So, I decided to flash my Nexus 7 with the recently announced Android L Developer Preview (dubbed to be Android 5.0 Lollipop). I am yet to completely explore the new Android. However, here is a quick and simple review along with a few screen captures.
This is the first thing you will definitely notice. The UI looks refreshing and is based on the Material design. You can see that pretty clearly in the different screen captures.
Performance & Battery Life:
While I have not tested the battery life yet, the performance seemed normal. I did not see any major improvement from KitKat (which itself was very good anyway). I thought a developer preview would be less stable but in using it for a couple of days now, I could not find any issues whatsoever.
The three soft keys are new as well (triangle, circle and a square), as you can see in the screen captures. However, personally I did not like them. Probably, it will take some time to get used to them.
Control Center (Pull down bar):
In KitKat, you could access WiFi, location, mobile data etc settings by simply pulling down from the top and tapping on whatever you wanted. Here you were merely tapping the shortcut as you would be taken the specific settings page to do the action you wanted. This is now more powerful in Android L and you can do stuff right there in the pull down bar. You can toggle WiFi, location, bluetooth etc right there. While this is good, this could cause problems in smaller devices (where the buttons are smaller as well) where you can accidentally turn off WiFi when you wanted to actually tap on the network name to connect to a different network.
I miss the single button to dismiss all notifications in the notification bar. Probably that will come back in the stabler versions of Android L.
Lock Screen Notifications:
Notifications show up on the lock screen but show limited information (as you can see in the screen capture) for security purposes.
The square button shows all the recent apps. However, instead of a 2D list of apps that you can scroll Android L has a 3D cascade of app tiles similar to the cards interface in Google Now. Personally, I felt this design slows you down when you have multiple apps open and want to switch between them fast.
Android Kitkat brought in an option for developers to switch from the traditional dalvik to ART runtime. That option is now gone and Google has switched completely to ART. In my experience, ART was much better than dalvik in terms of battery consumption and performance. So, this is a welcome change.
All Google Apps like Calculator, People, Keyboard, Settings etc have been redesigned to match the new UI. Most of them have got functionality enhancements as well.
I have not downloaded and tried all the apps yet but most of the apps seem to work with Android L without any issues. Some apps did have some issues, though. Hoping that the developers or Google will fix these issues before the release.
Meeting Minutes Pro and the 3 day free trial worked perfectly on Android L. However, Meeting Minutes Sync seems to have some issues. Don’t worry, it will be addressed (by Google or us) before Android L is released.