updated 04:15 pm EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Android L developer system images installable on Nexus 5, Nexus 7
Google has released the preview version of Android L to developers. Following its formal unveiling at Google I/O yesterday, the company has made an early version of the mobile operating system available to download, with developers able to install the next iteration of Android onto just two devices: the Nexus 5, and the Wi-Fi version of the Nexus 7 2013.
While the system images are downloadable by anyone, Google does warn in its installation instructions that the preview edition is subject to change and is not is not a stable release, as it "may contain errors and defects that can result in damage to your computer systems, devices, and data." The system image can be removed, with full current system images able to be applied, but this will return the device to factory specifications, wiping any stored data.
The Android L preview introduces a number of new features to Android, including over 5,000 new APIs. The new "Material Design" theme incorporates elevation values to provide depth for the various UI elements, along with a new dialer, notification styles, and a "Personal Unlocking" authentication system. Behind the scenes, the ART runtime offers improvements to performance, and Project Volta aims to boost battery life by providing developers tools to optimize the power consumption of their apps.