When Google announced its Ice Cream Sandwich update for Android, it came with a plethora of design changes. Everything got a unified dark ‘Holo’ look to it and became a lot more flat. More or less the same designs aesthetics were seen later in Jelly Bean and the recent KitKat update brought no major changes either. But now, after the world has had its share of the Holo aesthetic, Google has something very different in store for us.
It is not known whether this update will be named after a sweet treat like Google’s previous versions of Android, or even if it is going to be a ‘4.5’ or a ‘5’ update, but as of now Google’s new iteration on Android is known simply as Android L. And other than a number of tweaks and new features to make the most out of a smartphone, Google has decided to give an overhaul to the design as well.
The Material Design
Google has named its new design as the Material Design, which basically takes the idea of Google Now’s cards and slaps it over the whole phone, with added depth and shadows to them so that the different aspects of an application visually slide over each other. The status bars have gotten a lot more colorful as well, making the whole layout much brighter and a lot less professional for some users, than ever before.
The navigation buttons are also receiving their share of change, with the conventional Back, Home and Multitasking keys being replaced by a Triangle, a Circle, and a Square.
The Material Design will be much more visually interactive then the previous versions of Android. It adds shadows and depth in a way that lets users know how the different elements of an app work. Ripple effects are seen when the screen is touched or a button pressed. Real-time shadows have also been introduced in the screens or the panes as the user slides them around.
Additions to the Lock Screen and the Notification System
The grey list of notifications up till Android 4.4 will now be given a complete visual and, in some aspects, a functional makeover. The new notification center will be a card-based system based on white tiles out of which new notifications will animate and expand, taking full advantage of the 3D layers and shadows. This notification system will also be available from the lock screen for quick access.
Another nifty and quite a needed feature is also being added which Google calls the ‘heads up’ notifications. These will be small overlays on top of running apps so that you can decide whether to respond to the notification or dismiss it without having to exit your current activity.
Whether the new version of Android will turn out to be better or worse, one thing is clear: it will be very different from the Android we use today. From the visual treatment to all the goodies that are being added under the hood like Project Volta for enhanced battery life and the ART as the default runtime for smoother and more battery efficient performance, Android L will definitely be instantly recognizable on smartphones unlike the almost similar previous versions, and as per Google’s claims, it is going to be much more efficient as well.
A Software “Must”
One more thing: after efficiency comes security. After buying Android L, do not forget to acquire a very useful mobile application mSpy that can track and monitor every action on the target phone to protect and secure your most precious assets – family members’ safety and confidential business information.