Google today announced a new operating system, Android L, along with a slew of new developer features at the company’s developer conference, Google I/O.
“Over the last eight months, our team has been busy cooking up the biggest release,” said Dave Burke, engineering director for Android.
The new operating revamps its user experience, with 5,000 new APIs and a radical approach to design that will transfer over to not just phones, but tablets and other devices as well, according to Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Google Apps.
One of the big features the Google team gave a sneak peek of is what they are calling Material Design, a design principle that responds to touch.
“Design is essential in today’s world; it defines your experiences and emotions,” said Matias Duarte, head of design for Android.
Material Design expands, reforms and reshapes digital material intelligently, he said. It will shrink, expand and provide more of a 3D look with shadows and lighting effects.
To help bring Material Design to the Web, the company is also promoting Polymer, a library that lets developers create custom interfaces, and brings new default colors, a new typography and a new grid structure to the operating system.
Android L also comes with personal unlocking. The device will use signals such as Bluetooth to determine if it is safe to open. For example, if a user has a Bluetooth watch on, the device will be able to tell he or she is the correct user and open without having to put in a passcode. If the user doesn’t have his or her watch on, the phone will then request a passcode to open the phone.
(Related: Android comes to the PC)