It seems like just yesterday we were getting our hands on the very first Android Lollipop smartphones, bringing all kinds of new features to our Google based handsets.
But this week Google gave us a glimpse of the next operating system in line, which packs a host of new features for us to play with.
Google is sticking to radio silence when it comes to the name of the system, still using the M moniker for the time being. However, we did get a good look at some of the features that the system brings along.
The majority of features seem to be more focused on performance between apps and other internal features, with only slight changes to the design.
Taking a page from the iOS book it appears, Google has taken a very Apple-esque approach to the app permissions on Android M by changing the way you agree to them. Much like on iPhone, you’ll now be asked for permission for apps to do the things they do when you first open them, rather than when you download them.
Custom Google Chrome tabs are being introduced to ease the transition between apps and the mobile browser, whilst links between apps are also being made more secure.
Fingerprint technology certainly isn’t a new development with Android phones, but this system update will be the first to truly recognise the feature.
Android Pay is also being introduced – once again going head to head with Apple, with numerous stores and restaurants already promising to support the mobile payment system.
As with Apple Pay, you’ll be using your fingerprint to authenticate purchases, as long as you have the hardware on your phone of course.
NFC will be the system handling the sending and receiving of data, which means that anywhere which works with Apple Pay is likely to work with Google’s payment system as well.
Project Volta began Android’s love affair with smartphone batteries, and it seems that Android M might be continuing the good work.
Offering Doze mode this time around, the Google operating system actually recognises when you’re phone has been placed down and isn’t being used. After picking up on this, it effectively lets the device doze off until you wake it up, saving energy.
In practice it’s proved very effective, allowing the Google Nexus 9 to last twice as long on the new system compared to the older one.
This isn’t the only improvement to the battery side of our Android phones either, as quick charging USB Type C slots will now be commonplace on new devices. This improves charging time by up to 5 times the current rate, and also offers multi-direction use.
Written by Luke Hatfield