Android M is currently going through a series of developmental stages and prior to its release, app developers, have been given access to a preview version of Android M.

Because of this, the new features of Android M are known, although they are contained within a jargon filled report created for app developers. So, if you don’t fancy wading through massses of technological lingo, then this quick Android M review is for you.

Android M

A run-down of 14 things you need to know:

1. When is it released?

Android M is currently scheduled for release during the latter parts of Q3 this year, so September looks to be the month to watch out for.

2. Power Saving Optimisations

Android M is set to drastically extend battery life and it will do this through two new features. The first has been named Doze Mode and this uses motion detection to determine when the device has been left stationary/idle with the screen off. Once this status has been detected, Doze places the system in a sleep state where network access and alarms are disabled, Wi-Fi scans aren’t performed and synchronisations are paused.

As soon as Doze detects movement of the device it automatically exits Doze Mode and executes jobs and synchronisations that are pending. The second feature, App Standby, determines if apps are idle and if so it disables the app’s network access and pauses synchronisations. Idle apps will still be allowed network access around once per day if it has been left idle for extended periods of time.

3. Android Pay and Fingerprint Authentication

Smartphones that have a built in fingerprint sensor will be able to make full use of Android Pay. Android Pay enables the making of purchases within stores, apps or from Google Play with fingerprint authentication.

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4. Direct Share

Intuitive sharing moves forward with Android M and within apps it will be possible to target specific individuals, such as those in the users social network, for direct sharing of content.

5. Voice Interactions

Integrated conversational voice experiences will now be built into apps opening up the possibility to control them with voice commands.

6. Notifications

Android M will distinguish event types, such as scheduled tasks, events and alarms for use with new Alarms Only and Do Not Disturb modes.

7. Text Selection

Cut, copy and paste will become available within apps via a floating toolbar along with comment, search and translate text features.

8. Bluetooth

The next version of Bluetooth for Android M will improve stylus interactions with greater flexibility sensed through pressure and button presses. Battery reserves will also be protected with low energy Bluetooth scanning.

9. Wi-Fi Hot Spot 2.0

Also known as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint, this update delivers an unbroken connection with the internet as the device moves between Wi-Fi networks or to and from the mobile network. Android M will do this without requiring additional user sign-ons or authentications.

10. 4K Display Mode

Android M will allow apps to query the resolution of the device’s display and request that the resolution is switched to 4K rendering if the hardware is compatible.

11. Now on tap

Now on tap makes Google Now available from any app or screen. If, for example, a friend requests a dinner date through a text message, Google Now will instantly be available to make a reservation, get directions, read reviews or find menus.

12. Runtime Permissions

Android M will allow users to manage app permissions to a much greater extent. Individual apps can be given or have their app permissions revoked at any time and permissions will pop-up for acceptance as the app requires them.

13. Camera

Images captured with Android M smartphones or tablets will be saved as RAW images. This image format contains the raw image data before any processing takes place and provides significantly more control over post production processing.

14. Android for Work

A minor update for business smartphones will allow ‘for work’ contacts to be, or not be displayed when viewing the Google Dialler Call Log.

It’s clear to see that Android M will offer a whole host of new features and optimisations. However, with a release date that is several months away there could very well be more surprises to unveil yet!

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