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9 reasons to get excited about Android L (pictures)

Arriving later this year, the next version of Android promises a number of refinements and improvements. Here is a handful of reasons to look forward to the "L" release.

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Scott Webster
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1 of 11 Jason Cipriani/CNET

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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2 of 11 Screenshot by Scott Webster/CNET

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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3 of 11 Jason Cipriani/CNET

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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4 of 11 Screenshot by Scott Webster/CNET

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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5 of 11 Screenshot by Scott Webster/CNET

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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6 of 11 James Martin/CNET

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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7 of 11 Screenshot by Scott Webster/CNET

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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8 of 11 Screenshot by Scott Webster/CNET

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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9 of 11 Screenshot by Scott Webster/CNET

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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10 of 11 Droid Life

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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11 of 11 Google

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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