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android l


PSA: Guys, Android "L" Isn't A Stable Release, And Things Are Inherently Going To Be Broken

We've already started receiving a ton of emails from concerned readers about L's app compatibility issues, broken functionality, and the like. Of course, we understand how frustrating this can be, but that's actually the point of the developer release.

One of the primary purposes behind Google releasing L for the Nexus 5 and 7 is so developers can get their apps updated before the stable version rolls out, as the switch from Dalvik to ART requires apps to be updated to add support for the latter.

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Google Keyboard 3.1 From Android L Developer Preview Ported To All 4.0+ Devices [APK Download]

The new Google keyboard in Android L brings the Material Design aesthetic to text input, but the APK pulled from L doesn't work quite right on other Android builds. It actually breaks the keyboard for most devices. No worries, though. An XDA user has tweaked it to work correctly on (probably) all Android 4.0 and higher devices. There is one method that requires root (it's actually a ZIP file) and one that might not work on all devices that's an APK.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: System-Wide Data Compression For WebViews

Developers who need to display web content as part of an app have the option of using Android's built-in WebView class. WebView renders a webpage without JavaScript and ignores errors. It's fine for reading content and saves devs from implementing a full-fledged browser. There's an experimental setting in Android L's developer options that could make WebViews much cooler – data compression.


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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: OpenGL ES 3.1 Support For Prettier Games

Among Android L's many, many features is one that will set game developers' hearts aflutter – support for the recently announced OpenGL ES 3.1. This is the cross-platform rendering API used in many games, both mobile and desktop. Android L's support for v3.1 of the standard brings a ton of new capabilities.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: Write Wi-Fi Passwords To NFC Tags Directly From Android

You know the scenario: friends come over, want to use your Wi-Fi, and expect you to just hand over the password. I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty weird about just giving my password to everyone who walks through the door, regardless of how well I know them. Most of time I opt to type my password in for them, but there is an easier way: store your Wi-Fi info on an NFC tag.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: Stock Recovery Gains Reboot Into Bootloader And Power Down Options

Compared to the popular third-party alternatives, Android's stock recovery has always been pretty...weak. Makes sense, because it's not really meant to do all the stuff that ROM flashers tend to use recovery for, but rather a failsafe of sorts in case something goes awry.


With L's Android release, the recovery is getting a little bit more useful with two new options: reboot to bootloader and power down. Nothing groundbreaking here, but still incredibly useful (especially "reboot to bootloader") for those times when stock recovery is the only option.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: The New Google Keyboard Makes Material Design Optional

Anyone who was hoping for big changes to the Google Keyboard's functionality is going to be disappointed with L. The performance and features are almost identical, but it looks a lot different. Don't freak out yet – the old themes are still there.

Screenshot_2014-06-26-21-20-19 Screenshot_2014-06-26-21-20-43

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: Beam Can Now Be Activated From The Share Menu

Android Beam has been around since 4.0, but the NFC sharing tool has always been a little awkward (I think I've used it successfully twice in three years), since it relies on both phones physically detecting each other in proximity before you can even initiate the sending process. In the preview versions of the "L" release, Beam finally gets its own dedicated option in the standard Android Share menu, which should make it much less ambiguous.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: Lockscreen Notifications, Actions, And Media Controls

So, the Android L developer preview is here for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013, Wi-Fi) and a few of us here at AP have been playing with it today. The changes are vast and quite drastic (but all pretty damn good thus far), and we want to highlight a few of the more notable things.

The lockscreen is one of the areas that's getting a pretty heavy makeover in the L release (henceforth just known as L), and, since it's generally the first thing you see when a device is turned on, seemed like a logical starting point.

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[Initial Hands-On] Android L Developer Preview On The Nexus 5

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.

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