Android L gives a glimpse of Android's future with a new design, enhanced notifications, and Bluetooth unlocking

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James Martin/CNET

While Google didn't give us a brand new full-featured version of Android at its 2014 I/O developer conference, it did show off the future of the operating system with Android L, a developer preview of what's to come.

Android L introduces a new design scheme called Material, which adds even more color, adds depth with shadows, and overall gives Android a sleeker, more minimal look. Notifications get a makeover in L, with new ways to alert you of important events, such as a phone call or text message. Other additions include a new way to unlock your device, and smarter battery usage.

We'll still have to wait at least a few more months before the highly anticipated follow-up to Android 4.4 KitKat makes its public debut. Its official name and version number are both still under wraps, but there's a good chance it'll be Android 4.5 Lollipop (or Lollypop). For now, Android L is available to developers and the general public, so long as you have a Nexus 5 phone or the 2013 edition Nexus 7 tablet. Should you choose to play around with Android L, keep in mind it's just a preview and not the final version of what's next. And as always, stay tuned to CNET for the latest updates about Android.

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