With Android “L” release — which still doesn’t have a name — notifications are getting a pretty neat upgrade. We’ll now get a richer experience when using our phones with what Google calls “Enhanced Notifications”. I additions to advanced notifications, we’ll get a nice new method for unlocking our phones.

Notifications will now appear in more of a card layout, keeping the aesthetic we find in Google Now. On the lock screen, we can now swipe down for a full list of notificaitons, and double tap to get right into the app for any action we need. If we want to dismiss a notification, we can still swipe it away, and swiping them all away gets us “into the device”.

Unlocking is getting a bit of an upgrade, too. Your Android device with “L” will now recognize an approved device like a smartwatch. If you’re wearing one of them, your security layer — like a PIN — will disable. Once you’re not wearing the watch, it reverts back to the lockscreen path you choose. The same can be said of WiFi connections, and other devices like tablets nearby. It can even recognize a specific voice imprint.

We’re still here at I/O, bringing you all the important updates. Be sure to check back for more great news from Moscone West!

  • Pam M

    I hope the changes will allow me to open the camera app without entering my PIN.

    • Demetrius Beasley

      You should already be able to do this.

      • Pam M

        Not on the Samsung S4. But if you know how, please tell me.

      • Try installing the Google Now Launcher from the Play Store (Make sure its made by Google, Inc). It should be the same launcher that is on the Nexus 5 and if it gives you the same lock screen as well, you can just swipe from right to left to land directly in the camera app.

        I do not have a device that is not a Nexus device, so if it doesn’t work I apologize 🙂

      • Daryl Dean

        Install it manually. Google ” google now launcher apk xda” download the files and install them to your phone

      • Demetrius Beasley

        You have to add a camera shortcut to the lockscreen.

  • Thank the Lord. I have been inordinately worried about my lock screen as of late. Now I can sleep better.