With Google I/O right in front of our face, speculation is understandably rife as to what the search and Android giant will have to say. New versions of Android are usually on the agenda at Google’s big developer outing, and we see no huge reason why this year’s event would be any different. With that in mind, the next version of Android could be just around the corner, and with the next letter in the alphabet-based naming convention used for Android being ‘L,’ we may have our first real look at what it is going to look like.
Found on the infamous Reddit and coming by way of the Chromium Issue Tracker, the two screenshots appear to show both smartphone and tablet versions of the next release of Android. The tracker has been the source of real Android leaks in the past, so we wouldn’t be at all surprised if these screenshots turned out to be accurate.
While not really giving the game away too much, the screenshots do give us one or two insights into some changes that Google is apparently making to the way Android works and looks. First off, there’s a new bell icon in the status bar which, according to other rumors, corresponds to a feature similar to Apple’s ‘Do Not Disturb’ switch. When on, that feature turns all notifications off completely, making the phone or tablet silent, which is perfect for meetings and saves using the ol’ faithful airplane mode. It would, without a shadow of a doubt, be a welcome addition to Android.
Speaking of the status bar, the screenshots show a completely transparent offering, whereas the KitKat status bar has a slight gradient to it. It may not be the biggest change ever made to a status bar, but it’s enough to change the way the thing looks.
Also evident in that status bar, and another reason these screenshots may be above board, is the little ‘L’ icon. This is a placeholder that appears when a device is plugged into USB with debugging turned on. Early screenshots of KitKat showed the letter ‘K’ in a similar fashion, so it appears Google is continuing that trend.
Regardless, we’ll no doubt see the new version of Android tomorrow, putting an end to all the speculation about what it will be called, at the very least.
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