It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two months since Google prereleased Android L for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 in what’s probably the most awesome beta release, ever. At least in Android circles! As with all beta or prerelease products, there are certain caveats associated with trying the operating system: namely, certain things may not work. And judging by the product forum, there have been hundreds of bugs reported by diligent users. We’re a kind, sharing bunch, right? Google have updated the support Group with confirmation that fourteen bugs have been fixed for the next release of Android, including the Nexus 5’s inability to send MMS on the AT&T and T-Mobile USA networks. Other bugs that have been crushed include the lock screen hanging, missing notifications and the diapad’s 7 showing as an S. These join a number of issues marked as resolved from July. Now there are still a lot of bugs that need resolving before the operating system is ready for release. Google will be working on several different versions of the operating system and not just the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.
The list of changes from Android 4.4 Kit Kat to Android L is long, but highlights include 64-bit support, significant changes to power management encompassing Project Volta and a Battery Saver mode, Bluetooth 4.1, Do Not Disturb, low latency audio recording, USB audio, a new document-focused multitasking menu and of course the new Material Design interface. We’ve seen apps updated with the new Material Design Interface, such as Google Chrome: if you’ve not updated Chrome on your Android device, then you really should because the interface looks beautiful (even if it’s missing the refresh button on smartphones). We’ve already seen certain elements of the interface, such as the multitasking view, mimicked by manufacturers including Samsung with the Note 4.
We don’t yet know the release date other than it’s some time in the “fourth quarter 2014.” Google usually release an upgrade to Android together with a new Nexus product or two and Q4 starts in three weeks, but I don’t think we’ll see something right at the start of October! Instead, I think we’re going to have to wait just a little bit longer. Meanwhile, if you want that Android L look and feel you can download a selection of themes and modifications for many devices, or even install the ROM if you have one of the Nexus devices. Or if you’re already using the prerelease of Android L, hit us up in the comments below or on Google+ and let us know how you’re getting on.