Android L release date
Android L is now out in the open and it includes a handful of new features, a visual overhaul and numerous under-the-hood improvements to make if faster, more efficient and lighter on your battery, but while we know all about it, it's not yet available for public consumption.
Even once it does launch it will be down to individual manufacturers to port it to their devices, so chances are you'll still be waiting a while to get it on your phone and tablet (unless you've gone full Nexus already) and most companies haven't yet been all that forthcoming with details of when they'll bring it to their phones and tablets.
But we do know some things and we can take educated guesses at others, so read on for all the information and theories on when you might see Android L on your device.
Android L is Google's baby and so you can guarantee that some of its Nexus devices will be the first to get it.
The developer preview is already available for the Nexus 5 and the new Nexus 7, so presumably they'll be the first two devices to get the final version. That makes sense as they're the most recent Nexus devices.
As for when that will be, Google hasn't gone into specifics, but it has said that Android L should be available 'this fall', which presumably means sometime in September, October or November.
And don't forget: Google likes to release big updates to Android with a specific device as well, which means we could have seen the Nexus 6 and Nexus 8 at the same time to join the Android L party.
According to Google it supports its devices for around 18 months, which means the original Nexus 7, the Nexus 10 and the Nexus 4 might not get the update, though we reckon that there's a good chance that they will, especially as Google has published Android L source code for all those devices.
Assuming they do get Android L they're likely to be among the first devices to receive it too. Any Nexus device older than them is all but guaranteed not to get it however, meaning the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S owners are plum out of luck.
Google Play Edition devices, such as the HTC One Play Edition and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Play Edition fall within the 18 month update window so they're also likely to get it.
Better yet, they'll probably receive the update shortly after it hits Nexus devices. Technically it's up to the device manufacturers, not Google, but as they run stock Android it should take minimal time and work to upgrade them.
In fact the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions started getting the Android 4.4.3 update within a day of it hitting Nexus handsets, so the wait might be tiny.
HTC has been more forthcoming with its update plans than most manufacturers and it's no surprise given how quickly it plans to bring the update to users. In a statement the company said:
"HTC is excited about the new features in Android L and we can't wait to share them with our customers. We are committed to updating our flagship HTC One family as fast as possible.
"We will begin rolling out updates to the HTC One (M8) and HTC One (M7) in regions worldwide within 90 days of receiving final software from Google, followed shortly thereafter by other One family members and select devices."
Doing the mathematics that means the company's most recent two flagships should get Android L either at the end of the year or possibly in January of next year, depending on exactly when Google launches Android L.
We're going to go ahead and assume that most other HTC handsets released in the last year or so will also get the update at some point.
As a general rule the more recent and high profile a device is the more likely it is to get an update, so the HTC One Mini 2, the HTC One Mini and perhaps the HTC One Max and some of the recent Desire handsets are likely to get the update, though probably not until sometime after the One M7 and the One M8.
Samsung is yet to shed any light on when it will be bringing Android L to its phones, which is a shame, given just how many people are walking around with a Samsung handset. We can take an educated guess though.
Assuming it launches after Android L, the Galaxy Note 4 is likely to come running the new version from day one and if not it will likely be updated quickly - current guesses have this model showing up at IFA in September, which may be a little early to launch with Android L.
These are major handsets so Samsung will want to get the update to them ASAP, not to mention the fact that the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 received the Android 4.4 update very soon after it launched.
Other Samsung handsets may have to wait a little longer as the company is still in the process of bringing Android 4.4.2 to certain devices, however we'd expect that most high profile devices released in the last 18 months to 2 years will get the update, including the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S4 Mini and the yet-to-be-released Galaxy S5 Mini.
We doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S3 or anything older will get Android L. It's a device that's already over two years old and some versions of it didn't even get Android 4.4. Samsung also sometimes neglects lower end devices, for example the Galaxy Ace 3 never got updated, so we doubt it will this time either and similarly the upcoming Galaxy Ace 4 is unlikely to get a taste of Android L.
Samsung doesn't seem great at updating its tablets either. There's a good chance recent slates like its Note Pro and Tab S ranges and even the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 will get Android L but anything older or low end is iffy.
We asked Sony about its Android L plans and a spokesperson replied that: "We're enthused by early reaction to the "Android L" preview. Whilst we can't share roadmap specifics yet, we'll continue to bring unique Sony software matched with the latest Android experiences to as many Xperia users as possible - so stay tuned."
So the company is staying quiet for now, but the response does hint that it's interested in bringing Android L to its devices, as you might expect.
There's a fair chance that the Sony Xperia Z3 will launch with Android L, especially as the Xperia Z2 shipped with Android 4.4.2, which at the time was the latest version and had only been available for a few months. However, again, the Z3 will be launched in September at IFA, so that might be a little early for the next version of Android.
Speaking of the Z2, that model will likely get updated to Android L and users are unlikely to have to wait long for it as Sony brought the last update, Android 4.4.4, to some of its handsets within a week of launch.
Sure, that's a minor release but it still shows that Sony is committed to delivering updates in a timely fashion.
We'd also expect that the Sony Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1 Compact will get Android L within the first few months that it's available. There's a good chance the Xperia Z will get it too, but with it approaching 18 months old this is likely to be the last major update it receives.
As for tablets, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is pretty much a dead cert, though it may have to wait a while as Sony didn't bring Android 4.4 to the Xperia Tablet Z till almost 7 months after the software became available.
There's a good chance that the Tablet Z will get the update too, but as with the Xperia Z this will probably be the last major update it gets, if it does receive it at all.
LG has told us that it currently has no update "on if / when Android L will be coming to the LG G3." That 'if' doesn't fill us with confidence, but we'd be very surprised if the company's flagship didn't get the new version of Android.
Not only would it be a strange decision not to, but the LG G2 got updated from Android 4.2 to Android 4.4. The update started rolling out roughly four months after Android 4.4 launched, so if the same thing happens again then you can expect the LG G3 to get it early next year. We imagine that the LG G2 and LG G2 Mini will probably get updated too and the LG G3 Beat is bound to get updated.
Motorola's VP of product management Punit Soni replied to a Google Plus user's question of whether the Moto X would get Android L with a simple "Yup". So it's coming for at least that phone, but Soni didn't shed any light on when.
Prior to that, AndroidOrigin reported that a customer service representative told a user that both the Moto G and the Moto X would be getting Android L, while they had no information on whether or not the Moto E would be getting it.
That doesn't sound hugely promising for the Moto E but it's good news for Motorola's other two recent handsets. Of course you should take this with a pinch of salt, as it's rare for customer services to give out information ahead of an official announcement.
Still, we'd be surprised if Motorola didn't bring Android L to at least the Moto G alongside the X, given how popular that handset is. Motorola's UI is very close to stock Android as well so it shouldn't be as much work to get new versions up and running and back when the company was owned by Google it was pretty prompt with updates, unsurprisingly.
Things might be different now that Lenovo's in the driving seat, but we doubt there'll be too long a wait for Android L on the Moto X and perhaps also the Moto G and Moto E.
The OnePlus One is still bizarrely hard to get hold of thanks to the requirement for an invitation, but if you have managed to get your hands on one you'll be pleased to know that the company plans to upgrade it Android L (or a CyanogenMod build based on Android L anyway).
In a statement posted to the OnePlus forums a staff member confirmed that not only would its first and only handset be getting Android L, but that it would arrive within three months of Google releasing a final build. So the same time frame as HTC in other words.
Like most manufacturers, Huawei hasn't yet shared any details on its Android L plans. Unfortunately it's not always the quickest at updating its phones either as it only recently started rolling out Android 4.4 to the Ascend P6 for example and the Ascend G6 is still waiting for it.
The company's latest flagship, the Ascend P7, shipped with Android 4.4 and we imagine it will probably get Android L, but possibly not any time soon. We're less sure whether any of the company's other phones will get it, but fingers crossed.
If you're one of the relatively few with a ZTE handset you might be wondering if and when Android L will be arriving for it. Unfortunately so are we and this is one case where it's very much an 'if' rather than a 'when'.
Nvidia might not be high on most people's radars when it comes to Android devices, but gaming fans might be interested in knowing if and when the Nvidia Shield will be getting Android L.
Nvidia told us that "we've worked hard to support every official Android release in the past, as you can see with our SHIELD portable and our software team is always working hard to bring new features and the latest updates with no delay. We try to make sure that updates come as close to their announcement as possible."
So while it didn't go so far as to confirm anything it sounds very likely that the Nvidia Shield will get Android L and probably quite soon after launch.
- There's a new version of iOS on the way too.