Upgrades to areas like battery life, app permissions, payments, and many more
Today makes the first day of Google I/O, Google’s yearly conference where they announce a lot of what you can expect from the company in the coming year.
One of the biggest reveals during the keynote was the upgrade for the Android OS, the successor to Android Lollipop: Android M. Google has not revealed what the M stands for, but you can bet it will be something food related (former releases include Lollipop, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Donut, among others).
Although I have to confess I wish they would call it Android: More Better.
Google said that for this release they focused more on polishing and fine-tuning the OS experience rather than redesigning the interface, as they did with the previous version (Lollipop).
No permission slips required
M will now change the way you give apps permission to access your information. Whereas before you had to give an app the right to run willy nilly all over your contacts, microphone, photos and etc., you will now grant permission on an as-needed basis. This is pretty similar to the way iOS currently does things, and certainly sounds more convenient.
There’s also a big boost to Android Pay, the system that will let you buy things at all NFC equipped stores (of which Google states there are more than 700,000 across the country).
There’s also a new Doze feature, which saves battery by using a phone’s sensors to tell when it’s not in use. That has me about as excited as these tech reporters at the I/O conference.
Google’s new Now On Tap promises to make Google Now even more useful
Google Now (which Apple is apparently trying to compete with) is about to become even more helpful. Google said that with the new feature, “when you tap and hold the home button, Google gives you options that are a best guess of what might be helpful to you in the moment.”
Or in the example above, if you say “Ok Google” and ask who the lead singer is of a song that’s playing, it will tell you. While that doesn’t sound like the most immediate and important use of a feature like that, we’re sure real life will provide many more relevant examples.
For full coverage of the I/O Android M keynote, check out The Verge’s video below! Gizmodo is also doing a frequently-updated liveblog on the event.