Design takes center stage in the next version of Android, with a new look that will feature animated transitions spruced-up interface elements. at it won’t have is a catchy official name, at least for now— just calls it “Android ”
Android’s latest release arrives Thursday in preview form, bringing with it an enormous number of changes highlighted by lots of user-facing interface changes more than 5,000 A features for developers. It’s ’s biggest release to date, it will be available in the form of Nexus 5 Nexus 7 images, together with an SDK for developers.
spent a lot of time at dnesday’s I/O keynote in San Francisco talking about “Material Design,” its name for new features aimed at sharpening up interface elements for users. There’s a lot to unravel with Material Design, but the big takeaways are depth animation. l interface elements can be given a “depth value” by developers, the Material Design framework will automatically generate subtle shadows perspective to make it clear which elements are “on top of” others.
It also makes it simpler for developers to make animated transitions from any screen to any other screen, even to another app, so users more easily underst how their apps are interacting. There are tons of touch animations, from ripples to shadows bouncing, so users can be more clear about exactly where they’re touching how the app is responding.
is starting with Material Design in the Dialer app; it will bring the interface overhaul to all its apps over the coming months.
Android offers more than just design changes. Improvements to notifications allow users to interact with them right from the lock screen. They’re organized prioritized, but you can always swipe down to see all of them. A new type of notification, called the “heads up notification,” can pop up over your app without stopping it, allowing you to interact with it or swipe it away without stopping what you’re doing.
rsonal Unlocking gives the OS a bunch of new ways to get into your phone. It can take cues from Bluetooth devices or location, so you can set your phone to open without asking for your N code if, say, it detects your watch is nearby (proving it’s you), or if it knows you’re at home. ( cover rsonal Unlocking in greater detail elsewhere on the site.)
As predicted, Android drops the Davlik runtime for the new ART (“Android Rune”), which improves performance of apps by up to 2x reduces memory usage. is also fully 64-bit compatible, ready for the glut of 64-bit, ARMv8 chips coming later this year.
Graphics performance is getting a big boost with Android Extension ck, which adds a lot of OpenGES extensions like tesselation, compute shaders, geometry shaders to help “close the gap” between Android desktop-class DirectX 11. This was demonstrated with a demo of Epic’s Unreal Engine.
oject Volta is ’s name for its efforts to bolster battery life in Android It improves the ability of the system to measure battery life, along with a host of changes to various subsystems new scheduling features for developers. promises significant improvements to battery life in its new OS: up to 90 minutes more life in a typical day’s use. Oh, there’s a new Battery Saver mode that can be triggered manually or set to trigger when the battery gets low.
’ll have a whole lot more about the “ release of Android in the coming days weeks.