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Android L is irrelevant for your phone, as KitKat teaches us

Android L is irrelevant for your phone, as KitKat teaches us

As we’ve learned from the past several releases of Google’s mobile operating system Android, "Android L" will barely touch your smartphone. Today we’ll use Android 4.4 KitKat as an example of how little Google’s changes affect the wide world of Android smartphones and tablets. To do this, we’ll have to remember October of 2013 when we released our SlashGear 101: Android 4.4 KitKat guide to what’s new.

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Here’s what Android L will look like

Here’s what Android L will look like

Google’s mobile operating system Android has been given an upgrade this week, moving from codeword "KitKat" to Android "L". Today we’re exploring what’s involved in Android L, showing especially what this new version of the software will look like to you, the end user. Android L is built with a new Google-made aesthetic called "Material", this replacing the "Holo" aesthetic present in the last several versions of the software.

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Download Google’s strange DIY #cardboard experiment now

Download Google’s strange DIY #cardboard experiment now

One of the strangest hand-outs Google’s ever given to developers at Google I/O has been delivered today: a piece of cardboard. This cardboard folds out and works with a couple of lenses to deliver a sort of DIY-headset that sets your smartphone directly in front of your eyes. Even if you’re not amongst those lucky enough to get one of these oddities at Google I/O this week, you can make your own now.

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Samsung Gear Live joins Android Wear crew, available today

Samsung Gear Live joins Android Wear crew, available today

Ordering of the just-announced Samsung Gear Live has been made clear today at Google I/O 2014 right alongside the LG G Watch. Google is making a serious push of Android Wear today with a full demonstration of the system, following up with hardware ready to roll imminently. The Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch are coming to pre-orders today, while the Motorola Moto 360 will be made available later this year.

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Android Wear detailed: “Okay Google”, App integration, more

Android Wear detailed: “Okay Google”, App integration, more

Google is making its play for wearables, detailing Android Wear during I/O as the best way to integrate the phone in your pocket and glanceable information on the wrist. Building around Google Now for voice control, Android Wear's UI shows the most contextually relevant information on-screen by default, such as an upcoming flight or appointment, or album art for a currently playing track, along with the time.

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Google responds to Apple’s Android snark: You’re playing catch-up

Google responds to Apple’s Android snark: You’re playing catch-up

Apple's WWDC 2014 contained more than a few shots at Android earlier this month, but Google isn't going to let it go past without a reply. Google's Sundar Pichai took to the I/O 2014 stage to call out Apple's new iOS 8, pointing out that Android had things like widgets and user-customizable keyboards - both highlight features of the new iPhone and iPad platform - many versions ago.

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