Thursday, 28 May 2015

Google I/O 2015 : Android M Developer Preview

Google I/O kicked off yesterday, 28th May 2015, and the search giant brought a lot of new announcements for the users, including the much anticipated Android M. Click here to go to the Google I/O 2015  webpage for all the latest info.
If you happen to have missed the keynote, or just want to know exactly what's in it for you, then no need to look any further, here's what's special in Android M, from Google I/O 2015.


The search giant unveiled the much anticipated Android M, although only the Android M Developer Preview has been announced for the time being and the full OS is expected to launch in Q3 2015. However, as one might have noticed, we didn't get to know what the 'M' stands for. 
The new operating system iteration of Android, although didn't get much design changes from Lollipop from last year, it brought a ton of software improvements and newer features which are supposed to make the user experience much friendly and easy to use.

  • App Permissions


    As one might have noticed, the apps that are installed in our phones or tablets list some permissions that are required for them to run and make necessary changes to the device, not only to the storage, but often to services,hence costing money.
    This new App Permission feature is here to get the user full control over the apps which they use and lets the user decide which permission they want to grant the app and which ones they don't. For instance, if you want to send a voice message to someone over whatsapp, it will require to access your microphone to record your message.Here's where the app permissions kick in, now you can decide whether you want to let whatsapp access the microphone or not, and similarly for all other app requirements.
    Additionally, all the granted permissions can be viewed anytime and can also be changed readily by the user.

  • Web Experience


    Google wants to make the users' web experience great by making it easy to use, and providing the look and feel to the user so as to provide an immersive experience. The Google Chrome browser has been polished a little and now includes a unique feature. If you are using an app and require to watch some content from within the app that requires the browser, a tab is opened discretely, and also has the same look as the app from which it's been opened.
    Also, the browser incorporates any additional buttons or settings that may be required from within the app. For example, if you're using Pinterest and click on a photo from within the app, a new browser tab is opened with a nice animation, and has the same design scheme as pinterest, so the you fell like you're still within the app. The browser also incorporates buttons specific to pinterest's functions in this case.

  • App Links


    Till Lollipop, if a link was clicked from an app, the OS prompts up a selection popup telling you to select which app to open the link with, for instance, opening a youtube link from within an e-mail displays the browser and the youtube app as the two possible applications with which the link can be opened. In the Android M release, the operating system efficiently recognizes the link and also the dedicated app for it, YouTube app in this case.
    This prevents the users from the hassle of selecting from a list of choices everytime, and also provides a seemless experience by opening the content in its dedicated app.

  • Android Pay

    Speaking of making the process hassle free, the search giant has taken a step forward in the mobile payment department.The new Android Pay incorporates features such as one-click payment, and payment via NFC through devices which support it.
    Users can now simply use NFC to make payments at stores without even unlocking the phone.Additionally, security has also been bumped up and the transactions done via Android Pay are totally safe and secure. When a user adds a credit card to the Android Pay service, a digital serial number is generated which is different from the card's number, so the card's information is not shared by the transaction, making the process safe.

  • Fingerprint Support


    As we talked about security above, the process of making the phone safe and secure doesn't end there. Android M now supports Fingerprint recognition to step up the security game. The device can be unlocked by the use of fingerprint recognition, which was actually present on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and S6, and TouchID on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6,6 plus for their iOS counterparts.

    Furthermore, the functionality isn't just limited to getting past the lockscreen, the fingerprint security feature can also be used to verify transactions done by the device, making it extremely easy and safe to make payments on the go.
    Additionally, as Google released the Fingerprint Security APIs, the developers can incorporate fingerprint recognition into standalone apps, making the experience much more refined.
  •  Power and Charging



    One of THE most reported issues from Android users has been the battery life of their phones, and how they barely make it till the end of the day. To address this issue, Google came up with a sweet surprise. While Lollipop's 'Project Volta' promised to bring better battery backup, Android M takes it a step further by introducing a 'DOZE' mode.
    The doze mode uses motion detection to determine if a device is being used, or left unattended. If the device is supposedly not being utilized, Android M will "exponentially back off background activity, trading off a little bit of app freshness for longer battery life."
    The "Doze" mode shuts off background processes when the device is not in use, thus putting it in a deep sleep. However, the device can still trigger real time events such as alarms etc.Shutting off the background processes reduces the usage, hence obtaining an increase in battery life.
    In one of Google's tests, they took two Nexus 9's and had Android Lollipop installed on one and Android M on the other. According to them, the Nexus 9 with Android M lasted almost twice as Long in standby than the Nexus 9 with Android Lollipop, thus gaining a 2x battery performance from their last iteration.
  • USB Type C Support



    Yes, this isn't in context to the software i.e Android M, but it is a major change and has to be included here. Google has added support for USB Type C ports on all their devices, be it phones, tablets, Chromebooks etc to enable fast charging to devices.Also, the USB Type C port is reversible, so there is no need for users to find the correct orientation of their charging cables to plug into their devices.
Also, Google Now has some cool new features, which can be read in the next post which will be published soon. Which feature do you like the most? If you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment in the comment section below and let me know any suggestions that you might have, or if you want any specific query answered.

Thanks a lot.