TECH

Android L Is Google's OS For Everything: Phones, Cars And TVs

25/06/2014 19:48 BST | Updated 25/06/2014 20:59 BST

The star of Google I/O 2014 was Android L, a drastically redesigned operating system which looks set to take on Apple's iOS 8 with its range of all-new features for the car and home.

Google wants Android to be as much a part of your life as it is your smartphone, so the OS will be working on your smartphone to inform your house or your car about where you are, what time it is and what you'll need when you arrive at either of those destinations.

With features like Android Wear, Android Auto and Android TV Google is expanding into every aspect of people's lives and Android L appears to be the foundation that's binding all of them.

android l

What is it?

It's a completely redesigned version of Android. Using a design language called 'Material Design' Google has centred its design around paper and colours.

Apps and interfaces now have a 3D overlay on each other so you'll see shadows and light effects on each of the apps as you move them around or on top of each other.

Before you start running to grab a paper bag don't panic, it's still essentially the same OS but its been given a heavily modernised update, think the difference between iOS 6 and iOS 7.

All of Google's apps have been completely redesigned and are now intuitively working with your smart watch, car and even TV whether you own a smartphone or tablet.

What are its most interesting features?

The design is clearly a big change and it's arguably more severe in its alterations than Apple's update to iOS. With the new 'Material Design' ethos colours and animations are now as much a part of the OS as the features.

Smart watches are now seriously integrated into Android L, so if you install an app on your smartphone the app will automatically appear on you Moto 360 or LG G Watch.

Android Auto is the newly announced version of Android for cars. Any car that's part of the Open Automotive Alliance will stream Android Auto straight from your smartphone to your car, much in the same way that Apple's CarPlay works.

Finally Google unveiled Android TV, a new operating system for the Smart TV. Using the same OS, Android TV is controlled either by a remote or your tablet or smartphone. You can search through the Google Play store and download tailored apps and even use your TV as a ChomeCast device.

Finally Google is bringing Android apps to Chrome, creating a merged OS which means Chromebooks can seamlessly run Android Apps whether they're on your phone, tablet, watch, car or laptop.

When is it out in the UK?

Android L will launch initially for developers but it looks like Google is set to unveil the full Android L update later this year.

What will it cost?

Android L will be completely free as a download on all Nexus devices. There's no word on how Android L will affect those smartphones that have heavily skinned UI's like the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the HTC One M8.

Where can I get more information?

Check out Engadget's comprehensive coverage of Android L where they'll be talking about every single aspect of the multi-faceted OS.