We take a look at what the new version of Android will mean to Nexus owners.
What to expect from Android L
Here’s a round up of new features due in the update:
- Material Design: This is Google’s attempt to unify the design experience across mobile, web and desktop. Material Design is, in essence: colourful, minimalistic and airy.
- One OS on all devices: L works inside cars, TVs, and mobile phones. It has been designed to support both Android Wear and Android TV.
- Notifications and Lock Screen: Apps will now only present the most relevent information to the notification panel, these notifications will also now be available on the lock screen ready for when you pick up your phone. Android should learn which notifications you are most interested in and prioritise these.
- Linked Apps: Android has always been ahead of the game when it comes to getting apps talking but now they are taking things further. For example Chrome will be able to directly launch and work with apps rather than taking you to a mobile site.
- Faster and more efficient: Behind the scenes a new runtime, ART, replaces Dalvik. Don’t worry too much if those words don’t mean anything to you, just know that this will make your phone whizz along. Existing apps won’t need to be optimised to take advantage. ART also introduces 64 bit compatibility. Google have worked alongside companies such as Nvidia to bring console quality gaming closer than ever.
- Battery Life: Google’s project Volta has been given the job of getting the most out of your phone’s battery. Some early tests have shown battery life extended by 30% when testing on a Nexus 5 phone.
Will Android L be available for my Nexus?
With references images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) already posted we know these models are going to be supported.
But will the Nexus 4 get Android L? As the owner of a much loved Nexus 4 this is the real question I want answered! The good news is that most commentators think the Nexus 4 will be included when Android L rolls out. We’ll have to wait and see but I would be very surprised if it wasn’t included in the first round of updates.
So that just leaves the Nexus 7 (2012) and the misunderstood Nexus 10. If any models are likely to drop support then it would be these but I still think Google will keep them updated. Sure, they aren’t quite as powerful as the next generation tablets but they aren’t a million miles away either. They still have all the required physical interfaces and out power some of today’s cheaper models.
And if Google really have optimised Android for battery life and low powered machines then actually it sounds like the upgrade could bring a new lease of life to the first wave of Nexus tablets.
How can I update my Nexus?
It’s good news for Nexus owners, just sit back and wait for the update to be pushed out to your phone. When the time comes you will get a notification that Android L is ready to install. This should happen within days of Google’s announcement but sometimes it can take a week or so (I tend to be one of the last to get these updates!). It’s pushed out to millions of users in a random order so some patients is required!
There are ways to force an update but unless you are desperate to get hold of the new software you are better off waiting for your turn!
Android L will be the biggest update to the Android platform ever! You can expect the free download to arrive on your Nexus device this Autumn, hopefully October but surely by the end of November.
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