What Every Mobile App Developer Should Know about Android M?
Recently at the Google I/O 2015 held in San Francisco, the developer preview for the latest Android operating system was launched. Named as Android M, this new Android version aims to go back to the basics and focus on strengthening the various features and functions. While its predecessor Android Lollipop 5.0 had an entirely new look, some users complained about some of its features becoming not so user-friendly. In this new Android version, there will be a somewhat less focus on the look of the operating system, but instead the features and functioning will be made much simpler. The new Android OS with a simpler interface is surely going to appeal to people who didn’t quite prefer the somewhat complex systems and workings of Android Lollipop 5.0.
App developers for the Android platform all over the world are already warming up in this new version, and waiting for the time when most of the Android devices are going to get this update. The criteria for app development for this new operating system is definitely going to be different than that of its earlier versions, and every Android app developer worth their salt is now researching as to how to make their apps better than everyone else. Here are some of the most important facts about this new Android version that every mobile app developer for Android should if he/she is to design the best apps.
Probably the most important change that is going to take place in this new version is the redefining of app permissions. The app permissions for Android M have been overhauled, as users can now choose to deny or accept the permissions as the way they see fit. The permissions also have been simplified. Secondly, the permissions will be asked for the first time when a user is trying to use a particular feature and not during the time of installation. The users will not have to accept permissions that do not make any sense to them. Android M is also providing the users with greater control over the information that apps can access, which is a major step forward when it comes to information security. The users can also modify the granted permissions afterwards as well by going into the settings or view the permissions by type to see which of the apps have got their permission granted. In other words, Android M is all set to give users full control over their phone.
For some time now, Google has been searching for ways in which they can provide users with a better user experience while interacting with the websites and apps. They have been considering the manner in which web content is explored. A new feature that is going to be included in Android M is Chrome Custom Tabs which give developers better ways to harness the potential of Chrome while at the same time manage the look and overall feel of the browsing experience.
The new feature, Chrome Custom Tabs is going to allow the apps to open one customized Chrome window over the app that is currently active, instead of separately launching Chrome app. This is going to provide a more intuitive and faster user experience while navigating between the web and the apps. The Chrome Custom Tabs will also support automatic sign-in, saving passwords, autofill as well as multi-process security in order to assist with the integration of web and app experience.
Traditionally, when users select a particular weblink, Android does not know whether to open it in a relevant app or some web browser. Users were often plagued with the “open with” dialog box anytime they needed to open a particular link within an app. For example, a user might be asked whether he intends to open a particular video link with Chrome or YouTube. An android developer for the new Android M should know that the way app links will function is going to be changed in the new operating system so that Android can have greater awareness about which apps can open certain types of content directly. From now onwards, when a person clicks on a Twitter link within an email, it will automatically be opened by the Twitter app without asking the user about the preferred mode of opening the link.
Google is going to standardize support for the fingerprint scanners on the phones running Android M. This new functionality is going to allow fingerprint scanners not only to be used for unlocking phones, but also to make purchases while shopping in real life or for the Play Store apps. While it is true that a mobile device will be required to have a fingerprint scanner hardware to use this feature, it can be expected that the devices of the future will surely have the relevant hardware component.