One thing is for sure. Mobile phone platforms are at their peak now and there is nothing revolutionary developers and mobile phone makers can introduce to make you exclaim WOW! But that doesn’t stop these developers and mobile phone makers to improve what they have already made so great in the past few years.
On the same premise, Google just introduced the latest version of its Android mobile phone platform at the 2015 Google I/O Developers Conference, dubbed as Android M.
Unlike the Android Lollipop which brought a whole new design to Google’s mobile phone platform and one-upped the whole game, the Android M is not revolutionary. It is an evolutionary upgrade for the Android ecosystem to bring stability and improvements to the platform.
But that doesn’t mean Android M didn’t bring anything new on the table. The notable features of the Android M includes:
Improved App Permissions
One of the biggest upgrade of Android M over its predecessor is its improved capability to manage app permissions. Apps in the Android M will ask for permissions when you try to run the app instead of when you try to install/update it. This means, the updates will be a relatively effortless process for developers and they can push the update to the device without users intervention and the user can later allow/disallow if he/she wants to grant the permissions to the app at the startup and later through a whole new Permissions Dashboard.
Chrome Custom Tabs
If you consume most of your web content on mobile phone, you must have noticed that now certain apps such as Facebook, Twitter, etc have built-in browsers for opening links. You can either open the link in the designated bulletin browser of the app or disable that feature and open it in Google Chrome or any other mobile phone browser of your choice.
But with Android M, Google has implemented a feature of Chrome Custom Tabs. CCT allows apps to integrate Chrome and launch a Chrome window in the app itself instead of launching the Chrome app. This will not only improve the overall user experience and make content consumption easier, but also helps save some memory (I believe).
Android M is all about making the user experience seamless and better. And the new App Link feature does exactly that. The new App Link feature will feature will significantly improve the navigation experience of the users.
When you open a certain type of file or a link of Twitter or YouTube on the ongoing version of Android, the OS shows you an Open-With dialog box and an option to open the link or file with certain supported app.
In Android M, the OS decides and automatically opens the link or file in the supported app. For example, if you click on a link of a Tweet, the OS will automatically open the Twitter app to show you the content.
Power Management and Battery
With the Android M, Google has introduced a new feature called Doze. This basically kills the background processes when the user has not interacted with the phone for longer periods, such as while the person is away, asleep or kidnaped for that matter, resulting in extended standby times.
According to Google, they tested two Nexus devices, one with Android Lollipop and one with Android M Developer Preview. The device with Android M Developer Preview gave double the standby times than that running Android Lollipop.
Other than improved standby times, the Android M will natively support USB Type-C connector that would provide faster charging times.
Fingerprint Support and Mobile Payments
As speculated earlier, Android M will support fingerprint scanner out of the box to provide per app security and effortless access and security to the phone. In addition to that, Google has given new life to its dying Google Wallet payment platform in the form of Android Pay that will also take advantage of the fingerprint feature for seamless authentication.
The Developer Preview of Android M is available from today for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player while the final version of Android M will launch sometime during the Q3 along with the Nexus devices of 2015.
What do you think about the new features of Android M? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.