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Android M Features: Everything That You Need To Know

Android M Features: Everything That You Need To Know

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Google announced Android M, the newest iteration of Android OS during the I/O 2015 keynote tonight. So, what’s Android M all about? It’s simple, really. Last year, Google introduced a new design and a bunch of features with Android L. This year, it’s all about optimization.

Google is fine tuning Android L into Android M, an OS release that focuses on taking user experience to the next level. So, what are all the new features in Android M? We’ve condensed it all into a handy list.

Improved Battery Life
Android M is about improving the fundamentals, and battery life is among them. In Android L, Google tried to improve battery life with Project Volta. In Android M, Google is using something called Doze. Doze is a deeper state of sleep for Android apps, which sort-of hibernate beyond a period of time to increase standby times.

Google tested Android M vs Android L battery life on the Nexus 9 to find battery life improvements, and the results were promising. While the standby life on the Nexus 5 nearly doubled, the Nexus 9 benefitted more since it spends most of its time sitting on the shelf.

Smartphones, on the other hand, are used continuously throughout the day, and hence do not get much time to stay in a deeper state of sleep.

Redesigned App Permissions
Google has redesigned how App Permissions work. Presently, users either have a choice between accepting all the permissions requested by an app in order to install it, or simply choose not to install the app altogether. With Android M, users will be able to modify individual app permissions with ease.

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Deep Linking Between Apps
At I/O 2015, Google talked about App Links. It’s basically deep linking between apps. Using this new feature, developers can push users to within an app, or from one app to another (depending on the action) with ease. Also, App Indexing for Google Search will make it easier for users to find content within your apps.

Android Pay & Fingerprint Support
Much like Apple Pay, Android Pay is Google’s own digital wallet. Users would be able to store their credit cards on Android Pay. Additionally, native fingerprint support is coming to Android M. Users would be able to authorize payments using Android Pay by simply swiping their finger over the sensor. Further, fingerprint authentication can be used to unlock the device, as well as make payments on Google Play Store.

Android Pay will come pre-installed in AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon devices. Further, Android Pay will be accepted as a method of payment in over 700,000 stores in the US.

Google Now – Now on Tap
Google Now is receiving a major update, making it more powerful than ever. The digital assistant is getting a new feature called ‘Now on Tap’ that aims to suggest relevant apps based on your context. For example, if someone using WhatsApp asked you to meet up for dinner at a restaurant, Google Now will show reviews of the restaurant, as well as suggest apps to the user using which you could book a table at said restaurant.

Perhaps the best bit about Now on Tap is that it doesn’t require existing apps to be updated at all. The latest version of Google Now will work just fine on any existing app.

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Chrome Custom Tabs
A new feature added to Google Chrome allows developers to insert webviews into their app in a seamless manner. Isn’t it annoying when you have to switch to Chrome browser when you’re opening stories (links) that show up on your Facebook feed? Well, Chrome Custom Tabs enables for displaying the website content from within Facebook. Thus, you will not have to switch to the Google Chrome browser, which would make the user experience better.

USB Type-C Support
Android M is adding support for the new USB standard. USB Type-C will allow for faster battery charging of Android devices. Further, the new port would allow users to charge other devices using their Android device. Imagine being able to charge your Smartwatch battery using your phone!

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