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Android M quick review

Emiliano Giaquinta wrote this on June 11, 2015 under 2015, 6.0, android, first, impressions, io, m, review .

A few days have passed since Android IO and we have lots of news to share! First of all, Android M was officially announced! This time we won’t have a complete overhaul of our beloved system, as the Android Team is working on the most stable version up to date. This is probably a good objective, to both A-Team and developers, as they can focus on their apps instead of trying to modify the UI to the newest fashion.

But then, does Android M (the preview of Android 6!) have anything new? Yes it does. These are some of their main features

New app permissions system

The user is now capable of choosing which permissions he will give to the app and which ones he will not. This new permission's paradigm aims to maintain the apps reliability and to perpetuate users over time. This is great! Because, why do users have to allow apps to have access to ALL of their phone's privileges? For this to happen, apps will need to be ready for not-all-permissions-given scenarios. Also, permissions are only given the first time they are requested. For example, if you want to send a voice message for the first time, the app should ask for microphone permissions. Cool, isn't it?

Web Experience ON-APP

Up to now, when you wanted to open a URL or show some WEB content in the app you had two possibilities: "a." Use Andriod's Webviews, to encapsulate navigation in the app. "b." Open the link in the Chrome / Webexplorer app. Both had their disadvantages, but now a third method is available: "c." Use Chrome Tabs in-app. Why should we do that? Well, the user’s navigation history, password, and behaviour is on their apps, so it's nice to maintain those settings. However, this tool gives you the opportunity to do something else: you can customize the Chrome tabs to have your app's appeal, and you can also swift the transition (you can even animate it if you want). It promises the best experience up to now. 'Save password', 'sign-in', 'autofill', and 'multiprocess security' are all on their way!

App Links

Enables you to associate an app to a URL pattern, so Android will open the app without asking which app should use. This is cool in case someone's shares with you a Tweet or a Facebook post (or any other app) via message/mail. If you click the link instead of opening the explorer, it will open the native android app, as the user would expect.

Android Pay

It replaces Google Wallet. By using NFC (Near Field Communication), it will allow you to use your phone to pay in supported shops. Moreover, you could also use it to pay online. Not limited to purchases on physical stores, it can also be used to pay online. The big news here is that it will be preinstalled on almost all phones since Google made an agreement with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. It will also accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Now you are two touches away from payment!

Fingerprint Support

Google’s releasing a standardized API solution to use a device's Fingerprint functionality, integrated as an OS service. Yes! Unlocking your phone with your fingerprint! This will allow the development of secured transactions apps, without a high level of complexity. For example, Google Pay will use this system to allow payments in fewer steps.

Power & Charging

Android will use motion detection to “learn” when it's more/less used during the day. The device will go to 'doze time' mode, which will lower the power consumption and double the battery's life expectance. Even with this mode activated, it will still receive important notifications like, for instance, alarms.

Also, Android devices will implement USB type C. This puts an end to the era of “I dare you to plug the USB without failing once”. Oh, yes, the phone will also charge faster with this type of connector.

Other specs shown

Text selection: You will now select text word by word, and if you move backwards it will select one character at a time. Direct Share: Android will learn which contacts you usually share with, and offer them to you, making the content sharing process easier. Simplified volume controls: Media, Alarm and Phone Notifications will have their own volume slider!

Check the full Google IO Keynote video for more info!