Google has released the developer preview of the next version of the Android operating system, which is still tentatively named the Android M, at Google I/O 2015. Based on the preview version, the upcoming Android M will add some new features, such as a native fingerprint support and Android Pay, and will also come with upgrades in certain aspects.
Unlike its predecessor Android 5.0 (Lollipop), which brought with it a new design and interface, the forthcoming Android is aimed at helping users do more with devices to be powered by it.
According to The Verge, Google’s vice president of engineering, Dave Burke, disclosed that the company intends incorporating some features which device makers usually add to earlier versions of the Android operating system into the new one directly.
The following are a couple of the new features on the Android M preview version:
Android Pay and Fingerprint Scanner
Google will incorporate Android Pay directly into its new mobile software. This new mobile payment system is expected to replace Google Wallet and will enable users make payment at numerous stores using their devices. Android Pay works off Near-Field Communications (NFC) and Host Card Emulation.
Android M comes with native support for fingerprint authentication, which can be used to unlock your device and make payment securely. Google is providing a fingerprint API to make this possible.
Google Now on tap
This is a new feature which enables you search and get things done more conveniently. You can easily use Now on tap to get information and carry out some tasks.
Google used an example of a friend sending you an SMS about having dinner at a new restaurant. Without leaving what you are doing on the phone, the feature can help you access menus and reviews as well as help you book a table and provide direction for getting to the restaurant.
Android M will also come with native USB Type-C support for easier and quicker charging. In addition, this feature enables you use your Android phone for charging other devices.
It is not all about new features, however. Improvement has been made to some of the existing ones. Some features or components that have been tweaked include:
Android M helps your Battery
It is common practice for Google to offer longer battery life with newer operating systems – the same is the case with Android M. The fast-approaching OS is equipped with a feature called Doze, which uses motion detection to determine whether to turn off background processes to conserve power.
According to Google Android M and Dose can extend battery life by up to a factor of 2.
Users Get more Control on Permissions
App permissions have been redefined on Android M to give users more control over their devices. Instead of approving all permissions at once when installing an app, you will now be given the opportunity to grant permissions on an individual basis, allowing you more control over what is done on your device.
The existing app linking system in Android will be upgraded with the version M. The new operating system will enable users open linked content directly in an appropriate app without any dialog box shooting up in their face.
So, if you click a link to a website, it will open in a browser and a twitter link will open the twitter app rather offering you a dialog to choose from.
The Android M preview version is released for developers to help them ensure compatibility of their apps when the software is finally made available in a few months time. It can be test-run on the official Android emulator and some Nexus devices, including Nexus 5, 6 and 9 as well as Nexus Player.