Google I/O: The Five Biggest Talking Points IBTimes UK

Google has been showcasing some of the features it will be brining to Android later this year in what it is calling its L update.

Called the "biggest release in history of Android" by Google, the L update for the world's biggest smartphone platform features 5,000 new API for developers - 1,000 more than Apple brought to iOS 8 earlier this month.

The biggest change is to the look of Android. Google has launched a new design language called Material Design which is a new design language which Google is rolling out for Android, Chrome OS and Google+.

"Our material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by our study of paper and ink, yet open to imagination and magic," Google said of the new design language.

Google gave a preview of the Gmail app using the new design language on stage at Google I/O in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Another major update is to the notifications in Android L, with interactive notifications on the lock screen allowing launch the relevant app directly or swipe away any notifications you don't want to see.

Developers will also be able to include heads-up notifications which pop up while you are using another app. These will appear on the top of the screen and can again to swipe away if irrelevant or tap into the app if you want to take some action.

One of the most interesting updates is the called personal unlocking, which will allow you to bypass your phone's pin code if you are wearing a known or trusted Bluetooth device, such as one of the new Android Wear smartwatches.

In terms of performance, Android L will bring a new battery saver mode to the software which is one of the big requests from smartphone users these days.

Android L will also completely run on the Android Runtime which was introduced last year with Android 4.4 (KitKat) and Google says it will run twice as fast as Dalvik which it replaces.

The developer preivew of Android L will be available to developers from Thursday, including specific versions for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.

The full consumer release will come in the autumn Goolge said.