As expected, Google has announced Android M at Google I/O 2015. The new version is expected to bring with it a lot of new features, optimizations and stability. However, the bigger challenge for Android would be the low installed base of its latest Android version. Also Read - Google announces six new Android features, which will roll out this year
Android M will focus majorly on battery and RAM optimization. It is expected to bring interesting features like fingerprint authentication for native apps, which means that each individual app can also be locked using ‘fingerprint lock’. Also Read - Google Workspace now available for everyone, including free Google account owners
Android M will also bring more privacy controls which will effectively let users decide what information they want individual apps to access. It will give users detailed choices over what photos, contacts or locations each app can access. Users can even choose to revoke permissions they had earlier given access to and vice-versa. This is something that both Cyanogen and Xiaomi’s MIUI already offer. Also Read - UEFA Euro 2020: Colourful Google Doodle kicks off European Football Championship
Android M will also bring Chrome Custom Tabs for bringing Chrome web browser into the apps itself. So when a user clicks on a web link in an app, it will open the Chrome browser within the app that will bring your passwords and other things stored with your Chrome account.
Android M will bring better app linking. With Android M users won’t get the annoying dialogue box that shows which app to open a link. Developers will be able to have verified links so when a user clicks on a link, it will automatically open an app that has claimed the verified link.
Android Pay is coming to Android M. Google claims it will be more seamless and secure. Your credit card information won’t be shown anywhere and a virtual account number would be created. It will also support NFC for contactless payments. While Android Pay is available since KitKat but with Android M, Google will integrate it with the fingerprint sensor that’s available on many smartphones.
Android M is also bringing a fingerprint sensor by which third party app developers will be able to integrate fingerprint for authentication.
Doze is a new feature on Android M that will use motion detection that will see if the device has been left alone unattended for a long time and it will stop real-time updates during that period. According to Google, the standby time can double with Doze.
Android M will also support USB Type-C. Since USB Type-C is bidrectional, with Android M users will be able to select whether they want to charge their device or charge another device with theirs.
Android M is also simplifying the volume controls that were introduced with Lollipop. The developer preview will be available today for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. It will ship to users in the third quarter.