Nexus 4 owners, don't lose hope. Though your 2012 Google phone was cruelly looked over for the developer preview builds of Android L (along with everything that wasn't a Nexus 7 2013 or Nexus 5), sharp-eyed Google+ users have spotted two different Google employees posting on the Chromium section of code.google.com claiming to use the Nexus 4 with Android L. Check out this entry from a contributor with a Chromium.org email address, explicitly using the "LRW52G" build of Android on his or her N4.
At the Google I/O 2014 keynote, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to let us know that the L release of Android is set to make massive improvements in security for the enterprise as well as regular users. The Washington Post has received word from Google that gives us another glimpse of what we should expect in the next version. It seems that devices shipping with Android L will have disk encryption enabled by default.
It's been over two months since Google gave Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 owners a chance to tinker with the upcoming L release of Android, in what has been the biggest beta test in Android's short history. With all of us waiting on a release sometime in the fourth quarter of 2014, it's gratifying to know that the powers that be are hard at work getting Android L ready for primetime.
Releasing the L preview was an important leap forward for Android as an ecosystem, but, outside of a single almost meaningless update, we're probably not going to see any new builds up until the final L release. I can sort of see why the Android team doesn't want to put out builds with incremental fixes, saving all the improvements for a grand finale unveiling, so in the meantime, any glimpse at their progress is very interesting to us as well as developers working on porting their apps to adhere to the new Material Design guidelines.
Earlier this week, the following crane lift project notice was posted around the famous Android statue lawn next to building 44 on Google's Mountain View campus:
Of course, this sighting sparked a variety of rumors - after all, it would only be natural to assume that any work requiring a crane lift involved a new statue being installed, which would mean we'd finally find out the name of the L release.
We've been wondering what the codename for the "L" release of Android would be ever since KitKat was revealed, and today it looks like we've got more evidence in support of "Lemon Meringue Pie." Thanks to our own research and a submission from reader Yuku Sugianto, we've found multiple official sources in code and documentation that list the next release as "LMP," which can only refer to the delicious baked good.
The Android L release is the first time Google has offered a developer preview of an upcoming version of the platform, so no one knew how it would handle things. Would there be updates? Could we watch L evolve over time? It was unclear before, but now Google has posted new versions of the images for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5.
Earlier today, someone decided to post to the Android issue tracker complaining about the lack of multiuser support for smartphones. Within a few hours, a developer at Google responded and closed the issue, remarking that "the development team has implemented this feature and it will be available as a part of the next public build." Sounds pretty definitive to us.
The "next public build" is the only ambiguous part of this statement, though that Googler is almost definitely referring to the "L" release of Android scheduled to land some time later this year.
Google I/O 2014 has come and gone, but that doesn't mean great stuff from the conference isn't still coming out. The companion app used by thousands of attendees -and hundreds of thousands of fans and followers- has been open sourced! Code for the I/O app is meant to serve as an example of best practices for Android developers, providing fully functioning implementations of the latest design principles, UI controls, networking code, and more.