There have been rumblings of RAW-style image capture support in Android for some time now, and it looks like the "L" release will finally bring photographers everywhere the freedom to individually process and archive their smartphone photos DSLR-style. The "L" developer documentation specifically mentions the new DngCreator class, an API that will allow camera apps to capture images and save them in the Digital Negative format, an open standard published by Adobe as a more generally-compatible alternative to RAW images (which generally require OEM or camera-specific plugins).
Ever wondered why you have to open up a PDF in Android on Chrome or using a 3rd-party viewer? Well, it's because up until now Android hasn't had a native PDF rendering tool in place. As of Android "L," it does. If you're on Android 4.4 or below, try opening a PDF in the Drive app - you'll be sent to whatever your native PDF viewing tool happens to be.
Now, if you're on the "L" preview release, do the same thing in Drive (make sure no PDF viewers are installed, that might break this behavior), and you'll see the PDF displays natively in the app.
The images are live, and that means developers (and not developers) all over the world are getting their first taste of whatever version Android L is going to be (I assume 5.0). This is the most significant change Android has ever seen, but the version we're getting is slightly different than what Google showed off at I/O, but let's take a quick look at what we do get to play with.
Google has just released the "L" preview factory images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi, and you can get them right now. Here are direct links:
- Nexus 5 (GSM/LTE) "hammerhead": hammerhead-lpv79-preview-ac1d8a8e.tgz
- Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi) "razor": razor-lpv79-preview-d0ddf8ce.tgz
Go! And if you're a developer, the "L" preview SDK is available now, as well.
Developers, ROMers, countrymen - lend me your ears, because the SDKs for both the Android "L" release preview and Android Wear have just landed. Just fire up the SDK manager (be sure to update your SDK tools!) and you should see both are ready for downloading immediately, so you can start digging around in the latest Android releases.
The Wear SDK was actually released as a preview a few months back, but today is the real deal, with all the Wear resources you'll need to get developing great wearable experiences for the Gear Live, LG G Watch, and Moto 360.
Of particular interest in this video is the way the display works. When not in use, the Moto 360 display appears to be on, but very dim. So you'd be able to look at your wrist and see the time without touching it.
Google took its sweet time updating the Nexus-style Google Play Edition of the G Pad 8.3 to Android 4.4.3, but it looks like they had a good reason. The tablet has been zipped straight to 4.4.4, and the over-the-air update should be going out now. If you're not willing to wait - and it might be a few days, considering the staggered rollout - we've got a link to the update ZIP file below.
Part of the 5000 new APIs and many small enhancements to be introduced with Android L that were revealed in a heavily packed slide at Google I/O is rotation lock on phones. That nifty Quick Setting toggle is currently only available on tablets in KitKat. On our stock Android phones, we have had to suffer the annoyance of delving into settings or using some third-party widget to lock the screen's orientation.
Google I/O is only two days this year, but Google definitely crammed plenty of news into the first day. Today's keynote contained all the latest and greatest from Android on your phone, wrist, dashboard, and TV. Seriously, it was Android everywhere. Let's take a quick look at the high points of the day.