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Lollipop 5.0/5.1

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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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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: Android Camera API Supports DNG Image Capture, Photographers Everywhere Cheer

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).

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: Android Finally Gets Native PDF Rendering Via The New PdfRenderer API

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.

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Android "L" Preview Factory Images Are Here For The Nexus 5 And Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi

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:

images

Go! And if you're a developer, the "L" preview SDK is available now, as well.

Android Developers

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The Android "L" Preview And Wear SDKs Are Now Live

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.

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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.

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Android L Feature Spotlight: The Rotation Lock Quick Setting Is Coming To Phones Too

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.

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[I/O 2014] The Official Android "L," Wear, Auto, And TV Preview Site Is Up

Google's just brought the official Android "L" preview site online, and while there's not much there yet, you know this is the place to check for info about the latest version of Android.

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The site gives a quick overview of what's new in "L" (with a focus on what's relevant for developers), Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto. Hit up the link below to check it out - you can probably expect more information to be added here as I/O goes on.

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[I/O 2014] Privacy Controls Are Coming In Android "L" As 'Universal Data Controls,' Though Details Are Scarce

Sundar Pichai let something of a bomb drop in regard to data privacy in apps on Android today at I/O, potentially addressing a long-standing complaint that the OS doesn't allow users enough control over what apps can do with their information, or if they can access it at all. Now, there's a tool to manage your privacy in Android, and it's called Universal Data Controls.

data controls

No interface was demoed, no real details were provided, and we don't even know if this is actually just putting all the existing Google privacy settings in a dedicated area and giving them a fresh coat of paint.

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Android "L" Preview Builds For Nexus 5 / 7 (2013) Go Live Tomorrow - 5000 New APIs, Including USB Audio, BT 4.1, Burst Photo

Just a couple quick tidbits from the I/O keynote in case you missed them: Google will be publishing factory image previews of the "L" release of Android for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (presumably 2013 only) tomorrow morning, that being June 26th. We're guessing anyone can download them, so long as you're comfortable flashing an image to your device.

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You can see a few more features and APIs in the L here.

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Rumor: Google Exploring Richer Quick Settings, Stacking Card Notifications For Android's L Release

A while ago, we posted about explorations Google was undertaking in revamping Android's home screen. Part of this was a new notification shade that looked similar to Google Now.

Since then, we've seen new materials that show something a bit closer to what the notification shade and Quick Settings will resemble in Android's L release. The images we'll discuss in this post are based on more recent information, but as with any unreleased software, anything can change - particularly design.

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