Google at its I/O developer conference, officially announced Android M, the much awaited OS of the year.
Android M is basically a redesign of Android Lollipop with under the hood changes to render an improvised user experience.
Following are the key areas that have been improved by Google:
1. The first target of improvement is Permissions. Android M changes the existing permissions system which is less than optimal, by breaking down user permissions into specific categories, and making apps ask the user for permission only when access to a feature is required.
This means that the user can grant applications only some of the permissions but not all. It would provide clarity to the user about what an application is asking for. The new permissions system on Android M is only available for applications that target Android M with the new version of the Android SDK, meaning it won’t be automatically available to existing applications when users update to Android M.
2. The next area of of focus on Android M is the behavior of web views within other applications. A new feature has been introduced,called Chrome Custom Tabs. “Chrome Custom Tabs give apps more control over their web experience, and make transitions between native and web content more seamless without having to resort to a WebView”, defines Chrome Developer.
Essentially, this feature allows applications to have the Chrome browser run atop their app whenever the user clicks on a link. This means, all of a user’s autofill data, passwords, and cache are made available when they open links within that application.
3. Google’s next target is related to Android Pay, its mobile payment system announced at MWC earlier this year. Although Android Pay is not strictly exclusive on Android M, this OS will allow a greater degree of security as the transaction would be carried out through a new API . This means that users will be able to authorize Android Pay transactions both at stores and in apps using their fingerprint. Also, app developers will be able to use a user’s fingerprint for verification, which is currently not feasible on other Android devices.
4. Last but not the least and the most important area that Google has improved is Power Usage. In fact, more specifically, the power that a device uses when it’s idle.
When multitasking, there should always be a balance between managing power and keeping applications running in the background updated. With Android M, Google is introducing a new feature called Doze. Doze uses motion detection to see whether or not a device has been left idle for a long period of time. If it has been left idle for a long period, the operating system will scale back background activity in order to reduce idle power usage. Google claims that with this feature, they have observed up to 2x longer idle battery life on the Nexus 9.
The buzz about Android M had already dominated the tech world much before its launch. To see to what extent the speculations around the then forthcoming OS by Google have come true, click here.