Most Android developers have heard of the Android team’s DevBytes video series. Usually they show off single pieces of Android and offer tips on best development of apps. This time out, they’ve posted a nice overview of Android 5.0 Lollipop and everything that devs and users have to look forward to.
One of the key takeaways here for developers is something we’ve already mentioned as well, you can get started developing and testing on Android 5.0 Lollipop today, just download the API level 21 Android 5.0 Platform, and the released SDK, Platform and Support tools and packages from the SDK Manager.
The video squeezes a ton of stuff into a few short minutes, and it all looks and sounds good. The more we learn about Android 5.0 Lollipop, the more it looks absolutely appealing and very promising for the next generation of Android devices. Highlights of the video include:
Material Design and multi-device design – Google wants Android to go well beyond just the phone in your pocket, with Material Design, they plan to bridge the gaps between hardware. In the end, the visual, motion and interactive tools of Material Design should look and function as good in your car as on your phone.
Enhanced notifications – Android 5.0 Lollipop has cool new floating notifications that are even accessible from your lockscreen. The focus here is that developers can provide different notifications, one that is private, containing sensitive information, and one that is a little more public, for the lockscreen where potentially anyone can see it. On a side note, did you notice the Public and Private notification markers in the video, mixed up and hilarious.
Concurrent documents in Recents – We still get the recents button to view all of our open and recent apps. What is new here is the ability for an app to place multiple instances in the ‘recents’ list. The idea is simple, each browser tab, for example, can be its own entry, allowing you to jump directly to the tab, instead of just to the browser and navigating from there. It looks handy enough, but I fear it will reek havoc on those of us that have an OCD need to keep the list clean.
In the Performance category, we are reminded that Android 5.0 Lollipop will run the Android Runtime, or ART, and that it supports 64-bit architecture. Don’t forget that the Android L Preview emulator is already available.
Project Volta promises improved battery life by helping apps identify when your device is up and running, instead of every app waking your device whenever it feels like it. Looking at security, if not the improved functionality, WebView has been stripped from the OS and made to be its own app. This is great news where an app update, instead of a full OS update, can fix any future problems. Best of all, WebView is now based on Chrome 37.
Network connectivity improvements and the ability to capture RAW camera images are also along for the ride. In all, Android 5.0 Lollipop is about the best and biggest OS update Google has punched out yet.
With all the new tools and functions, what are you most looking forward to from Android Lollipop?