Uzair Ghani has put up screenshots comparing Android “L” preview to Android KitKat and iOS 8 beta.
A few notes;
- Android L is definitely not yet finished. Even the calendar app uses the old Holo theme. Compared to where iOS 7 was when it was announced at WWDC, there still seems to be a lot to do. Maybe Google is planning to gradually update the Google Play apps; they may not yet be updated at the Android L release.
- Android L does not seem to use the “frosted-glass” effect that iOS 7 has had (and iOS 8 also). On the iPhone 4, iOS does not use “frosted-glass” either. Maybe the GPUs are not yet powerful enough on most Android phones. This is a bit interesting because a lot of the UI effects on Android L look like they would depend on a good GPU.
- The settings screen is no longer white letters on dark background. This is an important improvement in my opinion, as it sheds the final traces of Android’s geek-oriented history. It makes the setting panel much more approachable.
- I’ve always been concerned about the general disregard for consistency in Android user interfaces, even in the Apps that Google itself designs. Unfortunately, we can already see this in the few screenshots. Specifically, in the L phone app, we see the action overflow menu on the upper left. It should be on the right. The action overflow has always been abused in Android, starting life as a hardware key. It has always been a UI control with low discoverability. It would be sad if it is still not getting the respect it deserves.