Andoid L won’t be officially available for a few months, but that doesn’t mean the more saavy Android users haven’t found a way to get their hands on it
It has officially been a week since Android L was unveiled at Google I/O. The new version of Google’s mobile operating system brings many visual changes, added features, and performance increases, but so far Google has only made the developer preview officially available to registered developers, meaning there is not an official release available to the general public.
The official release will come sometime this fall, but no exact date has been give yet. IT will initially be available on some Nexus devices, and per usual trends, the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E will likely follow suit very shortly, along with all the Google Play editions of current flagship phones. Other manufacturers (such as HTC) have made a commitment to making sure the official Android L release (if that remains the name into production) is available for its primary flagship devices within 90 days of the official release.
If you don’t like waiting, though, there’s no need to fret. Android’s open source platform attracts hackers and developers of all kinds and an aspiring user over at XDA forums has created a usable version of the Android L Developer Preview that can be installed on a rooted Nexus 5 or Nexus 7.
Before you go running off and trying to do this at home, take note that this is a fairly technical process that–if done incorrectly–could wreak havok on your Nexi. If you’re up to the challenge (or already comfortable with rooting Android devices), Phone Arena has developed a useful step by step guide to install the Android L Developer Preview.
It’s also important to take note of the “Developer Preview” tag. This is not a final software version and I would highly recommend not installing it on your primary device. Even if you are successful, it will not be a fully functioning phone, so you will have a lot of trouble using it for many day-to-day tasks, and many apps may not even work at all.
If you’re interested in the benefits of Android L, but aren’t so adventurous that you want to go rooting and installing custom software on your phone, many of the new Android performance benefits are available in phones running Android 4.4 Kitkat.
Android’s runtime (a system that determines basic software operations) has traditionally be Dalvik, but in Android KitKat, the option to switch to the ART runtime was made available. ART initially didn’t offer much, but now with Android L, it will bring a massive performance boost to most apps. You can switch to the ART runtime in Android KitKat by following our instructions here.
Although the only way to get the full benefits of the final public version of Android L will be to wait until this fall, but maybe this will provide the more impatient Android enthusiasts among us a way to kill some time while they wait.