Google has kicked off its I/O keynote showcasing the new version of Android with the L Developer Preview, a new set of software guidelines known as Android One and some pretty impressive active Android user stats.
As we expected, Google showed of the latest version of Android with an all new design aesthetic referred to as "Material Design". Although much simpler and flatter, Google appears to be separating itself from competition with new “elevation values” that allow developers to create depth for various elements of their apps, casting shadows and things of that nature.
Google is also bringing 5000 new developer APIs, enhanced notifications, improved battery life, deeper security features with "personal unlocking" that works with location and voice recognition as well as Bluetooth device tracking. There is also a new graphics package for "L" that Google referred to as "desktop gaming graphics in your pocket."
The Android One software guidelines is a program designed to ensure that third party Android devices aren't plagued by other skins and add-ons. It basically allows for OEMs to offer a much more stock Android experience to users. This will likely improve the lower end Android devices, as it will set a standard in which devices makers will have to meet in order to be considered an authentic "Android One" device.
Google also announced that it now has over 1 billion active monthly Android users, up from 538 million this time last year. You may remember Google saying that it hit 1 billion previously, but that was before it started only counting users that have been active for 30 days. We know that mobile Chrome is now host to over 300 million monthly active users as well.
You can expect more news coming out of I/O and you can watch the live (and already recorded) feed of the Google keynote here.