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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Android M - Full Changelog


Android M - Full Changelog

Yesterday Google announced Android M, the successor to Lollipop, and highlighted six key improvements that the platform will offer - app permissions, web experience, app links, mobile payments, fingerprint support, and power and charging.

Google also released the Android M Developer Preview along with the SDK, allowing developers to start optimizing their apps in preparation of Android M launching on retail devices at the end of Q3 2015.

While Google focussed on the key improvements Android offers, the keen eyed among you would have noticed that the update has several other features highlighted within the letter M, showed during the keynote. We counted a total of 55 new features, and we plan on trying to understand each one of them, starting with the most important ones.

Android M features shows at Google I/O

Major new Android M features
  1. Easy word selection and floating clipboard toolbar.
    Currently, you have a bar of obscure icons at the top when selecting text and that is changing to a floating window that appears alongside your selection (a much more logical place) and features clear and concise buttons rather than obscure icons: 'cut', 'copy', and 'paste' is what the buttons say. Word selection is now also improved as you can select jumping word by word, or character by character.
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  2. Fingerprint sensor support
    Google is building a standard API for fingerprint support that - it seems - apps can make use of, and it will be a unified way for phone manufacturers to encode support for fingerprint scanners, knowing that they are compatible with the new Android Pay NFC-based system.
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  3. Direct Share
    Sharing on Android is by far the best of any mobile operating system, but it's still far from perfect. When you have a bunch of apps installed, you end up with a huge list of sharing options that is extremely frustrating to operate. Direct Share in Android M fixes that by prioritizing and putting first the options that you use the most and that are the most logical for that particular item.
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  4. Doze
    The new feature called Doze is a deeper state of sleep, especially useful for Android devices like tablets that spend a lot of time lying idle on a night stand, only to be picked up at night. By hibernating apps and allowing only for alarms and priority notifications to stay awake, Android M brings significant improvements to standby battery life, extending it up to twice on a Nexus 9 unit that Google tested.
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  5. Simplified volume controls
    Google, recently tried to fix a very user friendly non-broken volume controls in KitKat, and that resulted in an outcry from users frustrated with volume controls in Android Lollipop. So, it was time to fix what has been fixed: volume controls are now again granular, with separate control for ringer volume, alarm volume, and media volume.
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  6. Google Now 'On Tap'
    Google Now is getting contextually aware in Android M. What does that mean? With the new Google Now 'On Tap' feature, your voice searches will be recognized contextually within an app. Say, you have the music player on, you can fire up voice search and ask something like "what year was this recorded?", and the search will understand that 'this' refers to the song.
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  7. Auto backup for apps
    The Android system in M will automatically make a full data backup and restore for apps. This is something that is done for apps targeting M by default, with no need for developers to code in anything. If users delete their Google accounts, their backup data is deleted as well. Automatic backups happen every 24 hours, when the device is idle, charging, AND connected to a Wi-Fi network. This way, when you upgrade to a new device, or wipe clean a device, you can restore easily and pain-free.
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  8. Contextual assist framework
  9. Secure token storage APIs
  10. Setup wizard: IMAP sign-in
  11. App Standby
  12. Flex storage
    Important new Android M features

  13. Data Usage API for work profiles
  14. Bluetooth SAP
  15. Voice interaction service
  16. App link verification
  17. Text selection actions
  18. Unified app settings view
  19. Corporate owned single use device support
  20. Improved trusted face reliability
  21. New runtime permissions
  22. Google Now Launcher app suggestions
  23. 5GHz portable Wi-Fi hotspot
  24. Seven additional languages

    Other new Android M features
  25. Work contacts in personal contexts
  26. Hotspot 2.0
  27. VPN apps in settings
  28. Duplex Printing
  29. Seamless certificate installation for Enterprise
  30. Undo/Redo keyboard shortcuts
  31. Do Not Disturb automatic rules
  32. Material design support library
  33. Android Pay
  34. USB Type C charging
  35. Battery historian v2
  36. BT 4.2
  37. Improved bluetooth low-energy scanning
  38. Improved text hyphenation & justification
  39. Improved diagnostics in systrace
  40. IT admin acceptance of OTAs
  41. Chrome custom tabs
  42. UI Toolkit
  43. Enterprise factory reset protection
  44. Do not disturb quick settings and repeat caller prioritization
  45. Improved text layout performance
  46. Alphabetic app list with search
  47. Stylus support
  48. UI toolkit performance improvements
  49. Unified Google settings and device settings
  50. Work status notifications
  51. MIDI support
  52. Bluetooth connectivity for device provisioning
  53. Power improvements in Wi-Fi scanning
  54. Data binding support library Beta
  55. Delegated certificate installation

We will be updating this list with explanations as we learn more about each of the new features, so do stay tuned, and don't hesitate to let us know your thoughts about this new Android M update in the comments below.


source - Google
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