Notifications are also revamped in Android L. The lock screen will provide actionable notifications, allowing users to dismiss or open them. In addition, while users are in an app, actionable notifications will appear overhead so they don’t disturb what the user is doing.
The operating system also replaces the Dalvik software with Android Runtime (ART). With ART, software performance is doubled, according to Burke.
“You don’t have to make a change,” he said. “All your app code gets the performance for free.”
Android L also has improved battery life, a battery saver mode, and a restore factory settings feature, and allows developers to specify elevations for any UI element.
The developer preview of Android L will be available later today. The operating system is expected for release in the fall.
Other announcements in the keynote included:
Android One platform: This platform sets out to create affordable smartphones worldwide. It will “get the next billion people access to these devices,” according to Pichai.
Android Wear: The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live will be available to order later today, while Moto 360 will be available later this summer. The watches will feature voice commands, notifications, heart-rate monitors, pedometers, and seamless connection to smartphones. Support for both square and circular screens has also been added to Android Wear.
Android Auto: Android Auto is a redesign of the Android operating system aimed at cars. It is contextually aware to give users the right information at the right time such as directions and traffic. It runs on a user’s mobile device and displays it on the car’s dashboard. Users can interact with Android Auto through a touch-screen or voice commands.