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Android L: Everything you need to know

Posted on 26 Jun 2014

Android L: Everything you need to know

Google has shown off Android 5.0, or Android L, its latest version of the world's most popular mobile operating system. It comes with a whole new look and some fun features. So here's everything you need to know about Android L.

The basics

What is it? Android L is Google's latest mobile operating system and will replace Android 4.4 KitKat as the software that runs your smartphone or tablet.

How do I get it? Your phone or tablet will give you a notification when Android L is ready to be installed. But you'll have to wait for the company that makes your device to customise it first.

A beautiful new design

Android L comes with a brand new look and feel. Google has called it Material Design and it looks a lot more mature. It's colourful and looks like everything's made up of layers of paper. Different parts of the app look like they sit on top of each other, like they would in the real world, and that lets everything move really naturally. We love the new look, but take a look for yourself in the teaser video below.

Intelligent security

One of the coolest sounding features of Android L is personal unlocking. It lets the phone automatically bypass the lock screen if it knows you're the one using it. Google said your phone will look at the Wi-Fi network it's connected too, look for known Bluetooth devices like smartwatches or speakers and even listen to your voice to check that it's in a safe place. Then it'll make a decision whether to ask for a pattern, PIN or password.

Better battery life

Android L also comes with lots of new improvements to help battery life. The main thing you'll notice is the new battery saver mode. It'll turn down screen brightness, processor speed and background updates, which Google says will give you an extra hour and a half of use. There's also loads of stuff that you'll never see, but you'll really notice when you don't have to charge your phone as often.

New notifications

The notification system on Android L is all new too. You'll get your most important notifications on your lock screen, with the less important ones hidden. And if you're in an app and get a message or call, you'll get a pop-up notification so you can easily decide if you want to respond instantly or keep using the app.

Android L is a 64-bit operating system

This might sound a bit techy, but Android L is now 64-bit. That doesn't mean a huge amount right now, but it'll let phones in the near future have more than 4GB RAM. And RAM is what you need to run powerful apps and games and multitask smoothly.


You can learn more about the next great phones, even before they're announced, on our Launchpad Rumour pages. Or, head over to our YouTube channel to keep up with what's happening in the mobile world. We'll be at the best technology shows, get you all the news about the latest phones, and post video reviews of our favourite gadgets.

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