Android M officially unveiled at Google I/O

By Shawn Knight
May 28, 2015
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  1. Google kicked off its annual I/O developer conference with a quick overview of Android M. While not yet divulging what the “M” stands for (the rumor mill believes it’ll be Macadamia), the search giant did cover six key goals and features of M.

    As is expected with iOS 9, Google is going back to the basics with M. The next iteration of Android will focus on quality and polish by improving the core user experience and rethinking fundamental aspects of how the platform has worked for years. Naturally, this also includes thousands of bug fixes.

    android google google io android m macadamia google io 2015 doze android pay

    android google google io android m macadamia google io 2015 doze android pay

    It starts with app permissions as users will have more control over permissions that’ll be presented in a simplified manner. Instead of granting permissions during installation, new apps will seek out permission for basic categories when launched for the first time.

    Users will also be able to grant or retract app permissions after the fact although it’s worth pointing out that existing apps will continue to behave as they do today and won’t adopt the new permission controls.

    android google google io android m macadamia google io 2015 doze android pay

    Elsewhere, Google is improving the web experience within apps through a new feature called Chrome Custom Tabs. This more or less allows developers to inherit Chrome’s look and feel within apps when involving web content. Google demonstrated this using Pinterest where the transitions were incredibly fast, a trait that’s possible as the content is pre-fetched ahead of time.

    Along the same lines, Google is also updating its app linking system. In a nutshell, this will allow apps to open content directly and eliminate the annoying dialog in which Android asks what service or app you want to use to open or handle a particular item.

    android google google io android m macadamia google io 2015 doze android pay

    Android M will usher in a new payments system known as Android Pay. The service will use NFC and as we’ve seen on competing payments platforms, your actual card number won’t be used during a transaction for security purposes.

    Google is partnering with multiple banks and mobile carriers on the initiative and already have 700,000 retailers in the US lined up. What’s more, Android Pay will be available to developers to integrate into their apps. It’ll arrive alongside M later this year and will be compatible with devices running KitKat and newer.

    android google google io android m macadamia google io 2015 doze android pay

    Google is also building biometric fingerprint reader support into Android M. This means users will be able to unlock their devices, authorize Android Pay transactions and more with ease instead of having to rely on manufacturer-specific implementations.

    Android M will introduce a new power-saving feature called Doze that’ll use motion detection to determine when a device is no longer actively in use. When that happens, it’ll suspend most background apps and services to preserve battery life. Google described it as trading app freshness for battery life.

    android google google io android m macadamia google io 2015 doze android pay

    Doze will still allow alarms and high-priority texts to come through, however. The search giant claims it’ll help extend the life of a device on a single charge – in their testing, a Nexus 9 – by up to twice as long.

    Along the same lines, USB Type C support is also coming to Android. As you may know, this will lead to up to 3-5x faster charging times and the bi-directional connector will make it easier to plug the cable into your device.

    android google google io android m macadamia google io 2015 doze android pay

    Last but not least is a bevy of smaller changes and new features. Google presented these in one heap but did quickly outline a few like simplified volume controls (many didn’t care for the volume changes introduced in Lollipop) and a floating clipboard toolbar which got a reaction from the audience.

    The developer preview of Android M is available today for Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Player devices.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2015
  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,298   +668

    How about when we exit an app it ACTUALLY CLOSES? How about that, Google? If I want it keep running in the background I'll just click the homescreen button. Nokia and Blackberry had this figured out ten years ago.
    Drag0nJake, Jad Chaar, waqasr and 2 others like this.
  3. I would heartily second that suggestion - it's currently a PITA to have to restart your Android phone just to shut down a few apps that you're no longer using! :mad:
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,349   +1,945

    Sounds promising so far. Let's just hope it's not a turd like Lollipop is.
  5. Sucore

    Sucore TS Rookie

    Just go>
    Developer options > Apps(all the way down) > Don't keep activities.
    SO EASY, so old.
  6. Allen Lwis

    Allen Lwis TS Rookie

    How about making it compatible with OS 4.0 and up devices so that we can update? There are many serious vulnerabilities with 4.0, 4.2, and 4.4. I am running 4.4 and I am unable to upgrade to 5.0 because my device that I bought last month is not compatible. The only devices that currently run 5.0 cost over $250.00. Many Android users cannot afford the more expensive phones just to get a more secure OS.
    waqasr likes this.
  7. waqasr

    waqasr TS Rookie Posts: 20

    Actually it's not what he was talking about, This will close any/all apps that
    you back out of so that don't give you a choice of what app/apps you want keep
    running in the back ground.

    I like his idea a lot and I hope this does get implemented that the ones you
    want keep running you simply hit home button and the ones you want to kill
    maybe they have a close/exit button or something.

    At the moment it's only possible in some rooted Roms, if you long press the back
    button it will kill the app.
    Sucore likes this.
  8. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Pretty funny how many features were ripped off from Windows Phone and iOS. I say we end this debate of stealing and instead call it "collective borrowing" lol.
  9. sadman3

    sadman3 TS Enthusiast Posts: 126

    Thanks for the info. seems like a lot of features have been removed though :(
  10. sadman3

    sadman3 TS Enthusiast Posts: 126

    How much does this go for.. I fancy one
  11. Sanjev Kumar

    Sanjev Kumar TS Rookie

    Looks good. but still prefer the old version

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