What’s New in Android M- 11 Important Announcements at I/O 2015 Keynote

In the 8th annual Google developer conference held in San Francisco a lot of awesome announcements were made during the I/O keynote. For us, as a Mobile Application Development Company; our focus is around Android development tools, App Permission, Android Pay, Google’s approach to the Internet of Things, Google Photos, and support for offline Google Maps, Monetization of app with AdMob and Analytics etc. Here are some major takeaways from this event.

After months of waiting senior vice president of Google — Sundar Pichai finally announced the official release of Android M. It has enhanced features of stability and usability support for proper app permissions, linking, battery drainage solution, Android Pay, fingerprint sensors, and plenty of additional features. Android M is about emphasizing on basics to enhance the stability, performance & the user experience of its users and compete with Apple’s IOS.

What are new features of Android M

App Permission to give control to its users:

  • Empowering more to users, Android M simplifies the app permission. Now users can accept or deny individual requests for permissions, now it’s up to the user whether to opt for a feature, for example: Location, Camera, Mic, Contact list, Phone, SMS, Calendar, and Sensor; or not at first time they are about to use it, not at the point of installation.

Burke gave an example of Whatsup to show how it actually works. If you are going to record a voice message, it will prompt you with a one-time request asking permission to use your mic; if you don’t want to give it access to record the message, you can. Earlier apps had control over using a feature of your device. It’s a truly encouraging step to give users additional control over their devices and its features, what apps can access. In your settings, you can modify the granted permissions to apps later and can view which apps have what permission. So now, Android users have full fledged control over their devices and its features, what apps can access. In your settings, you can modify the granted permissions to apps later and can view which apps have what permission. So now, Android users have full fledged control over their device features and apps.

Note for App Developers:

  1. Android M permission policy will apply to recent version of the Android. Your existing apps which are not updated recently will follow this course of action. It is strongly recommended to update your apps to sustain these features before Android M goes for a massive release.

Chrome Custom Tabs to improve the Web experience

Google has a prime focus to give optimum user-experience for its users and the approach towards overwhelming web content browsing with websites or apps. Instead of launching the Chrome app separately, Android conveniences Apps to get access of chrome custom tabs to open in a custom window allowing a swift and spontaneous user-experience while browsing in between web and apps.

Vice President, Engineering of Google Burke Said 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”.

These Custom Tabs allow apps to securely use your saved information, i.e. saved passwords, auto-fill, automatic sign -in etc. that you have stored in chrome which results in using this information without leaving your application.

  • Dashlane Fingerprints Sensor Support:

In the recent Android M, there is standardizing fingerprint login support by Android for authentication. It will let users to authenticate Dashlane using their fingerprint to log into any app instantly, without typing any password.

Dashaline Press Release:

Dashlane is First Password Manager to Support Google Android M Fingerprint, Offers Easy Password Access on Android

NEW YORK — Dashlane, the world’s leading password manager, integrates two new APIs from Android M Developer Preview to offer users automatic login with Android.
Dashlane users can now use their fingerprint to login to all of their apps, without ever typing a password.
The new Fingerprint and Confirm Credential APIs will improve the Dashlane Android experience by allowing users to quickly authenticate and access secured data within Dashlane. The news comes as Google announces Android M Developer Preview at their annual developer conference, Google I/O. The new platform release version will allow our developers to use standardized fingerprint sensors to accelerate login functionality within Dashlane’s Android app.
Automatic App Login With Fingerprints — Dashlane users can now log into any app with their fingerprint. Users open an app, scan their fingerprint to authenticate Dashlane, and are automatically logged in. This means immediate and secure access, without ever typing a password.
Dashlane Fingerprint Login — Users can unlock Dashlane using their fingerprint, which provides an easy way to access their passwords securely.
Secure Data Access — Once in the app they can now use their fingerprint to unlock any sensitive data that is stored in Dashlane, such as payments and personal contact information.
Emmanuel Schalit, Dashlane CEO, states:
Dashlane’s integration of Android’s new API shows that convenience and security don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Our usage of fingerprint authentication technology gives consumers a win-win scenario; they get the speed and ease of use they desire, but don’t sacrifice their security.
This is a positive development for both the security and mobile industries. It also brings Dashlane yet another step closer towards becoming a universal identity solution for consumers across all of their devices. We look forward to delivering this great feature in our beautiful new Material Design Android app.
The Google integration is the latest in a string of powerful features Dashlane delivered to users in the past ten months.

This functionality will facilitate users not only to unlock phones with the help of fingerprint scanners rather to go for online transactions and real-life shopping. We can expect many more devices to come in future having fingerprint sensor capabilities.

  • Enhanced App to App links: Links are a fundamental part of the web, previously when users use to click over a link from the app, it was difficult for Android to understand whether this link supports to a web-browser or another app. You might have encountered a dialogue box of “Open with” whenever you have tried to click over a link on an Android app, Now with the help of link support in Android, instead of PROMPTING users all the time with the dialog box link will open the App automatically
  • Android Pay- A new secured and advanced payment system: Android Pay was one of the biggest announcements in I/O Keynote, as a successor to Google Wallet it makes the checkout process easier and faster. Android Pay work with NFC and Host Card emulations, just unlock your phone, scan your card which will create a virtual card number and you can authorize payments through your fingerprints.

There are also reports that by the end of 2015, Google is about to come up with another unique hands free payment option, enabling customers to pay by using their voice.

  • Doze & USB Type-C — A Much Needed, Feature for Optimum Power Management & Better Battery Life: Get rid of the battery drainage challenge in Smartphone’s. Few days back (Before the I/O Keynote event) I had written a post about the battery drainage issue with Android. Thanks to Google for hearing me and coming up with a power management feature, Doze. Doze can identify when a device is ideally and inactive, Doze identifies it and automatically dial back on the power needs. When Apps are not being used, the frequency of update will be minimal, resulting two times of the battery life during standby time.

Accumulating to this USB Type-C (USB Type-C can use their phone as charger) upcoming devices are coming which have the feature of minimizing power consumption, 2 to 3 times faster charging capabilities and longer standby times resulting users can use their devices longer, without needing to be tethered to a charge.

  • App Backup: All app settings in Android M gives 25 MB backup in Google Drive to all of these Apps, so in case if an App gets deleted, you can restore it again and set up like it was prior.
  • New App Drawer: Though the emphasis of Android M was over performance and user experience, yet one of the noticeable visual change is app drawer.
  1. Scrolling: Where in the past scrolling option was horizontal, now it is vertical over a white background. You can check recently used apps at the top of the menu.
  • Google Now on Tap: Android M is offering a remarkable feature “in the moment” to Google Now. It is going to be a GAME CHANGER feature for individual apps and services. While browsing an App you can use Google Now on Tap, users can ask simple, nonspecific questions while browsing the app, and the service will use this information within the app to answer the question. It’s a big expansion to emphasize in contextual understanding and artificial intelligence.
  • Offline Chrome & Google Map Access: Google came up with lots of updates to give optimal experience to users using its products to those parts of the globe, especially in developing countries facing poor internet connectivity & speed. In various countries, people already can save YouTube videos, but in a progression, Chrome can also save pages for offline use.

At the I/O developer conference Google announced that offline Google maps are coming by the end of this year. Users can save maps and searches with the online version of Maps and can browse reviews, hours of operation, and even details, can get voice directions — all offline.

  • Google Photo App with unlimited Storage: A revamped photos application offering unlimited storage at no cost introduced by Google. This app ensures utmost security of precious images. This application takes automatic image backup of your device, i.e. from smartphones, computers, and memory cards in a similar way Skydrive does. You can easily navigate photos from an ordered manner like yesterday, last week, or last year with just a few swipes on the screen.

Summary: With a record 50 Billion downloads and 1 Billion active users the latest version of Android — Android M is on with new updates, advanced users empowering features. It seems current update is more about competing with Apple.


Originally published at www.sphinx-solution.com.

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