Hands-on: Android L running on the Nexus 5 [VIDEO]


Android L Developer Preview DSC06020

As you may have heard, Google gave developers (and hardcore enthusiasts) the ability to preview Android L before its official release later this year. A little fastboot knowledge is all it took to flash the factory images to our Nexus 5 and while diving into the biggest Android update since Ice Cream Sandwich, we decided to provide you guys with a quick hands-on video.

In the video, we show off the all new lockscreen, notification drawer, settings, dialer and recents — all of which has been redesigned beautifully to Google’s new Material design standards. Check out the video below and for those that are also playing around with the preview, let us know how it’s treating you and any new discoveries you’ve made.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Can’t Wait

  2. How come the settings are white? Whereas the settings in the screenshots in the Android L gallery you posted are black?

    1. Mentioned that in the video and in the post from yesterday. Google could have a light and dark theme chooser for Android L down the road, or yesterdays pictures were nothing more than mockups (which they kinda were), with no basis on the final design.

  3. I thought the same about the nav buttons, Chris!…lol…Only difference being that circle is typically the “back” button in PS games.

    1. True, true. I think they’re too abstract and really, there was nothing wrong with the old ones for them to go and change ’em. They did it just because. :/

      1. Yeah, a little odd. At least they are in the position where the old icons were, but can’t figure out what the mindset was behind the redesign. Only other thing I can think is, maybe it’s some weird patent that they didn’t own and didn’t want to deal with going forward?…LOL…Question is, does Sony get upset that Google’s nav buttons now look like PS controller buttons?

        1. Sony patent shapes?

          1. LOL…no, I was just joking. I don’t think it’s possible to obtain a patent for “shapes”, although I could be wrong. Maybe, depending on what the context is. Aside from that, Sony is part of the open handset alliance and their mobile phones are Android based, so they’d probably consider it a compliment.


    Seriously though, you might consider putting the phone on a solid surface and putting the camera in manual focus to keep it focused on the phone.

  5. Google is going animation crazy. Like Apple.

  6. And they took their great notification pull down and jacked it all up.

    1. They also jacked up the ‘Recent apps’ interface. It was bad enough when they went from Gingerbread to ICS (less apps visible, therefore swiping required to find an app which isn’t in your last 3 or 4).
      Now it looks like only your last app is immediately visible, and the rest are buried behind it – more even MORE swiping required.
      Sure, it’s pretty, but it’s not efficient.

  7. Does Android L = Android 5.0? Check the settings please.

    1. It simply says “L”.

      1. Thanks!

    2. It only shows “L” for the version number.

      1. Is there anything that you see when you tap that over and over?

        1. webdriver torso

  8. yawwwwwn,,,,and white backgrounds are so lame. kill my battery more why dont ya. if that is enough to impress you you have low standards i guess.

    1. Only kills your battery “more” in AMOLED. Affects it just the same in regular LCD.

  9. does anyone know where i can find how to install android L on nexus 5?

    1. wait for it to be released

  10. geez Chris, tone it down on the coffee man! I feel nervous watching you flicker away so sporadically o_O “

    1. He’s high on Android L.

      Besides, he’s usually pretty fast talking in the mobile roar podcast, although this was a bit faster… He’s probably practicing to be a rapper. Chrissy Chav anyone?

  11. Anyone know if this version of “L” is up and running for T-Mobile Nexus devices?

    1. No. it will come in Fall of 2014. and devices with pure android will get it first (e.g. Nexus)

  12. One word, Chris: auto-focus.

  13. Ok I’m officially calling it… GOOGLE PLAY STORE will soon be selling the GOOGLE PLAYSTATION. Just makes too much sense. Sony is ripe for acquisition and the ps4 is kicking ass. It lines up flawlessly with Google’s direction.

    1. No. the AndroidTV box already lets you download and play games.

      1. COMPLETELY different demographic… That being said it could be a tie in product like Playstation TV is gonna be for the ps4 and ps3. Beside that a Sony acquisition would have much further reaching benefits then just Playstation. Thats just the icing on top of the patent war chest cake

  14. I want to install Android L on my Nexus 5 but I am not a developer. Will it be accessible to me? Or you have to be a registered developer to have this?

  15. Notifications defenitely got a improvement much needed.

  16. cool beans..

  17. Has anyone noticed a bug while receiving a notification (while screen is unlocked) don’t scroll in the top bar like they used to or give you the new heads-up feature?


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