Google has officially announced the successor to Lollipop. The next version of company’s OS, Android M was unveiled at its annual l/0 conference. The new OS is packed with new features and improvements in the area of App permissions. Mobile payments, Web experience, power charging, Fingerprint support and App links. It is expected to debut in Android device later this year.
The developers preview of Android M has been released for the Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Nexus Player , other manufacturers/devices will get it later.
One of the outstanding features is the App Permission. Apps will now only ask for permission when you use a feature, and won't ask for everything at one time.
The main features of Android M include;
1. Easy word selection and floating clipboard toolbar
"Finally," someone in the crowd at Google I/O shouted when software head David Burke announced that Android M brings improved word selection and a new clipboard toolbar. Currently, you have a bar of obscure icons at the top when selecting text and that is changing to a floating window that appears alongside your selection (a much more logical place) and features clear and concise buttons rather than obscure icons: 'cut', 'copy', and 'paste' is what the buttons say. Word selection is now also improved as you can select jumping word by word, or character by character.
2. Fingerprint sensor support
At last, Google is building a standard API for fingerprint support that - it seems - apps can make use of, and it will be a unified way for phone manufacturers to encode support for fingerprint scanners, knowing that they are compatible with the new Android Pay NFC-based system.
3. Direct Share
Sharing on Android is by far the best of any mobile operating system, but it's still far from perfect. When you have a bunch of apps installed, you end up with a huge list of sharing options that is extremely frustrating to operate. Direct Share in Android M fixes that by prioritizing and putting first the options that you use the most and that are the most logical for that particular item.
Doze is a deeper state of sleep, especially useful for Android devices like tablets that spend a lot of time laying idle on a night stand, only to be picked up at night. By hibernating apps and allowing only for alarms and priority notifications to stay awake, Android M brings significant improvements to standby battery life, extending it up to twice on a Nexus 9 unit that Google tested.
5. Simplified volume controls
If it ain't broken, don't fix it. Google, however, did try to fix the non-broken volume controls in KitKat, and that resulted in an outcry from users frustrated with volume controls in Android 5 Lollipop. So, it was time to fix what has been fixed: volume controls are now again granular, with separate control for ringer volume, alarm volume, and media volume. Finally!
6. Google Now 'On Tap'
Google Now is getting contextually aware in Android M. What does that mean? With the new Google Now 'On Tap' feature, your voice searches will be recognized contextually within an app. Say, you have the music player on, you can fire up voice search and ask something like "what year was this recorded?", and the search will understand that 'this' refers to the song. Neat!
7. Auto backup for apps (link to Android developers)
The Android system in M will automatically make a full data backup and restore for apps. This is something that is done for apps targeting M by default, with no need for developers to code in anything. If users delete their Google accounts, their backup data is deleted as well. Automatic backups happen every 24 hours, when the device is idle, charging, AND connected to a Wi-Fi network. This way, when you upgrade to a new device, or wipe clean a device, you can restore easily and pain-free.
With Windows 10 coming and the current Android Lollipop not fully deploy to devices, it is hard to see how this new OS will fare against competition.