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Android L: First Impressions

Android L

Google claims that today in the world there are more than a billion devices that run Android. Thus, the next new version is a small holiday for a large number of people.

The article will talk about Android L. The main advantages and features will be considered.


First impression

According to most ordinary users, the Android L operating system is not of particular interest yet. This early preview was supposed to show developers significant changes to the future operating system. In addition, you need to get used to the new solution. Google has significantly changed the direction of the interface. At the moment, the system is not stable enough. Thus, some applications encounter errors. There is another very important nuance. To date, the Android L operating system works significantly worse than previous versions of Android. It is worth noting that at its presentation, Google promised to significantly improve performance, but this is not yet the case. All benchmarks that run under Android L produce significantly lower results than those running Android 4.4 KitKat.

How has the interface changed?


All the changes that relate to the interface in Android L, they are usually cosmetic. Thus, they do not particularly affect the usual methods of using a mobile device. True, some changes are still worth dwelling on. For example, the lines in the "throwaway" of the notification panel have become very similar to the "cards" of Google Now. This similarity leads to thoughts that the notification bar and the Google Now screen will be connected in some way. It is worth immediately disappointing users. This impression is deceptive. The systems, as before, are completely separate, they do not interact with each other in any way.

It is worth noting that the interface from a stylistic point of view is slightly prettier. It began to look neater and more refined. However, in this case, there is still a lot of work to be done on unification. And what can we say about the icons of third-party applications, if many icons of Google's own programs, as before, are significantly knocked out of the "flat" style of the operating system. There are also several small improvements to the shell in terms of functioning. They are also worth dwelling on. For example, it is now more convenient to configure the "do not disturb" mode. More tools have been proposed for this than before. In addition, a power saving mode appeared in the battery settings. The power consumption graph now shows a prediction of the future behavior of the battery. In other words, a rough estimate of the time it takes to fully charge or discharge the battery is offered.


Despite such conveniences, the Android L operating system is far from the undisputed leader. There are a lot of rough edges and controversies in the interface. For example, there is no "Erase All" button, which should be in the notification bar. It seems that the developers simply missed this important point. Perhaps the new beautiful "cards" of notifications distracted their attention from such a useful tool. To access the quick settings in the panel, you'll need a double tap. One touch displays only those "cards".

More about the disadvantages

It is worth noting right away that the user does not have a choice of those settings that are present in the "miscarriage". And that's a big omission. The set is strictly limited by the developer. It's hard to find an excuse for the bulky and awkward Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons. They consist of two tiers:

  • The upper part (necessary only to turn on and off the wireless interface);
  • The lower part (intended solely for switching to advanced settings).

So the interface is not obvious. As for the new style of viewing running applications, it is generally similar to flashback, which is known back in the days of the Windows Vista operating system. Flipping through tabs is animated, which looks beautiful only in presentations. In ordinary everyday use, if there are a lot of applications open, to find the desired program, you need to make a lot of finger movements, and not one or two, as it was in previous versions of the Task Manager.


The strong "flattening" of the interface, that is, its rejection of separators in most places, including the keys on the virtual keyboard, looks rather strange. It is not at all clear why this is done. Although, you can still get used to such an innovation, but at first glance the lack of outlines in the objects is a little confusing. This is especially true for input fields. Very often it is difficult to understand where you need to point your finger to, say, enter the password of a Wi-Fi network. Most likely, such controversial points will be taken into account in the final version of the operating system and corrected. True, some part may remain in the form in which it is at the moment. In general, in terms of convenience and functionality, Google's proprietary shell lags far behind the "launchers" of major manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, HTC, and now LG.

The promised google I/O data separation into protected and ordinary, which is part of the functions of Samsung KNOX, is not provided for in Android L. Apparently, acquaintance with this innovation, which is of particular importance, the current version of Android will have to wait until the final release is released. Another important additive is missing. We are talking about the data center, which is obtained from all sorts of fitness trackers, the Google Fit platform. In the Android L operating system, it is not yet provided. Android L 64 bit does not have download access. Therefore, it is proposed to familiarize yourself with it only as an emulator. Although, that's understandable. After all, existing Nexus devices are equipped with 32-bit processors, so there is simply nowhere for ordinary users to install a 64-bit operating system.


Thus, having made a quick flyby on the surface of Android L, you will need to return to where this material was started. For ordinary users, the presented version of the operating system will not cause interest. Rather, it is intended for other consumers. Major changes that will have an impact on the Android ecosystem are missing from this product. True, you can see with the naked eye a new style of the interface, Material Design.

If you do not take into account all the shortcomings that the shell is endowed with, it is necessary to remember that only two categories of users will use it. The first group includes owners of devices of the Nexus line. They are big fans of the "naked "Android". Usually they have a tendency to change the interface, so in this case the original shell is not particularly important. The second group represents buyers of low-cost mobile devices that are developed by companies that do not bother themselves with the manufacture of their own shells or the use of publicly available options. Such users, as a rule, are completely indifferent to all the subtleties. Therefore, even the next version of Android will not be relevant for them very soon. Thus, not everyone will be interested in Material Design. However, the branded shells of well-known manufacturers of mobile devices are developing regardless of Google.

According to many experts in the field, with the release of an early trial version of google's improved operating system, it would be necessary to wait a little longer until the product is completely ready and thought out to the smallest detail. However, this is hampered by a number of aspects. After all, the company is under strong pressure from competitors. For example, Apple and Microsoft are still playing catch-up. And it is worth noting that they do it quite quickly, literally follow on their heels. They are practically not shy to abandon the previous wrong decisions and without unnecessary worries copy successful chips of the Android operating system. Moreover, these companies carefully consider their own interesting options. So you have to defend yourself somehow, and you have to do it quickly. In the case of Google, it is necessary to "shoot back" not only from "enemies", but also from "friends", because the largest manufacturers of mobile devices running on the Android operating system come up with personal initiatives that have to be answered.

It is also worth noting that the company itself has driven itself into the Procrustean bed of "main" events held every year, at which all the most relevant things are announced. Thus, it was necessary to show Android L at Google I/ O, traditionally held in May. To date, perhaps, not everything was ready, so I had to present at least something so that developers, fans and journalists had something to do in anticipation of this release. No need to take everything written above as "the next version of Android will be bad." Google is still on the horse, although the company is getting heavily sputtered on a lot of new initiatives of various kinds. Perhaps the next version of the Android operating system will be better. It's just that it hasn't been shown yet.