Android M - A preview to what's coming up

Google has recently announced the next iteration of its operating system. It has revealed a list of new features that will be included in the update. Let us dig a little into what we are going to have.

Google in its annual I/O developer conference has announced the upcoming version of the Android operating system. Keeping in tune with the Google tradition of naming, the new version has been dubbed Android M.
A specific timeframe has been announced for the release of the developer preview versions for the purpose of testing and feedback to avoid any bugs.

What can we expect in the new version?

The newer version will have a focus on improving the core Android experience along with fixing bugs found in previous versions. Here are a few changes -

App Permissions
App permissions will be revamped. Users will have increased control on the app permissions. Unlike the app permissions requested while installing the app as of now, the permissions will be broken down into separate categories. Apps will now ask for permissions when a particular feature is needed to be accessed..

This will help users grant specific permissions to the apps on the basis of the need, thereby shielding them from some malicious apps from accessing data for spying. Developers have been asked to design their apps in such manner that users get context based permission requests.

Web Experience
Google will introduce custom tabs on Chrome. Instead of Web view, developers can now use Google Chrome overlay on top of the app. The custom tab is being made available to the Chrome browser from third quarter of 2015.

Mobile Payments
Google has made an official announcement on the Android Pay platform for mobile payments. This feature will enable Android users to use their smartphones to make payments using their smartphones. Though there is no specific time frame notified for the rollout of the system, Google has stated that it will be available for download via Play Store soon.

Native Fingerprint support
Finger print scanning so far been limited to specific manufacturers. It also is dependent on the individual implementation by these manufacturers. Now, the Android system will have native support for the finger print scanning. Android M will have APIs to help developers add it into their apps.

Battery Management
After coming up with Project Volta last year, Google will launch Doze feature with Android M. The feature will limit or turn off the background processes of an app if the smartphone is lying unattended for a specified time.

New RAM Manager
Android M will see the launch of new RAM manager that is aimed at providing more details about the memory usage. The new RAM manager can be accessed via Settings --> Apps. The new manager will show the memory being used by each app and rate it as "good" or "Average". This will be helpful in identifying the memory hogging apps and getting rid of them. Also developers get to know the memory issues with their apps and rectify it.

New App drawer
The app drawer will be redesigned for Android M. Unlike the horizontal scrolling hitherto available on Android platform, it will now scroll vertically. Rest of the design elements like color and icons will continue to be as in Android Lollipop.

Automatic backup and restore
A most welcome feature, and may be the most demanded one at that, is coming with Android M. Users get all their apps and app data backed up to Google drive. This might be a blessing for those who change their devices frequently, and/or format their devices to solve issues.

Adoptable storage device
Android M will allow users to use a memory card as the internal memory. The memory card will be adopted by the system and will be seen as internal memory. Thus, you will be able to install apps to the card which you could not do before.

Also See: Use of Android in variety of electronic devices

Is that all?

These are just a handful of the new features being introduced in the new version. Google has released the first phase of developer preview. The previews will be available in three phases. The second phase will be rolled out in late June, or early July and third one will be out in late July. The preview is available for developers and the users of Nexus 5, 6, 9 Nexus Players.
The Android M will be released along with the next Nexus in September- October this year. Let us see how it improves our experience of using an Android device.

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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