Android L has been regarded as one of the biggest overhaul of Android ecosystem 2014, only after Gingerbread. With the release of Android L, Google has deviated from its original path. It is for the android app developers to get habituated to the changes that Goggle has brought along with Android L and in the course make optimize your app.
The information that is essential for the Android developers to know about Android L has been mentioned below.
Implementation of ART
With the intension of improving the art performance, Google has made quite a bit of changes to Android L. The original Dalvik virtual machine which was used in the earlier version found its place being taken by Android Runtime (ART) compiler. Android Runtime was mentioned during the release of the KitKat version of Android, but it was only experimental. With ART, Android is slowly moving to the cross-platform features, leaving Dalvik behind. The different between the two is about the compiler. Dalvik has “Just-in-time” (JIT) compiler, while ART has “Ahead-of-time” (AOT) compiler. With ART has the capability of processing the code in advance, which makes the process more smooth, brings enhancement in the performance and increase the battery life.
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Art also possess the feature of being compatible with the present Android eco-system. This is a benefit for the developers as there is no requirement of changing any element of the app in order to take advantage of the features of ART.
Improvement in the Background function –
Project VOLTA along with art has made Android L more energy efficient. Users of Android L version would be able to vie the statistical data of battery usage for individual app. Android L comprises of a feature called “Battery Historian” which will track an app with battery usage over the time. Another excellent feature is the JobScheduler, which is used to know if the phone is running on Wi-Fi or cellular network and the amount of battery remaining in the phone.
The multi-networking feature facilitates smooth transition from Wi-Fi to cellular, when only a single app is running on the phone. With Android L, apps can navigate from one network to another without delay or crashing down. Android L has a special feature called “Heads-up notification” service, which is termed as special notification from the people with whom the user is in contact. The second improvement in push notification feature is the “Lock-Screen Notification” which also facilitates privacy setting by the user. The Meta capabilities have been enhanced and conduct an analysis of the information sent to the user and the way used for collecting the information.
Some of the other features exclusive to Android L are user profile, device policy manager, enhanced Bluetooth and NFC capabilities that goes with the Android TV and Android Auto.
Improvement in Design
Material design which is a part of Android L was one of the most exclusive announcements made by Google. Material design comprises of a set of design guidelines which would be implemented by Google across all the properties. The implementation would include Gmail, Google chrome, Android and Android wears. Material design possesses the capability of blending elements from skeumorphic design and flat design. The most prominent example would be the implementation of shadow, which is used for representing relation between two elements or differentiating the views.
Material design also has a new color scheme, consisting of bright new colors that have the capability of being tinted or manipulated. The manipulation is totally dependent on the discretion of the developer. Views like Cardview and Recycleview has taken off the burden from Listview of Android. They also have added features like controller features along with Mediastyle and Mediasessions. Animation has been made much smoother with Material design and allows it to be shared between activities without any hassle.