At recent Google I/O conference held this year in May, the newest Android OS was announced named “Android M”. This recent operating system user interface (UI) is no different from that seen in Lollipop. However, the company brought some new features on the block, in order to handle multiple user demands.
Some turned out to be questionable from many users point of view. Hence, a second update or version of OS came out quite recently to solve those issues. Let us see and compare both of them to let you have a thorough knowledge regarding the latest OS.
Android M ’1st version’ release
Android M preview 1 launched with much anticipation on May 28, 2015. Let us have a go through at what were the features provided in order to understand the improvements done in the recently released second version.
The new OS comes with refined app permissions enabling users to deny or accept the app requests, based on appropriate fit. No need to go through permissions requests at the time of installation. Instead, get asked when using features for the first time. Users now have a greater control over the limit of information accessible by apps. Modify permission settings whenever you want. See the permissions type wise and the apps granted with permissions.
As an example, whenever you try to record a message through your voice in WhatsApp, the app will request for an access to mic. You, as a user, can accept or deny the request.
Custom tabs in Chrome helps users to open a customized window while the app is still active, without any need to have a separate launcher for Chrome apps. With such a facility, it gets much easier and convenient to switch between web and apps. Other things supported are multi process security, auto form filling, saved passwords, and automatic signing in.
As an example, Pinterest developers need to go for building another browser, as a Pinterest share button comes embedded with a custom tab, which even includes menu options for customized overflow.
With fingerprint scanner support on Android M, unlocking the phones becomes more secure, with all data remaining safe on your smartphone. Having said, you surely need a fingerprint scanner already present in the device.
With newest Google mobile payment platform “Android Pay”, make the checkout process faster as well as easier. It helps users to pay using credit cards across 700,000 stores itself in US only. Packed with NFC capabilities, currently Android Pay supports Discover, MasterCard, VISA, and American Express. Telecom carriers collaborated with Android Pay are T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
Initially Android was facing the problem of opening a web link as another app or displaying in the browser. Hence, it used to ask users to “Open with” dialogue box, letting users choose where to see. Now with Android M, things have become simpler as the OS grasps automatically where to open the respective content. This in turn eliminates the need of asking users every time.
As an example, when a “Twitter” link clicked inside the mail, the OS will make out that users want to access the Twitter app. Hence, it will directly open the Twitter app, instead of opening it in the browser.
A new functionality in the form of “Doze” enhances standby time of the device tremendously. Devices that interacted in the past and now dormant, are detected by motion detectors, so that useless background processes could be killed, when a person or device is asleep. Even the battery rapidly charged, as supported with USB Type C port that encourages faster charging.
Auto Backup & Restore
Auto Backup feature lets device be in synchronization with Google Drive automatically take backup of files with size of 25 MB or less. The backup takes place once every single day. It starts only when the device is connected with WiFi and idle for a long time. In case, if your device gets lost or the app is deleted, then the last progress is auto restored whenever you install it again.
A newest entry in the list of features is a brand new app drawer in Android M letting users to scroll across vertically rather than doing it horizontally. In place of homepage wallpaper seen in a muted form, now white background appears. What you see at the top menu is four apps that have been the most recent ones.
A completely new RAM manager introduced that provides comprehensive as well as accurate information related to apps RAM usage, whether it is average or maximum. By looking at the overall consumption, you can determine which apps are used often, and whether the apps not used quite often should be ended or not. This in turn increases battery life and performance. If the topmost page bar says good performance, you are surely running only relevant apps.
With adoptable storage, Google goes one-step ahead. Users can now format external storage like USB drive or SD card similar to what can be done with internal storage. Move personal as well as app data freely from internal to external memory storage or vice versa. Encryption layers help in smoothening concerns related to security.
With a novel dark theme, users get an option to replace normal pale shade with a dark grey color. Presently, only settings menu have this option and not the complete app drawer.
Great enhancements seen in Google Now in three different areas – enabling you take action, provide meaningful answers, and aware of the real life practical contexts. Now you can know the exact distance of your destination, as Google Now is aware of 100 million places through the Knowledge Graph. Even it grasps 1 billion individual entities.
As an example, let us say you are using Spotify, and you ask Google the name of person, or song, you are listening to, then users can expect immediate answers through search results without even having to leave the app. As another example, if in case a question asked to you through mails, users automatically get a restaurant card popup, displaying all the related apps or map information, as well as a reminder to remember the same.
Get a faster and leaner Chrome, altering the way you see results as now it knows much about the network than before. Instead of getting search results preview images, get multi colored squares. Using 80% lesser bytes, the web pages are optimized by almost 4 times. This leads to memory being reduced by 80 MB. Moreover, offline mode also supported.
This is another brand new photo service from Google introduced in Android M and initially a part of Google+. Since now being a standalone service for video and photo sharing, users now get an unlimited storage that is not only free but also provides support up to 16 MP photos as well as 1080p video resolution. What you get are the compressed versions of multimedia files in high quality. Just search through pictures occupying gigabytes memory in parallel with a lightning speed.
The new Stories and Auto-Awesome features suggest use of footage as well as images. Use extremely simple gestures through pinch, in order to see yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily tiled images. You need not to have Google Photos app integrated within Contacts to share. Just share a link via chrome, and download complete album in seconds once signed in.
Android M ’2nd version’ release
Due to some favorable glitches present in the first Android M offering, Google came up with Android M preview 2 to offer the corrections made, as well as some new additions done, in order to make Android M a must have choice for people using Android OS.
Visual voicemail interface
In this version, you can have dialer presenting the Visual Voicemail service. You now get a visual interface associated with voicemail, quite different to what we have been seeing in Android phones, where it used to be an audio setup, and simply listen the instructions by calling up respective carrier.
Home screen rotation
With the new home-screen rotation function, not only apps but also home screen viewed in landscape mode, just by rotating screen.
Elimination of dark theme
Dark theme that you saw in the first preview has been removed completely in this second preview. Instead, what we now get is a colorful theme.
App drawer issue fixed
Vertically based app drawer was quite a novel idea for which Google should be applauded. However, due to the presence of negative ending sections as well as alphabetical dividers, it became difficult for users to navigate easily. Hence, the new Android M removes it and comes with more app icons letting you scroll vertically with ease.
Screenshot previews delete
You can now delete the screenshot preview, which previously could only be shared.
Removal of icons from status bar
Simply remove unwanted or unused icons from the status bar menu occupying the unnecessary space, not giving room to useful icons. Whether is cellular data connection, Wi-Fi, alarm, do not disturb, hot spot, Bluetooth, or any other icon, if you do not need it just remove it.
RAM manager visibility
The new position of the RAM manager is now towards the front in the center, for quick visibility.
Reset option for network settings
Other than Factory Reset or Backup Settings, you now have a new inclusion named Network Settings Reset. Wipe all the Bluetooth connections, cellular data connections, Wi-Fi connections, instantly with just a tap.
Internal storage indicator
There is now a simple line bar telling users regarding the remaining internal storage space for the device. It shows a complete breakdown of how much space occupied by apps individually.
Any updates on the Android M ’3rd version’ release?
As previously slated for a debut in late July, third preview of Android M may see a delay in the release, as per the Google+ Android M Developer Preview community. No perfect timeframe is yet decided, but Google is quite certainly working towards it to roll out as soon as possible.