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Nexus 5, Nexus 7 Android L beta release demos battery monitor feature

Google released the Android L developer preview, beta version for Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices.
Google released the Android L developer preview, beta version for Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices. Google

Google I/O 2014 offered a preview of the upcoming Android L series mobile operating system, slated for a fall release date. For the Google Nexus 5 phone and Nexus 7 (2013) tablet, an official Android L developer preview, beta release version SDK is now available for download and install.

As ExtremeTech reports (June 27), the Android L official developer preview is a pre-release version, so there are a few bugs and hiccups. Nonetheless, the Android L beta SDK gives us an early idea of what the new Android L user interface (UI) will look and feel like. Ahead of Android L’s final release version, we know of one feature that could eliminate the need for a third-party battery monitor app. Seemingly long overdue, the new Android L update is bundled with an informative battery status feature.

As demonstrated on a Google Nexus 5 phone, when plugging up the device, the Android L UI indicates the amount of time left until the phone reaches a full charge. When unplugged, the baked-in battery predictor also provides an estimate of how much standby battery time is left. Thanks to this bundled Android L battery status feature, users can know how many real-time hours of battery life is left on their phone as well as how long it will take their handset to juice up.

Google continues its ongoing commitment to improving the battery life of Android OS powered devices. During the Google I/O 2014 keynote address, director of engineering for Android, Dave Burke discussed “Project Volta”, Google’s latest approach to improving battery performance. The creation of “Battery Historian” gives a visual measure of battery discharge with the device use.

Once Android L reaches its final release stage, it could provide even more in-depth battery info as found in battery monitor apps like GSam Battery Monitor. This free third-party battery monitor app has a feature called “App Sucker”, which breaks down the battery consumption of user apps by percentage.

The developer preview of Android L for Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 also includes a new battery saver mode feature within the menu of the battery info display. This lets users conveniently enable the feature when the battery level gets too low, or enable it to always stay on. “On the Nexus 5 running in battery saver mode, you can extend your battery life by up to 90 minutes of usage within a typical single day’s use,” Burke said during the Google I/O keynote.

Besides announcing its next generation Android L series OS this week at its annual developer conference, Google has been quiet about the version number and name. Some dessert themed suggestions include Android 5.0 Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Heads, Lollipop and Licorice. More information about the official version number codename should be revealed as we head closer the final Android L release this fall.