Google is also providing USB-C charging to charge the device 3 times faster than normal USB.
Google has finally unveiled its latest Android OS, the successor to Lollipop. The latest version of Google’s operating system, the Android M brings a host of new features and performance enhancements. Google gave us a quick look at some of the new features coming to Android.
Here are some of the features and changes in Android M
App Launcher Style
App Launcher is the most visible change in Android M. In Android M, the icons are grouped into pages instead of arranging in grid. The apps are still represented by icons with their names but they are grouped alphabetically. Four recently used Apps sits on the top row. The pages flows vertically and each group flows horizontally in case there are too many widgets of its kind to fit.
Chrome Custom Tab
Chrome Custom Tab is a new feature of Android M. This allows websites to add buttons and menu items to the browser that makes a Chrome tab feel like an app. So when a user clicks on a web link in an app, it will open the Chrome browser within the app. It also take advantage of various Chrome functions like remember password, auto sign-in and Google translate.
Android M brings native fingerprint scanner support for unlocking devices, making payments via Android Pay and Google Play purchases. It can also be used for authentication for individual apps. This new feature will let app developers integrate fingerprint payment and lock systems into their programs.
Android Pay is Google’s new mobile payment service and is similar to Apple Pay. It allows the users to pay with their fingerprint over NFC. Android Pay creates a ‘virtual account number’ so that your original card details will not be revealed to the retailers. It also supports online payments over your phone, and works on any device running Android 4.4 KitKat and newer.
Doze and charging
Doze and charging is a new battery boosting feature which leverages motion detection to send devices not in use into “deep sleep”. If the device has been left alone unattended for a long time, it will temporarily snoozes unnecessary battery eating apps and functions. Google claims that this feature will increase the standby battery life by up to 2X.
Google is also providing USB-C support for faster charging. Google said that devices will charge 3 times faster with USB-C and can charge other devices.
‘Now on Tap’ Feature
‘Now on Tap’ is the updated feature within Google Now, activated by holding down the device’s home button or speaking, “OK Google”. ‘Now on Tap’ understands context and displays relevant further information about the conversation taking place in apps like WhatsApp or Gmail. In other words it will scan the screen in attempt to figure out how to be the most helpful. For example , if you are listening to a song, and want to know the singer, all you need to do is ask’ Who is the singer?’ and the new Google Now will understand the context and display the singer’s name.
When you install an app, it will ask for permission to access contacts, photos and other information. Once you ‘ok’ access to these apps, there is no way you can go back and change that permission setting unless you re-install. However, In Android M, there is an option to control and change the information what each app can use. Apps Permissions will let you toggle on or off access to information like contact, location, media, camera and identity.
When you click a link on your Android device, you will be asked with which app you would like to open it. App Links offers seamless deep-linking inside of apps. When you click on a link to a specific spot in a website, say a Tweet, the OS will bring you to the same place inside the native app, assuming it’s installed on your phone. For example, if you click a Twitter link in an email, the Twitter app will open directly instead of asking you if you want to use Twitter to view it. There is no more annoying pop-ups that tells you which app to use.
Android M gives more power to social media sharing with Direct Share. Using Direct share you can share videos and photos by generating quick links. This quick link can then be shared with specific people through different apps, and Android will intelligently learn whom you frequently share things with, and show you relevant suggestions to let you share things quickly.
These flagship features are just the tip of the iceberg. There will be tons of new features to Android M when it will launch in the third quarter of 2015. Right now, Google is making M available as a developer preview for the Nexus 5, 6, 9, and Nexus Player.