During the first day of the Google I/O conference, the newest version of Android was announced, following a newly established tradition, the company referred to it as Android M, keeping the official name a secret until the final version is released on Q3. As expected, this update didn’t bring many significant changes to the whole UI focusing on making the experience we currently know work a little better. Android M will bring more security by adding native support for fingerprint scanners, most likely for the new paying system called Android Pay. Battery life will also be improved by deactivating some features that are not needed according to the sensors included in smartphones as well as a new RAM manager that lets users control apps that consume extra resources. As users installed the Developer Preview, more features were found, including some that will be noticeable for most users.
One of the visual changes users will most likely recognize is the new App Drawer, while it features the same white background, it now offers vertical scrolling and as the apps are now organized alphabetically, users can scroll to the letter belonging to the name of the app that they want, by sliding right on the edge of the drawer. If they choose not to scroll, there’s a search bar on top and 4 apps will be docked right below it, although it remains to be seen if these icons will be set by the user or if the system will choose the ones that are used the most.
Now, users who haven’t installed the Developer Preview can enjoy this new experience by installing the Google Search App for Android M which can be downloaded at the source. They will also need the Google Now Launcher installed, but once both apps are installed and running properly, the new App Drawer will be ready to be used. In case this new experience is not liked by the user, returning to the previous version is possible and it is as easy as uninstalling the most recent version of the Search app and installing the previous one from the Play Store, although we might as well get used to it because that’s how it will look in the final version unless Google decides to make some last-minute changes.