With Google's preview of Android L now available for inspection, CyanogenMod borrowed a new settings search feature from the OS and bundled it in its nightly builds.
The handy feature destined for Android L is a new search box in Settings that offers a quicker text-based route to a particular setting. Rather than scrolling and digging through each setting for a specific control, a dropdown box presents all setting options relevant to the search term.
As Android Police notes, it's not a major innovation in CyanogenMod and some OEMs already have similar features, but it's an addition that does make sense.
While the feature, available in the latest nightly builds of the custom Android ROM, is borrowed from Android L, its appearance in CyanogenMod is unrelated to Google's preview release of source code for its latest Android.
Despite the new addition to CM nightlies, fans of the alternative firmware shouldn't expect to see an Android L-based version of CyanogenMod any time soon.
The CyanogenMod team noted yesterday that it probably would be unproductive to use the preview code to deliver CM 12 (the KitKat version is CM 11, currently on M7), given that the code is likely to be revised in the near future.
"No one outside of Google knows how much change this means — it could be minor, or it could be substantial. We could spend the next three weeks working on integrating CM features against this new platform, and then have it suddenly change dramatically and break in the final release of 'L'. This would boil down to a waste of time," it said.
CyanogenMod however will be looking at Google's preview code for "gaps" in Android L and workarounds for them, giving it an early view of how "how badly device support will break".
"This process will drastically increase our ability to release something full-featured once official, and final, 'L' source is made available," CyanogenMod developers said. The company is set to release CM 11 M8, based on Android 4.4.4 next week.
While the Android L developer preview code is subject to change, it should give developers a chance to adapt apps to Google's Material Design, the company's new 'visual language' for the OS' user interface. Google wants things on the screen to move as if they were tangible objects and has released a new document to ensure developers get the gist of its design overhaul.