The L release of Android (the successor to Android 4.4.x KitKat) is expected to launch at the end of the year, but we may have just got our first real look at it thanks to a couple of screenshots found in the Chrome issue tracker.
The screenshots contain several clues that we’re looking at a completely new Android version. Starting with the obvious “L” icon in the left corner, that’s likely a placeholder icon for the USB debugging mode on the L release. The navigation bar and the status bar lack the subtle gradient that KitKat has, being flat-out transparent. The bell system icon likely belongs to a new do-not-disturb type feature, possibly the Heads Up notification mode that the CM team just uncovered in the Android source code.
Moving on to the dialog window, its styling is obviously different from the current implementation – there’s no holo blue, and there are no delimiting lines around the buttons. Moreover, the text of the “Settings” and “Ok, got it” buttons is in all-caps and the “You’re signed in” text at the top is in a larger font. The design seems a bit unfinished, with the unbroken white space and the misaligned buttons.
In the background, we see a slightly redesigned Chrome UI, with hints of elements we’ve seen before in the Quantum Paper leak. And, in the landscape screenshot, Chrome isn’t running in full screen, which corroborates with earlier rumors of a card-based multitasking mode coming in the next version of Android.
With Google I/O starting tomorrow, it seems a bit more likely that Google will at least preview some of the changes we can gleam from these screenshots. The perspective of a new Android version is exciting, but there’s a lot more to look forward to, and we listed everything in our Google I/O 2014 preview.