This post was published 4 years, 6 months ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.
Android L was shown off during the I/O keynote the other day and it features a new design that looks absolutely gorgeous. The trouble is, most people won’t be running Android L for a few months yet as they are stuck on older versions such as Jelly Bean or KitKat until Android L is released in the autumn. Luckily though, there are things you can do to get parts of the look and feel from L on your device right now! Here’s how.
We’ll start with the easiest. The wallpaper. Android L was shown off with a slick-looking wallpaper which many of you are likely to want on your devices. This is a touch that any Android user can do regardless of what their device or Android version is. You can click on the image below to view the full resolution wallpaper and then simply right-click and “Save Image As…”.
Google Keyboard saw an update (v 3.1) with Android L and sports a whole new look. We are not sure whether this new style will hit older devices via the Play Store at some point anyway but for now the APK from Android L preview has been modded to work on older versions of Android (4.0+). There are no real differences in function though, this is just a new look which follows Google’s new “material design”. You can see what this looks like below.
Update: forget the methods below, there is now an easier way to install the new keyboard. Simply grab the modified keyboard from the Play Store, enable it and then set it as your default input method. You can install this keyboard from the widget at the end of this section.
To install it you are going to need to do one of two things. For most devices you just need to uninstall Google Keyboard if you already have it (the Play Store one, not AOSP), the install the apk from here and then switch the colour scheme to “material” in the advanced settings of Google keyboard. No root access is required but you will need unknown sources enabled to be able to install the APK from the system security settings if you haven’t already.
If you have a Nexus device running stock Android which has the Google Keyboard as a system app by default then you cannot simply uninstall it. You will need to delete the LatinImeGoogle .odex file from /system/app and then download the flashable zip and flash from recovery. You can get this along with more detailed instructions here. Note: this WILL require root.
A few app updates have been launched with Android L. Google Play Services, Google Now / Voice Search and the Play Store saw significant upgrades which will be updated on your device automatically but we have included download links here for those feeling impatient.
There are also a bunch of new system apps which you can try as well including Chrome, Calculator, Drive, and many more. However please be cautious because some may be no different from the ones on your device and others are simply not meant for users to play with and just provide system functions.
Google Play Services 5.0 (flashable zip, required for most of these apps to work.)
Android L introduced a few tweaks to the Roboto fonts. You can download the new fonts below in a (non-flashable) zip. There are various ways of installing the fonts depending on your device. You can also use them on your PC. If you have a Samsung device which has the iFonts feature then you can simply install the APKs which Zac has made for you.
Ringtones and Sounds
There are also a few new ringtones and sounds in Android L which you can use on your device, There doesn’t seem to be a lot of changes compared to stock KitKat so this will make more of a difference if you are using a device with an OEM skin as they tend to customise things a bit. Download below.
The boot animation in Android L is largely the same as we saw for Android Wear. The only difference is that the initial part is not present and the animation is tiny and does not fill the whole screen. We actually prefer the version which I already made beforehand as it uses the full screen space and I have produced versions for many different devices. You can grab that over at XDA below or if you want the smaller (but official) version we’ve included a download link for that too. Either way, changing your boot animation WILL require root and this animation will not work fully on devices running versions of Android prior to 4.1.
For devices with on-screen buttons (soft keys) Android L has some new icons which you can also install on your current device using an app called SoftKeyZ. This is a root application and it allows you to change your nav buttons to pretty much anything. You can use your own images or download from the built-in online gallery. For the Android L look there are several versions in the gallery but the one we recommend is “Ultimate L Preview (White)” as this is the most accurate.
Once you have downloaded it you an apply from the button selection screen. This will reboot your device and once it has rebooted you should have Android L style navigation buttons. You can restore your stock icons from the backup menu if they aren’t to your taste (a backup of your stock icons is made automatically).
If you are using CyanogenMod 11 or a derivative ROM which includes the theme chooser there is now an all-in-one solution: using a theme which does its best to give you a complete Android L look. There are actually several to choose from. They include features such as modifying the notification shade, L style icons, updated fonts, Android L style bootanimation, themed the settings and action bar, new notification sounds etc.
The first one is available for free on XDA while the two on the Play Store are paid.
You can grab the first here or the check out the other two (which are slightly different in the areas they theme and how they look) from the app install widgets below. Corresponding screenshots are shown above each widget.
Don’t have CM11? No worries, so long as you are rooted and have the Xposed Framework installed you can get a theme pack very similar to the ones above.
According to the developer “Adhi1419” it has the following features:
- Themed Statusbar Icons
- Themed Settings
- Themed Calculator
- Themed Framework
- Android L Wallpaper
- Boot Animation
- Much, much, more..
You can grab it over at XDA here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/xposed/modules/xposed-android-l-theme-t2803003
Both Nova and Xposed GEL Settings (an Xposed module for Google Now Launcher) have been updated to bring you the new style app drawer icon and app launch animations from Android L. This can be used to really help complete your Android L look. Note that for XGELS you will need root access and the Xposed framework and will need to be using the Google Now launcher. Additionally the new look must be turned on the app’s settings.
Above you can see my Nexus 4 with Google Now Launcher and XGELS along with the wallpaper and nav buttons from Android L. It really looks the part! You can grab both apps from Google Play using the widgets below.
Full System Dump (From Nexus 5)
Finally, if you’re looking for something else and like to delve deeper and play around with things here is the full system dump file from Android L on the Nexus 5. This is not flashable so do not try to put it on your device.
Disclaimer: as usual with these things, we take no responsibility for anything that might happen to your device as a result of using any of these mods and doing so is entirely your risk. Proceed with caution and make sure you know what you are doing!