Android Marshmallow - The New Features and Capabilities


Google has made the official announcement about the naming of the next Android. The Android M now stands for Android MarshMallow. We will look at what new features are being launched with this upgrade.

Google seems to be in a hurry, especially after the Windows 10 launch and all the hoopla surrounding it. The next update of Google Android operating system has been made public and it will be known as Android Marshmallow. Google has been planning to bring many novel features along with this update. Most of the newly added features would be of interest for the developers, yet the regular users of Android tablets and phones can also look forward to some excitement. Let us list out a few of them in the following paragraphs.

Android Pay

Android Pay was introduced long back in 2010, but it was not developed as it should have been. Now, with the launch and success of Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, Google has revamped its Android Pay service. It is supposed to be compatible with all existing debit and credit cards from Visa and Mastercard. Claimed to be set to work with over 700000 outlets in US, the service will be launched in phased manner globally.

With the service, you can walk into a retailer who has a supported terminal and tap your phone on the NFC terminal to make payments for the products purchased or services rendered. It has been made more secure with the creation of a virtual account. The developers have been given the option of integrating Android Pay into their apps so as to enable easier and secure payment.

Improved RAM manager

The new Android version comes with a revamped RAM manager. You can now view the RAM used over a specific time. You can set 3 hours, 6 hours or so on and thereby analyse the RAM usage over the set time. You can now check the RAM usage for the specific applications. This will help you in identifying those rogue apps and get rid of them. It is also helpful for the developers to identify the issues in their apps and take corrective actions.

Google Now on tap

Google Now has always been treated as one of the best features on Android. It has been made more smarter with Android Marshmallow. It now allows you to get any contextual information on anything you have been doing on your device. It had been tough so far to get information while you are in the middle of doing something. Not anymore! Suppose you are watching a video and want to get some information about it. A long hold on home button will bring up the required information. Same goes for gaining information about movies running nearby while you are into a related discussion via a text message.

There are more possibilities of making Google Now more of a practical virtual assistant.

Improved App permissions

If you have been installing apps from Google Play Store quite frequently (which we all Android users do), you should be familiar with the long lists of app permissions. These are the tasks developers want access to while you are using their apps. So far all these permissions were forced on you. If you are not ready to agree to any of them, you are not allowed to install the app. Now, all this will change with Android 6.0. You can now deny permission to a specific task, yet use the app as you would normally do. The permission will pop up whenever the app requires to use a feature. It would continue only if you grant permission.

For instance, while using WhatsApp - the permission to use microphone will appear when you need to use voice message feature. You can grant it and continue to make a WhatsApp call or send an audio message.

Also it will make your data more secure. Spyware and malware apps exploit such permissions to obtain access to your data. With the new system of app permissions in place, you can deny suspicious permissions and your data gets more secure.

Fingerprint support

Android Marshmallow will now allow native support for fingerprint scanner. We have been seeing a lot of new devices with fingerprint scanners included. Google has now opened up the APIs for the developers to embed the finger print support to their apps.

Embedded fingerprint support will help the user to unlock the phone. It will also be used to authorise payments on Android Pay and other payments on apps.

Also Check: A beginners guide to rooting Android phones

Doze

This is a new feature brought out by Google to keep a tab on the battery usage. One of the major concern for smartphone users is the battery life of the device they carry. With the tasks being performed by our phones increasing day by day, the demand on the battery has also been on a higher side. This results in most of today's smartphones being unable to drag through a day. Doze is the feature that minimises the power usage whenever the device is idle. It reduces the number of background processes running when the phone is lying idle. You will continue to get your calls, messages and alarms or any other notifications - no matter Doze is running or not. Besides, you can configure the Doze feature to exclude any of your important tasks from being "Dozed".

Support for USB-C

Android Marshmallow will bring in full support for USB-C standard. As is well known to our readers, USB-C results in faster charging. It is also easier to use as it can be plugged in any direction. The native support for this newer and better technological standard will allow us to see more and more devices coming up with the latest connector.

Chrome custom tabs

This is a feature that will be of interest to developers. When an app needs a Web view, app developers can embed custom chrome tabs inside their app. The tab will load whenever needed on top of the app with no need to open a separate browser. The tabs so embedded have support for saved passwords, automatic sign in and such security measures.

Smart rotation for homescreens

Till now, you had no option to view the home screen in a landscape mode. Some third party launchers have added this feature, but native Android did not allow the option. Now with Android 6.0, you can view the home screen in both landscape and portrait orientations.

Status bar icons

You now have the option of choosing which icons would you prefer to have on status bar. Some of us keep WiFi always on and would not need the icon to show up that it is active. Same goes for bluetooth when you keep blue tooth always switched on. This may appear inconsequential and just gimmicky, yet it will help keep the status bar uncluttered.

Wrap up

Well, these were some of the new features I could dig out from numerous improvements that have been added in the latest version of Android. Maybe I have skipped a few of them. Many more such unique features will come into our notice once the update begins to roll out. I would welcome any additional information from readers about the new iteration of the Android OS.


Article by Timmappa Kamat
Timmappa Kamat is a technology enthusiast. He has an active interest in newer technological developments. He is fond of new gizmos & gadgets. He loves to share his knowledge through tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, he is equally interested in blogging, with his own blog. He wants to carve a name for himself in blogging arena one day! If you need any clarifications about his articles,please respond here below or get in touch with him through his profile.

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