistent design. The Developer Preview code will be available later today for developers to begin exploring and working with.