ANDROID M: What’s new?

Google announced the developer preview of Android M at Google I/O on May 28, 2015. Android “M” will focus primarily on incremental improvements and other feature additions. It due to be released later this year but you can download the preview now if you have a Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, or Nexus Player under the build number MPZ44Q.

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Android M supports USB Type-C, including the ability to instruct devices to charge another device over USB. Android M also introduces “verified links” that can be configured to open directly in their specified application without further user prompts. Android M also has native support for the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. The Android M developer tools are available in the SDK Manager under the API level “MNC”

  • APP PERMISSIONS

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Android M introduces a redesigned permission model. Now there are only eight permission categories. Applications are no longer granted all of their specified permissions automatically at the time of installation. An opt-in system is now used, in which users are prompted to grant or deny individual permissions to an application when they are needed. Applications remember their permission grants and can be adjusted by the user at any time. You can now give apps certain permissions like microphone, location, and camera whereas before, you had to give the app to use all of those things.

  • FINGERPRINT SUPPORT

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Android M provides native support for fingerprint recognition. A standard API is also available for implementing fingerprint-based authentication in other applications. If your device has a fingerprint scanner, apps can now use that feature for authorization instead of having to enter a password or pin. This will Payments on Android much easier & secure.

  • DIRECT SHARE

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If you are often sending pictures, links, or other data to your friends or significant other, Android M will recognize this trend and automatically add it to your Share menu.

  • BETTER VOLUME CONTROL

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Android M made it easier by adding a little drop down arrow to the main volume menu. In order to change the volume level for your ringtones, notifications, and alarms, before Android Lollipop you would have needed to go into the Settings menu to do that.

  • DOZE

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A new power management scheme known as “Doze” reduces a device’s background activity when the operating system detects that the device is not physically handled. It uses the device’s motion sensors to detect this. When a device hasn’t moved for an extended period of time and this will automatically shut down the phone’s processors and the apps that use a lot of power, so that it doesn’t drain your battery. Once your device is “dozing,” it will periodically scan for new messages and updates, network access and wifi scans are disabled but your alarms will still come through.

  • APP DRAWER

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The app drawer has been changed, the apps are arranged in an alphabetical order. The apps can be scrolled vertically. order. Additionally the four recently downloaded apps will be pinned to the top of drawer for easy access. The app drawer change also includes a search bar at the top. This is one of the most visual changes to Android M—and it’s not one that everyone has necessarily embraced.

  • ANDROID PAY

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Google Wallet is now gone and Android Pay will take it’s place. Users need to downloaded the app from the Google Play store in order to use it. It will work much like its predecessor where you add your payment method whether it’s a debit or credit card, and the purchases can be made at NFC terminals or apps that support the feature. If your phone has a fingerprint sensor, you can use your fingerprint to authenticate that transaction. Android Pay is available to use in more than 700,000 stores in the United States and will be supported by American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

  • GOOGLE NOW ON TAP

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This is one of the best new features in Android M. It works like a smart virtual assistant, Now on Tap gives you contextual information based on the content on your screen, its like when you are browsing a webpage, listening to music, and even on text messages you received.

  • UNINSTALL YOUR APPS ON HOMESCREEN

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This has been long awaited for Android users. Long pressing an app on the home screen will finally give you an option to delete the shortcut or uninstall the app from your device.

  • VERIFIED APP LINKS

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Google is looking to make it easier to link from one app to another without having to land on a web page in-between. Android M’s new app links use a special verification method to ensure that app-specific links go to the right place. For example, clicking a Twitter link in an email will take you right to the Twitter app, instead of the Twitter web page that you’re probably not logged into.

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