What to expect from this future version of the mobile operating system from Google everyday?
After a week of using The Android Developer Preview on Nexus 5, I'm back on KitKat (Android 4.4.4).
Overall, it was a good experience, but let's face it: for the average user, Android L affect few things in his daily life. There are still changes that can not be ignored.
Clash of clans hack
A "material" interface
What is obvious is the aesthetic revisited with new conventions introduced by Google called material design. The operating system is more dynamic, and color palettes are clearer and varied. It remains fairly close to the flat design (many solids), but there is still depth and a clear notion of layers.
There is also the famous round button which, according to Google, should be used for the main action of an application. Its shape is a clear indication to the user of the most common problems or task at present.
Mathias Duarte, chief designer at Google, has compared the design material has paper is moved, handled or stacked on a surface, and this is a good image. It works well: a few applications already optimized (like a calculator) naturally give the impression that we can pull or drag parts of the interface.
There is also the famous round button which, according to Google, should be used for the main action of an application. For example, in the phone application, this button is used to call or hang up. Google Docs allows you to quickly create a new document. Its shape is a clear indication to the user of the most common problems or task at present.
The idea layer is reminiscent of the latest version of iOS, which also uses the idea of a rear, middle and foreground. This is an important change from the styles and Neon Holo we knew until now Android. Overall, interfaces and interactions are nevertheless very similar to what we know: we adapt quickly and we do not feel lost.
The notification panel is one of two places where you really notice the change in the way we interact: notifications can be stacked and the system can prioritize, so that persistent notifications are all found at the bottom of the list and we have a more direct access to the account. They always remain as flexible with the ability to interact directly in our applications, eg archive an email or make a retweet.
Hack clash of clans
The multitasking interface has also been redesigned, there is now talk of cards rather than thumbnails. For some, this is a setback, since this one overview instead of 3 or 4 before. By cons, when our finger vertically up and down slides, all applications place quickly find a recent application is rather easy. Also the cards are great and give a better overview of the application.
Finally, Google also allows those who wish to create more than one entry in the list of recent tasks. For example, several windows of a browser or some documents published simultaneously. It will improve productivity and facilitate the transition from one document to another.
The new energy saving mode has pleasantly surprised me. It automatically turns on when the battery level is low or manually if desired. In these cases, my Nexus 5 is certainly become much slower, but its consumption was practically nil.
Brave frontier hack
Volta project, which aims to improve the autonomy of devices, I became especially effective in standby mode. Users who still have their phone in hand will probably not see a big improvement in battery life. For cons, the new energy saving mode has pleasantly surprised me. It automatically turns on when the battery level is low or manually if desired. In these cases, my Nexus 5 is certainly become much slower, but its consumption was practically nil. Ideal for an evening that lingers!
Most other changes are hidden from users and developers benefit greatly. Google and offers a ton of new development tools and graphics optimizations as well for 3D games and simple applications.
We can say that in 2014, the leading mobile OS from Google and Apple have reached maturity and the big news coming are interactions with other screens and accessories. In addition to L for Android phones and tablets, Google unveiled Android Auto, Android TV and officially launched the first Android Wear products. Same thing at Apple, giants want to extend the influence of their ecosystems in all possible areas.
Back to KitKat
I uninstalled Android L because it offered an inconsistent experience (incomplete system requires) and that some applications are visually buggy or crash because they are not compatible with this new version. But, overall, the platform is still very stable, especially when you consider its status Developer Preview. I suffered no unexpected restart and I have had to reboot my phone once because of a problem with screen rotation which had remained frozen in portrait mode.
I think Google has decided to disclose in advance the next iteration of the OS to allow developers to prepare for its official release. This approach has always paid off for Microsoft and Apple. It allows developers to be proactive and be ready the day of the official launch.
Boom beach hack
The other advantage of this pre-release is to enable designers to familiarize themselves with the material design. At the time of Holo Design, Google did not give the developers time to prepare, and they had to catch up. But here, developers will have no excuses: the tools are there and time is available.
Android applications can be beautiful if developers take the time to think about their interfaces and user experience.
If mechanical works well, it only remains to work aesthetics and accessories: we went there with Android.