We expected Android M to debut today during Google I/O 2015 and it did. It’s a smaller update than you’d think, bringing only slight changes to the core functionality of Android, but without messing with the camera or design, it seems. Basically, some extras were added.
Android M Developer Preview will be available today for devices like the Nexus 5, Nexus 9 and a few more models. Android M brings fingerprint support, among others and also support for Android Pay. Fingerprint authentication will be supported on an API level and apps will use fingerprints for authorization instead of the password or PIN. Android Pay relies on NFC and also involves the previously mentioned fingerprint authentication.
Permissions have been changed, so you aren’t asked to approve a list when you install an app anymore. Instead, once you’re using a certain feature inside the app, you’ll give said permission. Direct Share is another feature, allowing you to send stuff to common contacts, using quick links. Text selection is now easier thanks to a floating bar and volume controls have also been simplified.
Chrome Custom Tabs is another novelty, allowing one to open a customized Chrome window on top on an active app, sort of like a Chrome tab. Probably the biggest novelty is the Doze feature, that will improve standby time by as much as 100%, or at least that was achieved on the Nexus 9. Apparently, it’s sort of an active sleep mode, like in Windows 8 and still offers some urgent alerts and notifications.
Finally, we’ll also get USB Type C support in Android M and permission to charge other devices using the phone.