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5 Reasons You Will Love the Android M Update

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Google recently announced it latest mobile OS version, the Android M.

One year after the announcement of Andoid Lollipop, Google at 2015 IO conference in San Francisco yesterday made the unveiling of the Android M, which will officially be the successor to the Lollipop.

android-m-logoSay hello to Android M, the latest mobile platform from Google, where thousands of bugs have been squashed and a new layer of polish and quality has been applied.

Android fans all over the globe already filled with some anticipated question like When will it officially launch? Q3 2015 (likely September) What will it cost? As with all Android upgrades it’s free and many others.

But there is more to the Android M than been waiting and eagle for the update to arrive, below are what you need know about the Android M and 5 top reasons you will likely feel in love with the it when the update arrived probably in the 3rd quarter of 2015.

1. App permissions

First up, app permissions. As had previously been speculated, app permissions have been overhauled in Android M, with users now being able to choose to accept or deny individual permissions as they see fit. Permissions have also been simplified.

Permissions will now be requested the first time you try to use a feature, not at the point of installation. “You don’t have to agree to permissions that don’t make sense to you,” Burke said, and used WhatsApp to give an example of how this works.

If you want to record a voice message, WhatsApp will prompt you with a one-time request for permission to use your mic: if you still wish to give it access and record the message, you can, but you don’t have to. Android M is giving users greater control of the information apps can access, and this is a truly positive step forward for Android.

You can modify the permissions granted to apps at a later date in your Settings, or you can view permissions by type and see which apps have that permission granted. It’s all about giving the user complete control over their Android.

2. Web experience

Google has been exploring trends in the way web content is consumed to provide a better user-experience when interacting with websites and apps. “Chrome Custom Tabs is a new feature that gives developers a way to harness all of Chrome’s capabilities, while still keeping control of the look and feel of the experience,” said Burke.

Chrome Custom Tabs will allow apps to open a customized Chrome window on top of the active app, instead of launching the Chrome app separately. This will provide a faster and more intuitive user-experience when navigating between apps and the web.

Chrome Custom Tabs supports automatic sign-in, saved passwords, autofill, and multi-process security to assist the integration of the app and web experience. So, for example, a Pinterest custom tab will have a Pinterest share button embedded in it, can include custom overflow menu options and doesn’t require the Pinterest developers to build their own web browser.

3. Fingerprint support

Google will “standardize support” for fingerprint scanners on phones running Android M. The new functionality will allow fingerprint scanners to be used not only to unlock phones, but to make purchases shopping in real-life or within Play Store apps.

Of course, your device will need a hardware fingerprint scanner to begin with, but with Google’s full support, expect to see these appear on many more devices in the future.

4. Mobile payments

Android Pay is Google’s new mobile payments system designed to make the checkout process easier and faster. Google is aiming to provide “simplicity, security, and choice,” with Android Pay, allowing you to use your existing credit cards to pay for products in more than 700,000 stores in the US.

Compatible with any device housing NFC capabilities (and running 4.4 KitKat or above), the Android Pay platform is being supported by American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, as well as carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Google’s response to Apple pay is here.

5. App links

“When a user selects a weblink from somewhere, Android doesn’t know whether to show it in a web-browser, or some other app that claims support for the link,” this was the problem facing the Google developers before Android M.

You may be familiar with the “Open with” dialogue box which appears when you try to open a link within an app on Android. You might be asked if you want to open a link with YouTube, or with Chrome, for example.

App links are being changed in M so that Android has a greater awareness of which apps can open content directly, instead of stopping users every time with the dialog box. If you tap a Twitter link in an email, for example, the Twitter app will open automatically instead of prompting you to ask if you want to use Twitter to view it.

This is almost a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it improvement, but it’s representative of Google’s attention to detail: Android M is probably going to feel more usable without the user ever understanding why.

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