Look out for Android L

Set to arrive on smartphones and tablets later this year, Google's Android L OS promises a whole suite of features, options, and developer tools. Android fans have a lot to look forward to.

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1. Cool new Material Design interface

Animations and new design elements that make common tasks more obvious? Yes, please. See that bright blue "plus" button to compose a new message? That's what I'm talking about.

Best yet, Google is carrying this design language across other Web apps, so they all look and behave the same way on your phone, tablet, and browser.

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2. Support for multiple users

Rumor is, Android L could support multiple user profiles, say one for you, and one for your kids. That means you won't have to worry about another person getting into places you don't want them to be. Ditto if you're the type who'd rather keep work and personal accounts separate.

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3. Smarter lock screen

A smarter, more social lock screen in Android L means you'll be able to see and respond to notifications without having to first unlock your phone. Android will safeguard your more sensitive information and will only deliver the most relevant alerts.

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4. Better notifications

More chilled-out notifications are also on the docket. Android L will prioritize alerts for you, and use the cool "card" look of Google Now to pop up phone calls and more.

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5. Faster multitasking is in the cards

Cascading cards show you your recent apps, which not only looks cool, but also lets you see multiple instances of open apps, like separate Google Drive files and websites. All this leads to faster navigation as you switch tasks.

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6. Faster performance

Between support for ART and 64-bit architecture, Android L improves the overall performance, yet still promises to still play nice with your battery. A built-in Battery Saver mode can also turn off unnecessary system functions.

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7. Awesome device shortcuts

This one's a boon for smartwatch owners, among others. Instead of entering a PIN on your password-protected phone every time you start looking something up on your watch Android L will let verified hardware bypass security to get you in faster.

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8. Separating work from play

A long time ago we tested an app called Divide (originally Enterproid), that easily created work and personal profiles. Well now Google bought it, and Android L smartphones can benefit.

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9. Do Not Disturb

Shhh! Silencing your phone overnight or for a short while or when certain people call will now be included Android. The customizable settings make it a simple way to avoid interruptions without totally silencing your phone.

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Even more L

There's no set arrival date for Android L yet, but diehards can see for themselves in the Developer Preview version available for the Nexus 5 and 7. In the meantime, get to know Android L even more in our hands-on preview.

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