Following the official unveiling of the new Android 5.0 L OS flavor, Google has started to push out various tools and resources for developers interested in building apps for the new platform iteration, including an L Preview SDK.Moreover, the company has made available for download Android L developer preview builds, which come in the form of 32-bit system images that can be flashed on Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Wi-Fi (version 2, released in 2013) devices.
The Android L Developer Preview was announced with a brand-new UI design, which was meant to provide users with a more consistent experience across devices, as well as with the new ART runtime, which is now set as default in the OS (it was introduced as experimental in Android 4.4).
The updated Android operating system also brings along better notification capabilities, as well as improved efficiency, courtesy of Project Volta, which should also provide increased control over resource usage.
The new developer tools have been made available for download through the Android SDK Manager, the same as other releases before it. There are also emulator system images available for download, which include both experimental 64-bit and 32-bit system images.
In order to grab the new Preview SDK through the Android SDK Manager, developers will need to open the app, select the latest Android SDK Tools, Platform-tools, and Build-tools, then select everything under the Android L Developer Preview section, and hit the Install packages button.
However, application builders should keep in mind that this is only a preview version of the new Android release, and that it might change before the final version becomes available for download.
“This is a preview version of the Android system image, and is subject to change. Your use of this system image is governed by the Android SDK Preview License Agreement,” Google notes on its Android Developers website.
“The Android preview system image is not a stable release, and may contain errors and defects that can result in damage to your computer systems, devices, and data.”
“The preview Android system image is not subject to the same testing as the factory OS and can cause your phone and installed services and applications to stop working,” the company also adds.
In addition to the new Android SDK, developers are also provided with the possibility to set up Android Virtual Devices (AVD) to take advantage of the emulator when building and testing applications with the new Android L Preview.
In order to do that, they will need to install the Android L Preview SDK, and then to start the AVD Manager (Window > AVD Manager in Eclipse, or by going to the tools/ directory and executing Android tool with no arguments in other IDEs).
Next, they will need to go to Virtual Devices panel and click on New to create a new AVD. They will be able to give the new virtual device a name, an SD card size, skin, and more, just as detailed on this page on the aforementioned developer portal.
You can download the Android SDK from Softpedia today.