Google officially announces Android M at its annual developer conference, I/O 2015.
The latest iteration of Android brings several new features.
Android M gives users more control over apps. Users will be prompted to allow apps to access specific permissions in context. Refer to the below image for example, it shows WhatsApp asking for access to the microphone, probably required for a voice message or a voice call.
Google says users will be able to manage app permissions from the Settings. This feature will provided some much needed privacy and security to users.
Android M introduces a new feature called Doze. As the name suggests it is related to sleep mode, and improves the power management of the device. The feature uses motion detection to check if the device has been unattended, and will cut down background activity of apps. This comes at a price, as apps will not be synced. The only workaround is for developers to use high priority messages to run the app, when the device is Dozing.
Now on tap:
Google Now is better in Android M, and now works in whatever app is running. This works contextually, provides assistance directly from apps you use. The image below shows Google Now running within the Messaging app.
I’m not sure if this is such a good idea, as Google Now would be required to run in the background, consuming RAM.
Android Pay is a new secure payment feature in Android M. It will allow users to pay using their phone( with the NFC sensor) in stores and Android Pay partner apps.
It will be of no use in Countries like India, where even Debit Cards are not supported by Google Wallet, let alone Android Pay.
Fingerprint authorization is supported natively in Android M, and will also be used as an authentication method for Android Pay. It can also be used to unlock devices.
Naturally, this feature will only work on devices with a fingerprint sensor.