Android M is the main announcement of Google during the launching keynote of the Google I/O edition 2015. The successor of the Android Lollipop came with its share of new interesting features. If Android Lollipop was a true gem with the Material Design, Android M will improve the Google OS in depth.
The interface of the drawer will be clearer
As we said above, Google will not bring any major changes in terms of interface. The Material Design is retained and will be improved by little touches here and there. The most visible change will come from the application menu or drawer.
Google has chosen to review the interface of this important section for the Android smartphones users. The menu will be clearer and the presentation of the different widgets will no longer horizontal but vertical. We’ll have to get used to.
A new dark theme
All Android users will agree, Google likes playing with colors. The interfaces are clear, colored with a white dominance. The problem is that all users are not fans of the clear themes and prefer darker shades.
With Android M, it will be possible to choose between a clear theme (that you already know) or a dark one. You can switch as you wish between the two and it is even possible to customize the transition from one theme to another automatically based on context. Not bad right?
Better battery life with the mode “Doze“
This is the kind of announcement that Google repeats every release of a new OS, “this version will enhance the autonomy of smartphones.” Android L was no exception either and we sincerely hope that this time Google will keep his promise.
With the “Doze” mode, the firm promises that smartphones using Android M will be better in terms of autonomy especially through a better energy management when the phone is in standby.
The OS will somehow sort out the priority between applications and notifications to conserve battery power. Google promises a doubled autonomy on the Nexus 9, we need to see that.
Management of the RAM reviewed and corrected
As rumors said, although Android M will ship a new function to better manage the RAM. Now a much clearer dedicated page will tell you which applications consume the most of RAM but also the average consumption.
Internal memory assimilates SD cards
This is one of the innovations that Google has not announced yesterday during his keynote but that will delight users. This information has been unearthed in the documentation given to developers. With Android M, the internal memory will support SD cards.
When the user will insert the card into the smartphone, it has the choice of using it as a standard SD card or to dedicate it to the internal memory. If he chooses the second option, Android M will consider that this SD card is an integral part of the memory of the smartphone. Applications for example can be installed there.
However, this card can only be used on this unit from the time this choice is made. Not enough to convince manufacturers to stop offering the smartphone without an SD port.
A new system of permissions for applications
This is probably one of the most interesting innovations. At least for those who like to control their private data. With Android M, application permissions will be managed more easily.
While for now we must manage permissions for each app installation, it will be possible to organize all from a dedicated interface that is reminiscent of that found in iOS.
Similarly, applications will ask when you first launch to validate all permissions via a pop-up window. The main concerned authorizations are: SMS, calendar, photos, contacts etc. It is more intuitive and effective.
Finally links between applications
You already have experienced it at least once. When you open an email with a link to such an address, you are asked with which application you want to open this information (Google Maps, Waze etc.).
This era will soon be gone as Android M will create bridges directly between applications. For example when you receive an email from Instagram leading to a photo. The Instagram app will open directly when you hit the link of the photo.
The mode “Silent” is back
It was the largest aberration of Android Lollipop: the disappearance of silent mode. For once, it was a failure from the part of Google since even a Nokia 3310 has a silent mode. Android M will therefore sign the back of this function, and like to be forgiven, it will also offers a new sound control system.
A Quick Access Toolbar with fully customizable settings:
The title says almost everything. With Android M it will be possible to fully customize the quick settings bar. A real good idea that we already found in some ROM Custom but Google still had not integrated it in its mobile OS.
The USB-C, the new standard
We heard spoken about it there some time now, the USB-C will become a standard in Google smartphones and will make searches 3 to 5 times faster. We have already seen this new technology in the new MacBook of Apple, the next Nexus will also feature it. Moreover, during the keynote, a photo of a smartphone that could be the next Nexus appeared.
Android Pay and fingerprint recognition
Again this was not a surprise since rumors spoke about it for weeks. Google itself had announced Android Pay, the payment service similar to Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. It is now official and will perform the same functions as its “competitors”: pay applications, make in-app purchases and obviously enjoy the contactless payment.
To increase the security of payments, Google also announced the native support in the fingerprint recognition on Android M. Thus the user can accept payments through fingerprint reader but also to unlock the smartphone.
Google Now is even stronger (as Roquefort)
One of the most interesting demonstrations yesterday was probably that of Google Now. With Now on Tap, the wizard becomes even more intelligent. It takes into account more than ever the context in which the user is located and adapts its responses and even acts alone without the user having to do anything.
To activate Now on Tap, simply perform a long press on the button “Home” to trigger the service. For example, I read the email from a friend who suggests I go see a movie. I do not know that movie. I tell Google Now (“What is this movie?”) and even without the title or the name of the actors he will give me a full record on the film in question. Magic!
Live Share: Google unveils its AirDrop
iOS users have AirDrop, those of Android will now have Direct Share. For who do not know, AirDrop allows you to exchange files between Apple devices through a fast process that mix Bluetooth (for pairing) and WiFi (for transferring files).
Google now makes the same with Direct Share. No need to go through the cloud or to send an email when the recipient is in front of us. The professionals will appreciate.