Google’s Developer Conference, aka Google I/O, has kicked off in San Francisco. Google had lots to say during the keynote, which is still ongoing by the way, and has also confirmed a recent rumor regarding the new version of Android. Google has unveiled the Developer Preview of the next update to the company’s mobile operating system, Android M. We’ve stumbled upon a couple of rumors regarding this update in the last couple of weeks, and the company has showcased some of its features during the keynote, like they did with Android Lollipop last year. Speaking of Lollipop, Google has referred to that version of Android as ‘Android L’ back when they were showcasing the Developer Preview of it, and they did the same with Android M today. The company did not reveal what will this update be called, so we’ll just refer to it as ‘Android M’ for the time being.
Google’s Vice President of Engineering, Dave Burke, said that the company has focused on squashing bugs and improving the quality of Android this time around. There are, of course, a number of new features that Android M will bring. Speaking of features, let’s talk about those. Google is introducing a revamped apps permissions system in Android M, which will give you better control over security. You won’t be asked to approve or deny security permissions before you install and app, but while using it. When an app requires access to certain function, microphone for example, Android will ask you if you’d like to allow or deny access to it.
The Mountain View company is also bringing improvements to Chrome. They’re going to add a feature called ‘Chrome Custom Tabs’, which will let developers insert webviews directly in their apps, and that will give them more control over it. What do we mean by that? Well, developers will have access to saved passwords, automatic sign-in, autofill and multi-process security within their respective applications. You’ll also be able to open apps directly in Android M, without having to interact with a dialog box every time.
Moving on, Google has also talked about Android Pay, as expected. The company has announced that Android Pay will be pre-installed on a number of carriers, including the US-based T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T. That’s not all though, Android Pay will support fingerprint scanners, and will be accepted in 700,000 in the US. The fingerprint scanner support will come natively, which will make things a lot easier for OEMs. Speaking of native support, Google has also announced USB Type-C support.
The company has also talked about battery life, and it seems they’ve worked on that too in Android M. The new version of Android operating system will bring a feature called ‘Doze’ which will hopefully manage background processes better. This feature will actually rely on motion detection in order to figure out if you’re using a device or not, and will, based on that, shut down processes. Google has managed to double the standby time of Nexus 9 thanks to this, at least the company claims they did.
The Android M Developer Preview will be available for Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Nexus Player, and the full release will arrive in the third quarter this year. Android M has arrived, well, sort of, and it seems like we’re in for a treat!