Google has officially announced Android M at its opening I/O 2015 keynote. Developers at the conference got a glimpse of the next major version of Android known only as ‘M’ for now and and we have all the features, details, release date right here. With six major improvements that mostly focus on how apps work and interact with each other explained. More details right after this jump.
It looks like Google’s Android M is moving to an iOS-style app permissions, but yet more convinient functionality. Now instead of an app asking for all kinds of permissions at installation point, you will be asked when the app needs to access a certin feature, say your contacts or photos. Go into the Settings screen to view what permissions an app is using and revoke or allow them and you can also view all apps that use a certain permissions.
A total of 8 permissions sets now, and include location, camera, microphone, contacts, phone, SMS, calendar,and sensor. You can even check out which features an app is currently accessing, or you can simply checkup all apps against a single type of permission as well.
Custom Chrome Tabs
Today, there are many apps have web component that forces you to jump between a browser and the app or as Web view embedded inti a app. Developers can now point users t an in-app browser like experience, instead of moving them out of it and into the browser’s window thanks to the sticky Chrome tabs. Google calling the feature “Chrome Custom Tabs” and it evidently allow developers to throw in a Chrome tab into their apps. Stly Chrome to look like a part of the app. Add buttons to make it feel almost like a native part of the app.
These tabs will also support the usual Chrome features such as saved password, signing in, autofil for forms, and a multi-process security layer.
Currently, Android M adds a secure way for apps to verify that when they send a request (for instance, open Twitter and show this tweet), and the receiving app that handles the request is legit. Apps will be able to verify themselves as the most effective ones for certain tasks, and of course Android users will be able to change that manually if they want.
Android Pay And Fingerprint Support
Is the latest iteration made by Google, which has been trying to make mobile payments work for years now. An answer to Apple Pay, “Android Pay is an open platform” as put by Google, and uses both NFC and Host Card Emulation to make the payments. Word sent out that AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile will be pre-installing the feature on new devices. The Store, or even apps that sell things – will never see the details of your credit card as Pay keeps that private and personal.
Apart from Android Pay, Google has now baked fingerprint support right into Android, so third-parties don’t have to mess around much with the software to get the feature up to speed from now on. The service will work with major cards, US carriers (oft-mentioned) as well as a variety of stores, includes: McDonald’s, Subway, Best Buy, Coca Cola, Pepsi, you name it.
Notably, the implementation of both Android Pay and native support for Fingerprint readers in Android M is almost similar to Apple Pay and Touch ID scanning. Fingerprint sensors to secure payments, and now Google is making that functionality an official part of Android. M will abstract away the different kinds of sensors, presenting apps with a consistant API, which is bound to make life pretty easier for developers.
USB Type-C Support
Thios new USB Type-C is all the tentrum right now, and it’s not surprising that Google admits to introduce USB-C on newer Android devices. USB Type-C was introduced by Apple with its MacBook lineup and support for devices running Android M means faster data transfers and faster charging, Power and charging when digged, the new 12-inch Retina MackBook was the first commercial device to adopt this standard, so don’t be staggered if it’s coming to Android too. Like Android Pay alt to Apple Pay, this new Type-C USB charging tech is like ….iOS anyone?
Android M brings with it a new power supply feature and if you have just too much of battery on your hands, it will allow users to charge another device connected to a primary device. Pop in the connector and the OS will ask you what you need done. Great!
New Battery Saving Feature: Dozed
Android is pretty much trying to tackle the longlasting battery life issue, and with Android M a new feature is being rolled out which will save battery if your phone or tablet is sitting idle – read: motionless. Snoozed, will detect motion in your device and will indeed manage the battery based on that. It will rather kill apps to save battery, if your device is idle. Google claims that a Nexus 9 running with Dozed enabled can last twice as long as it does right now on Android Lollipop. Dozing makes apps check with servers and run background activities less often. Still, phones can quickly wake up when needed.
Improved Volume Controls
The volume adjustments menu now offers individual controls so you can tweak each kind of sound levels, alrm, music, and notifications.
Now On Tap
Google Now is also getting too smarter with the new “on tap” inclusion. Tap and hold the home button in Android M, and Google will try and assist you with whatever activity you’re on at that particular moment.
It has improved natural language understanding, and so, you can ask it questions in a traditional way – “his”, “it”, “this”, the system is smart enough to figure out what you mean.
Other Improvements and Bug Fixes
There are plethora of smaller features some which are an improvement to existing ones as well with the software giant saying that there are over 1009 new platform improvements. Once we get into the developer preview, we can be able to look at it in more detail and share our experiences with you.
Android M Release Date
Android M is available as developer preview today for select Nexus devices. Google expects to ship final version of Android M by Q3 2015.
For more details and download links, you can head over to this official website here.