We knew this was coming, but Google just showed off the Android L release at I/O 2014. The entire thing appears to be based off off what we've come to know as Quantum Paper, but they're actually calling it Material Design in the release. It's so sexy.
It's definitely a very content-driven interface, with simplicity and minimalism the primary focus with the primary UI.
L appears to be a pretty major overhaul in both form and function, with things like enhanced lockscreen notifications, new navigation buttons, and a focus on fluid design and animations that make sense. There's also a move towards improved security, especially for those who use "Bluetooth watches" (cough, Android wear), where the phone locks itself tight when the watch goes out of range.
Take a gander at the video below, ladies and gents - it was just posted to the Google Developers YouTube account. "Material Design" doesn't feature any context, but anyone who's kept up with the leaks here at Android Police will probably notice some familiar design elements.
At the end of the video is a link to Google.com/design, which gives notes and suggestions on Google's new direction for both web and mobile visual design. The documentation includes a huge amount of visual and programming information, which will no doubt be a focus of the I/O developer conference over the next few days.
We've suspected for some time that Google I/O is going to be Android Wear's big coming out party, and the G Watch will probably be the guest of honor. It'll probably be the last time the G Watch takes center stage before the Moto 360 arrives on the scene, but there are a trio of interesting G Watch rumors floating around today.
If you entered Google's new lottery system for I/O 2014, go check your email account. Odds are pretty good that you've got an email, or that you will receive one shortly. Several Google+ users are showing off their fancy invitations. Those who have "won" the right to purchase their $900 tickets have already been charged via their Google Wallet accounts.
And if you didn't get in? Well, Google will let you know that, too. The process is entirely random - even Android Police's own Liam Spradlin (who's a technology journalist and an actual factual visual designer to boot) drew a short straw.
The procrastinators out there have missed their chance to (maybe) give Google $900 for a ticket to Google I/O this year. The registration window is closed, but we don't yet know who's going. That news will hit this coming Monday.
The lottery situation with Google I/O this year means nobody is guaranteed entry. Google knows this. And it's Google we're talking about. So they planted a bunch of secret codes you can redeem for a guaranteed I/O ticket. The hunt is already on, and some lucky folks have already won.
Correction: You don't win free tickets, but rather a guaranteed opportunity to buy them.
Good scavenger hunts are tough, and the best ones don't even announce the rules. I had to piece the information together from various tips, by talking to winners, and crawling the web. Thankfully, at least the rules of Fight Club didn't apply here.
In a rare (and very amusing) fireside chat between Matias Duarte and Joshua Topolsky, we heard that I/O 2014 might put significantly more attention on great design as a topic. Today, a post on Google's Developer Blog is here to back up that declaration and adds that there will be sessions and workshops geared for designers and developers interested in improving their products. While there still hasn't been an official session list posted, this is surely meant to encourage designers to apply for registration before the window closes on Friday.
Google is also introducing a new video series Design Minutes, dedicated to demonstrating better practices and how effective a great design can be.