Continuing the pre-Android 5.0 Lollipop update extravaganza, Google this evening announced that it has updated the public AppCompat library to version 21. For those unfamiliar, this essentially means that it will allow for a more Material Design look and feel in apps on devices running pre-Lollipop versions of Android. This concept is exactly what we’ve been seeing in recent Google app updates, giving us the look of Material Design without running Android 5.0.
AppCompat (aka ActionBarCompat) started out as a backport of the Android 4.0 ActionBar API for devices running on Gingerbread, providing a common API layer on top of the backported implementation and the framework implementation. AppCompat v21 delivers an API and feature-set that is up-to-date with Android 5.0