Android L Features: A Brand New Dialer

One of the bigger changes in Android L that also shows off Google’s new Material Design came in the form of the new Dialer. Like many of the other features we have highlighted in the Android L preview, the Dialer still performs like a dialer, but it looks and is laid out better than ever. Gone are the multiple levels or outside pages, in is a design that seems like you can do everything without ever leaving a single screen. It is beautiful.  (more…)

Android L Features: New Quick Settings Panel is Mostly Improved

Our coverage of Android L features continues this afternoon with a look at the newly restyled Quick Settings Panel (QSP). For those not familiar, the Quick Settings Panel was previously accessed as a secondary pulldown from the notification shade that gave you quick shortcuts for toggling off things like WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, or your data connection. It also gave you battery status, let you view your contact card, and jump into the full list of Android settings. In Android L, it still functions much of the same way, but you now access and interact with it somewhat differently. (more…)

Android L Features: Notification Manager Introduced in “Sound & Notifications”

In the past, if you didn’t want an app showing notifications on your Android device, you had to either long-press on a notification from the app, then head into the app’s specific info page, and disable notifications or take the longer route to unchecking its notifications powers through Settings>App manager. Either process wasn’t a bad one by any means, but Google appears to want to give you more specific notification control in Android L with the introduction of notification management through the Sound section in Settings which has been renamed “Sound & Notifications.”  (more…)

Android L Features: Heads-Up Notifications Will Eventually be Awesome

One of the more iOS-like features introduced by Google for Android L during last week’s I/O, were Heads-Up notifications. Think of them as floating notifications that appear at the top of the screen no matter what you are up to. Not only do they allow you to quickly glance at things like incoming messages or calls, but should a developer build in actionable buttons, you can interact with them as well, without ever having to pull down your notification shade.  (more…)

Android L Features: Android Beam Now a Part of Share Menu

In Android L, Google has included Android Beam in the sharing menu, making it arguably easier to share items using NFC.

When you go to share an item now in the L version of Android, you will see an icon for Android Beam, along with your icons for Drive or Box or Dropbox or any other app capable of sharing. Once Android Beam has been tapped, your device will tell you to “Tap another device to complete,” which then sends the item as soon as the second device is touched.  (more…)

Android L Features: Battery Saver Tries to Extend Battery Life

One of the many new features introduced with Android L is Battery Saver, a setting that attempts to lengthen the single-charge life of your phone when a charger or outlet is nowhere near. Other manufacturers like Samsung and HTC (Extreme Power Saving Mode) have built battery saver-like features into their phones for quite some time now, but this is the first time Google has done it with stock Android.  (more…)

Android L Features: Keyboard Switching Now Happens in the Navigation Bar

If you have ever installed a third party keyboard on an Android device, like the new Android L keyboard, then you have probably seen the input menu that appears in the notification area that allows you to change keyboards on the fly. This menu shows as a notification that when tapped, will let you quickly choose a different keyboard than the one you are currently using. Thankfully, this menu only shows when you have activated or tapped inside of an input box. It is a handy shortcut, though probably not the best location for it.

Guess what? It has moved in Android L – for the better too.  (more…)