What’s to Come with Google OS
Every year, Google holds its annual developer conference to clue in us normal folks on what’s been brewing behind the scenes for the past 12 months. That means new service announcements, updates to existing services and my personal favorite: what’s new with Android. This year’s Google I/O conference has now come and gone. Here are some of the cool things to expect from the upcoming Android release — codenamed M.
This release will pick up where Lollipop (Android 5.0, 5.1) left off, fix a lot of what users didn’t like, and of course, bring a slew of new features to the table. Here’s a shortlist of some of the highlights:
Granular permission controls:
In Android M, users will be able to enable/disable specific app permissions on the fly. Don’t want your web browser to have access to your contacts? Just turn that option off. Done.
Auto Backup of App Data:
Once an app is set up to your liking, changing phones (or factory resetting the existing one) is a huge pain. With Android M, developers will be able to automatically backup all user settings so they’ll sync on subsequent installs. Win.
Chrome Custom Tabs:
You know how annoying it is to click on an app link and have Chrome launch separately? Well, with Custom Tabs, devs will be able to let their apps open custom, standalone Chrome windows on top of the running app — creating a much more seamless experience.
This is Google’s new mobile payment system, not to be confused with Google Wallet, which will live on in its own way.
USB C Support:
Next-gen USB charging will be the standard in M.
Google Now on Tap:
While not technically just for Android M, On Tap is probably the coolest thing Google announced at I/O. It builds off of Now’s current functionality, making it significantly more powerful and a core part of the Android experience. Without going into an entirely separate post on the matter, here’s the long and short: Now will be everywhere. Long-pressing the home button will launch Now on Tap, giving users information about whatever they’re currently checking out. For example, let’s say you’re discussing a potential new eatery with your significant other over SMS. On Tap will be able to give you information about the restaurant in the conversation, including hours and reviews. But that’s just one. Now on Tap is going to be one of the most powerful features in Android once M is released. And before you ask, yes, it will be backwards compatible.
Though not a definitive list, this gives you at least a handful of things to be excited about with Android M. A developer preview is available now for all you enterprising individuals, but it only runs on the Nexus 5, 6, 9, and Player right now. More info can be found here. It’s worth noting that Now on Tap isn’t yet a part of the dev builds, so we’ll likely have to wait for the public release to get our hands on that.