Google I/O is in full swing and one of the main topics is the announcement of the next Android Operating System (OS) called, appropriately, Android M. Now the stories will start flying around what candy or dessert the ‘M’ will represent – my guess is M&M, Mars or better yet, Milky Way. We have some details about what Google expects us to find in the Android M Developer Preview, but what about the devices that will carry the Android M. Google also announced that Android M would rock on the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 tablet and the Nexus Player. Google did not originally give out a timeframe, but then announced it will be available today, right after the keynote – now that is good news. They also indicated that Android M will be available to upgrade in the third quarter this year and it sure would be nice if it made it on the new Samsung Galaxy Note series that generally comes out in October or November.
By giving developers early access to Android M, Google can receive great feedback and also give developers a chance to update their applications early and be ready for its release. Google promises this time with their M Developer Preview to provide a clear timeframe for testing, feedback and more updates to preview the build. Google said that for the M release they are focusing on improving the “core user experience of Android.” They will fix thousands of bugs and make some “big changes” to the fundamentals of the platform.
Google will focus in a few key areas – the first of which is ‘Permissions’ for apps, where we will have an individual control over app permissions and not have to grant carte blanche access. It will be easier to link apps and not have the app ask you what app you want to use – if you are asking about a Twitter response, it will automatically open your Twitter app. They are, as usual, making improvements in managing your power through a new feature called Doze. If you sit you device down for a while, Android will automatically turn-off background activities to save your battery.
A couple of other goodies are called ‘Now on tap,’ to make it easier to get assistance. For instance, if your friend texts you about a great new restaurant, you can have Google Now assist you without ever leaving your text – provide you with a menu, assist you in getting reservations, etc. Android Pay (to replace Google Pay) will work to use your phone to pay for things in stores, even incorporating the fingerprint sensor as verification. Lots of new and exciting stuff in store.