The Chromium Issue Tracker, a perennial source of accidental "leaks" and unreleased information, has delivered something interesting (the issue appears to have since been removed). Reddit user Doopl came across two screenshots of what look like Android's yet-unannounced L release.

The shots show a Google account login dialog that looks substantially different from the current implementation, and what appears to be a re-styled Chrome with design elements from Quantum. Additionally, the status bar shows a place holder "L" icon, and a bell icon that sources tell us is indicative of a new feature in L that will offer "limited interruptions," basically muting or partially muting notifications. Since (according to our information) heads-up notifications are expected to appear in L (significantly re-styled to look more like Google Now cards), this feature may keep them from popping up over whatever the user is working on.

The shots are 1280x768, indicating that they're from a Nexus 4. Also of note is the fact that the screenshots don't show background protection (the subtle gradient) behind status and nav bars. See for yourself:

1 2

From what we've seen in leaked information, the screenshots look to be the real deal. The revamped nav buttons don't seem to be in place yet, but as explained in a previous post, the "Google" button is still in exploration. Hopefully, we'll hear more about L at I/O, even if it isn't expected for release until Q4.

Source: Reddit

Thanks, Alec!

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Luan Cristian da Silva


  • Pyreo

    I really really REALLY hope AP is wrong and we see L at I/O

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      We might see it, but it isn't expected for release until much later.

      • Mayoo

        I agree. The I/O starts tomorrow and still no new statue. I would be VERY surprised to see the L version.

        We didn't even had time to start silly rumors, memes and all!

        • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

          The statue is actually going to skydive onto the Moscone center during the keynote :P

          • Roberto Giunta

            It's gonna be a giant Lollipop that explodes into a smaller Android Lollipop - Directed by Michael Bay who runs off the stage.

          • splityouratoms

            What made it believable was the running off the stage part.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Isn't he busy with Transformer and TMNT now?

          • Aooga

            That would be so amazing lol.

          • Crispin Swickard

            On a BMX.

          • Ray

            Google = no expense spared!

          • Jordan Thoms

            Official AP prediction? We'll all boycott you if it doesn't happen :)

          • whispy_snippet

            Or show up in a driverless car.

          • Sir_Brizz

            Wearing Google Glass.

          • Lynxfox

            You. I love you. In a non-weird way.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Let's do a poll with possible new mascot options

      • guest

        Why isn't it expected? Sources?

        • Simon Belmont

          Well, the Volantis information stated L release in Q4 2014. So, there's one.

          But, until I/O, we really can't say for sure on it either way. Only two more days.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii


      • fasd

        Why would we not see a release? As far as I know, Google releases new versions every 6-8 months.... Kitkat is 9 months old.

        Also do you think we will see android 4.5 Kitkat at I/O?

        • Crispin Swickard

          Supposedly they are to cut back to a yearly release instead of the old cycle. While I like shiny new software as much, and more so than most I can see it as only a positive thing for the OS going forward to not push out major(ish) revisions as often.

      • Tomáš Petrík

        I'll settle for that currently.

      • http://www.westagemusic.com/ Marc

        Did you notice that the chrome window in the back is actually in some sort of floating mode?

        • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

          based on a lot of the leaked stuff I've seen, the L release appears to be moving away from fullscreen apps as standard.
          the weird thing IMO about the floating window is that it is being overlapped by the nav bar!

          • http://www.westagemusic.com/ Marc

            Yeah, but I was wondering why it wasn't pointed out in the article so I asked. :) Let's see what I/O brings :)

    • whispy_snippet

      My feeling is that with the amount of info leaks we've seen on L, it can't be far away at all. It almost feels like I/O has to be the logical unveiling. I question whether Google would let this much slip so far from the fourth quarter.

  • Allen Edmonds

    Oh my.

  • Brett Besa

    Please let this be released at I/O

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Oh there it is

  • grumpyfuzz

    I'm glad the nav bar buttons are the same, and not replaced by the "Google" button.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Not yet. This could be the build without the new components - after all, we should expect that too for legacy reasons and for those devices that won't run Google services.

      • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

        Indeed. It's also worth noting the shots are from a Nexus 4.

        • asdf

          Possible Nexus 4 update to L?

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Why not? Qualcomm seems to be good with continuing support, and the Krait 300 in the Nexus 4 isn't all that old anyway. It is basically the same SoC as the Nexus 7 (2013), and they won't be dropping support for that anytime soon.

          • Dhaiwat

            The S4 Pro is Krait 200, the S4 Pro in the n7 is an under clocked and possibly lower binned s600 with krait 300

          • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

            very plausible, imo. after all, the galaxy nexus was only dropped because TI ended support for the chipset.

        • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

          Actually... from the reddit thread - it seems ONE shot is from a Nexus 4 and one is from a tablet? http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/28wq1s/probable_images_of_android_l_posted_on_chromium/cifb6i0

    • Alessandro

      im thinking more and more that a lot of those bigger user facing changes are going to be reserved for android silver. They are probably going to be apart of google's new "skin" on top of android to differentiate themselves from the competition using their strongest asset, their services. Project hera, the new google search app with "okay google" everywhere, etc, the new homescreen, etc.

      Things like Quantum, Polymer, API changes, basic fundamental android changes, those are the changes we will be seeing at I/O, afterall it is a developer conference, not a project launch platform, and if last year was any indication, this year will probably follow suit. The big Android release will probably happen later.

      • grumpyfuzz

        if this does happen, I'm hoping google makes a device without this "skin". The current state of google apps and services if fine (in my opinion), and if they don't make it without this skin, I'll probably end up flashing an aosp rom. Most of this is speculation and rumors though.

  • Joshua

    May Lord Duarte's vision for a perfect Android experience be furthered by Quantum.

  • Alec Puente

    You're welcome Android Police!

  • gh0st

    Let the leaks flow...

  • lololo


    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Wait, where are the "It's happening!" and "Heavy breathing cat"?

  • perhac88

    I hope this mean that "L" is announced and rolling out this week. I'd understand having to wait for all the polish and missing settings that still needed added for the fall if need be, but I'm still hoping its now not later.

    Also is Google still doing the 2 major android updates a year? Cause last I heard they hadn't said they had moved to 1 major update a year (I also don't remember how many updates we got last year I think 2 still but I could be wrong..).

    • Krzysztof Jozwik

      I don't remember them announcing they were moving to a 3 per year then a 2 per year, it just seems to happen.

      • perhac88

        Idk when it was I think a year or two ago they announced they wanted 2 major updates a year, I wish I knew where it from. Hopefully L come soon (provided its complete) regardless.

        • Krzysztof Jozwik

          I prefer things come when they're ready, I like the random scattered way Google does things. I'm not even that excited about a new version anymore, it used to be awesome, but they've moved so much to GPS that the version updates don't seem so big anymore. The platform is just a quickly evolving beast instead of iOS which grows once a year.

          • perhac88

            Ya since the Ice cream sandwich overhaul I haven't been as excited since they've all gotten smaller updates focused on specifics of the ui.

            Don't get me wrong I really love the random updates It's always great to get a update when youre not expecting one. I'm just really excited for L since the small leaks, from hera to quantum have me excited again that something relatively big could be coming.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Dude, they JUST released 4.4.3 and 4.4.4, and you want them to start rolling out 5.0 THAT soon? OEMs barely can keep up and literally none of the flagships currently have 4.4.3 yet, it will take them at least a year to upgrade to 5.0, so fall release is logical so that OEMs would at least have several months of testing prior to moving TouchWiz, Sense etc onto next major release platform

      • perhac88

        Well I'm talking about letter releases not small bug fixing releases. The jump from 4.4 to 4.4.3 and 4.4.4 is nothing but minor bug fixes to the OS. Google has said before they want have 1-2 major releases a year as in the large letter releases. But they have I believe moved into the 1 a year major release with minor fixes such as 4.4.4. and 4.4.3.

  • Ayysir_PA

    hmm float window hmm

  • Christopher Bement

    Android 5.2.8 confirmed.

    • mechapathy

      This comment should get way more votes.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      I don't get it

      • Christopher Bement

        Google like a to leak new versions via the status bar clock. This is obviously not the case here, but the joke is still pretty relevant.

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          OOOH, right, now I understand it

      • Maxr1998

        Sorry, I had to. :P
        Although it's a bit outdated.. ;)

  • Tom Erlandsen

    Our Duarte, who art at Google,
    hallowed be thy design guidelines.
    Thy I/O come,
    5.0 will be done,
    with consistent UI stylings?
    Give us this day our hamburger navigation,
    and forgive us our fear of change,
    as we forgive you for not updating the settings menu.
    Lead us not into skeuomorphism,
    but deliver us from Metro.
    For thine is the Holo,
    the Quantum Paper and the Roboto,
    for ever and ever.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Love it. Does /r/androidcirclejerk know this prayer?
      Also you may need to revise it after we see the settings menu in L :)

      • sup


      • Tom Erlandsen

        Not yet- this one was a gift just for AP ;) ooo, redesigned settings menu confirmed? :D

    • http://about.me/jovanphilip Van

      I'm sorry but the "Apple" at the end ruined it. :(

      • Krzysztof Jozwik

        I would agree, but it's funny, so I don't.

    • Joshua

      I wrote my own version for /r/androidcirclejerk once:

      Our Duarte, Who ART in Android

      HOLOed be thy Nexus

      Thy Kit Kat come,

      Thy update be done,

      On phones as it is in the Cloud.

      Give us this night our nightly builds,

      and forgive us our ROM flashes,

      as we forgive those who flash ROMs against us,

      and lead us not into TouchWiz,

      but deliver us from Samsung, #BEBEBE

  • jamaall

    What would be amazing is that Motorola drops 5.0 on the Droid phones in 3 weeks because they've delayed it so much.

  • Simon Belmont

    Weird. So, if they get rid of the gradient in the status bar, how do they deal with a white background without the icons blending in (Google Now, for example)?

    Surely, that's the reason the gradient is there in the first place. I suppose we'll find out.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      That is indeed the reason background protection is currently used. If you look closely at these shots though, there's a drop shadow under each of the buttons with a small radius, which would achieve the same thing in a less intrusive way.
      That said, I'm not sure these are from a final L build, but we'll see.

      • Simon Belmont

        Good spot! Didn't catch that, but then again, I'm a low resolution netbook ATM.

        Only two more days, man. Can't wait!

      • miri

        That's just the Nav bar and they already have the shadow in KK even with the visibility protection. I'm guessing they're finally cleaning things up and not including the [redundant] protection when there's a 10% black overlay (or even better, having it fade in and out depending on how necessary it is).

    • Walkop

      Probably detects when the background is within a certain shade, and will add a gradient when necessary.

  • 16Bitz0r

    Please, please... let it be officially released for the Nexus 4.

    • Fabian Pineda

      I'm pretty sure it'll be. The GNex wasn't updated thanks to TI but Qualcomm seems to be in the game for the long run, so yeah.

  • Simon Belmont

    Well, at least that (sorta) confirms that the N4 will be supported for almost two years. That's if the L release does show up in the fall.

    Google seems to be extending support times on devices. The N7 2012 got Android 4.4.3/4 and it's NEARLY two years old (next month).

    • allen

      Nothing has changed. Nexus 7 2012 will be dropped after 4.4.4 and the Nexus 4 after the L release before the fall.

      • http://nopenopenope.nope Ryuuie

        The Nexus 7 2013 has just about the same internals as the Nexus 4. If they support that for a bit longer, why drop the 4 after the L release?

        • allen

          Because it's not about internals, Nexus devices get support for two years. However you could be right, the N7 '12 will be the first tablet to have support dropped, so they might let it go at the same time as the N4.

        • allen

          As for the N7 '13 you were referring to, it'll have one more year at least, or get dropped with the N5 in the fall of 2015

        • Dhaiwat

          Actually the Nexus 7 really basically has a lower binned S600, so it's not really a s4 pro. It has LPDDR3 too, I'm not sure as to how much of a driver difference that is, but I know there has to be a difference. The internals are similar but not the same. All that said, I use a Nexus 4 (latest PA and HellsDoc Kernel & its underclocked to 1.2GHz) and the thing absolutely flies! More responsive that my friend's SGS4. Also might consider using the f2fs file system which seems to rock almost double flash IO speeds. So I think I can safely say the S4 Pro is no slouch and should be able to keep up with at least 1 more major official update and of course be alive via custom roms for ~3 more versions while retaining really good daily operability.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Isn't F2FS dangerous? I read some people got a brick after conversion or something

          • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

            F2FS isn't dangerous, incorrectly made conversion tools could be.

      • True Radiant Free

        Is that insider info you have?

      • Simon Belmont

        Actually, the official support window is 18 months. As stated by Google when the Galaxy Nexus was dropped.

        So, if they're supporting devices to 24 months, then something has changed. There is a good chance it'll get Android 4.5, and even if it doesn't, Google still supported it for 5+ months longer than 18 months, and it had 4 major versions of Android (4.1 - 4.4), which is respectable, IMO.

        • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

          it's a *minimum* of 18 months, if I remember correctly.

  • Ramiro Fernandez

    Am I the only one that is really hoping that heads up notifications do not appear?

    I think android got notifications perfect from the beginning. They are visible but don't get in my way and are there when I need them.

    One thing I couldn't stand about iOS is that the notification pops over the top of my current window, obscuring what I am doing and preventing me from hitting navigation buttons at the top of the screen. If this becomes the android standard I will be incredibly disappointed.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      One important thing to note about heads-up notifications is that they are not modal - in other words, they don't require action before they disappear. If you're allowing heads-up, they appear, wait, and fade away, and will stay in your notification tray until you're ready to deal with them. I think the way they're implemented (from what I've seen) is really smart, and it seems like the user will have control over whether they appear.

      • Brian Lippman

        And if they're just an extension of the regular notification, developers can probably add an option for if you want the "heads up notification" to appear alongside the normal one.

      • Simon Belmont

        Yeah. And you can get them to disappear even faster if you touch outside of them, I think.

        It's not as if it's like the old pop-up notifications of iOS yore. I think that's what he was trying to relate them to.

        • andy_o

          He was actually comparing them to the current notifications, which appear for a few seconds at the top like a banner and then disappear. Way less intrusive than the popups, but I can see how they're annoying if you just happen to be tapping something underneath them right before they appear.

          • Simon Belmont

            Oh, right. He did mention top navigation buttons.

            I just assumed he was complaining about those annoying dialog box type notifications that actually required you to dismiss them, which was a staple in early versions of iOS, and can still be enabled to this day. The top notifications are, indeed, much less intrusive.

        • Crispin Swickard

          The way it is when they enabled the feature in CM is you just swipe it away the same way as if you had the notification drawer expanded.

          • Simon Belmont

            Oh, okay. I haven't tried the newer CM nightlies yet.

            From what I hear that feature ignores quiet hours, at the moment. I hope they fix that.

          • Crispin Swickard

            They will probably do some adjustments. Since it wasn't a fully finished feature it definitely feels like it. on my N7 it pops up off toward the left side in the position it would be in the shade. it looks rather odd not centered. Probably looks better on a phone since it would go all the way across. Haven't tried it on my GNex yet.

      • Ramiro Fernandez

        Yup but while they are there, I can't tap on the top of the screen. They are needlessly getting in my way when there's a perfectly good status bar that displays the notification just as well.

        As long as I can turn it off, I'll be happy.

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          You know you can just swipe them away, right?

          • Ramiro Fernandez

            I don't care. Why would I want to swipe them away when the current implementation has them in the status bar not getting in my way at all?

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      I think you are talking about old iOS notifications pre-5.0 when they turned the popups into notification banners. iOS8 seems to develop on that idea and adds certain interactivity with them as was shown with iMessage when they answered the message by just tapping the textbox and typing the message, like in MIUI during Gingerbread era

  • http://nopenopenope.nope Ryuuie

    Am I the only one who's super fucking excited that the Nexus 4 seems to be getting the L-release too? :(

    No love for my old phone? None? ;_____;

    • Saša Drmić

      No. You are definitely not the only one. :)

    • TheLastAngel

      They really have no excuse this time. There is plenty of processing power and RAM in the Nexus 4.

      But wait until 64bit becomes mainstream...

      • Tony Ceralva

        24 months of support, they don't need any excuse.

  • allen

    OK, a few things to point out.

    - looks like we're going to have the ability to multitask windows, maybe resize them?

    - phase beam is back! Sun beam is hideous

    - surprised AP didn't write this, but Tony Fadell is now leading Google's hardware division. Look for some premium pure Google-made Nexus like devices when Android Silver is launched!

    • Guest

      Tony Fadell will never build smartphones and laptops for Google. And the report about him running Google's hardware division was false.

      • allen

        Well that's disappointing. And just another reason why other Android websites are crap!

    • Taco Monster

      "but Tony Fadell is now leading Google's hardware division. "

      Not according to Fadell himself: https://twitter.com/tfadell/status/481186335474987008

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    Lemonheads please

  • miri

    Hopefully these screenshots mean they're improving the implementation of the translucent nav/status bars. The current implementation is kind of terrible.

    • Crispin Swickard

      The fact the window extends into the navigation buttons is strange. It is just me, or does it look like it might allow for resizable windows?

      • miri

        Unlikely. It just looks like the leaked new recent apps screen where the screenshots are full size and stacked like tabs in Chrome.

        • Crispin Swickard

          Maybe so. With the issue deleted its hard to say if the issue was that the sign in part was stuck on the screen. Since you normally wouldn't get a dialog like that in the recent screen.

        • TheLastAngel

          Lol, that sounds like a terrible regression.

  • Stanley C.

    So what this "L" is? An app? And what will do? Any clue?

    • Mike Boodoo

      It's just a placeholder for the "L" version of Android.

    • Terence Ng

      It's USB Debugging icon, like in Kitkat we have Kitkat icon on status bar if you have USB debugging enabled.

  • tokcho

    Is it me, or is Chrome running as a window? Do you see how the background is visible all around?

    • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

      It's just you, man.
      Chrome is a fullscreen app.

  • thartist

    HOW THE F COME no one mentioned how the window behind that dialog is a FLOATING BROWSER???

    • Niall Murray

      It's not a massive deal I suppose. Link bubble and javelin are both appd that have this feature. It would be nice to see on chrome though.

      • Guillaume

        It's quite a big deal if this becomes a part of the next Android itself (allowing to do that with all apps). That would be quite nice.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Maybe an app-widget-thingy?

  • True Radiant Free

    Liquorice Allsorts?!

  • Nick Riley

    It's not much, but I like what I see!

  • Floating Apps

    Why is the chrome tab floating over the home screen?

  • http://www.westagemusic.com/ Marc

    But the Live Wallpaper is from Jelly Bean?

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Older. Try Ice Cream Sandwich. That launched on the Galaxy Nexus.

      • http://www.westagemusic.com/ Marc

        But why is this used in this screenshot? :D Don't you think it's a bit outdated?

        • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

          Not sure? This wallpaper is still included in Kit Kat.

  • hp420

    I would be extremely surised to see an 'L' launch any time soon. Google is still working on patching 4.4....the 4.4.3 release brought an avalanche of bugs, and 4.4.4 didn't fix a single ome of them. My Nexus 4 is completely unable to use wifi at all....that is, connect to or create an access point. I seriously doubt Google would leave 4.4.x like that and just move on to a major release before they fix what they broke.

  • NemaCystX

    The L looks like a few lego bricks

  • Rohan

    Rejoice Nexus 4 users..

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      As if there was a single doubt N4 would miss out on next major release

      • Mark Curtis

        Considering its predecessor, the Galaxy Nexus, did NOT get a second major update, yes there was doubt.

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          That was a kind of a different situation there

          • Nick the Rat

            Yeah, DONT BE HATING MARK CURTIS >:D

  • kjaf

    It is going to be Android 5.0 YET Google has not figured out a way to show the battery percentage in the status bar!
    Hopefully I will be wrong.

    • Stephen Dickson


    • n

      Its going to be android 5.0 YET you still haven't figured out xposed, or without rooting, this app?


      • Brandon Jiang

        Still broken. White text=cannot see % until at around 50%

        • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

          There's obviously room for improvement but it's better than no percentage at all!

  • black

    Still with the navigation buttons? These should be replaced with voice already. I should be able to say 'back', 'home', 'recent apps', 'google', 'alarm', etc.

    • Guillaume

      Yeah right, like I want to be talking to my phone when there's noone on the other end. Absolutely not. My finger is a nice tool.

  • Coentje44

    Why dont you guys noticed the new volume muted icon :)

  • Coentje44

    Oh nvm its an alarm i think

  • disqus_5k2hWwhCrm


  • http://www.littlegreendude.com/ wollac11

    This is getting far too exciting. I hope Google show us some goodies at I/O!

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    But why is the launcher not different? The home screen also needs an overhaul, it's been pretty much the same since ICS