Google previews Android L and new Material interface

The first order of business today at Google’s I/O conference was to show what everyone came to see: A new version of Android.

Google showed off a major redesign of the mobile OS with the Android L Developer Preview, the biggest change being purely an aesthetic one with the new Material Design. But don’t worry, the Google Now inspired interface intends to not only make Android look better, but move, react, and feel better than ever. The Material redesign makes some dramatic changes to the standard Google look and feel, like the Google mainstay Roboto font, which has been adjusted to look cleaner and smoother, and best part is that this is not just coming to your phone; these changes are across all Google products, to work on every screen.

Google demoed the new Gmail app with Material, and it looks fantastic. Edges have been smoothed, lists have been de-cluttered, and a flat design shows off depth and responsiveness to your every touch. Switching between pages and apps has never looked as good as all the transitions and animations are smooth and beautiful as well.All of the stock Google apps have been revamped along with the menus, keyboard, and settings, and the notifications are getting a major overhaul as well. They now drop down at the top of the screen regardless of what app you are using, and are easy to respond to or swipe out of the way.

So it looks great, but how does it run? Google answered this question with a demo of a game running Unreal Engine 4, and it looked gorgeous. Everything on the new version runs at 60 frames per second, and Google claims that the Android L runs at nearly double the speed of its old “Dalvik” speed on KikKat. With mobile gaming and other high power tasks, more and more  processing power is demanded out of our devices with every passing day, and the new infrastructure has been optimized to handle whatever is thrown at it.

The Android L Developer Preview is just that: a preview, and we should see more improvements and more information as time goes on. The Android L is launching this fall, and if you want to see more, Google has set up a site with an incredibly extensive, in-depth look at the new Material interface. Google is clearly excited about these new horizons, and so are we.