Android M launches at Google I/O 2015

Android M available now to developers

Google has today announced the developer preview of Android M, the latest version of its mobile operating system.

Introducing the new mobile OS at the opening keynote of the annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, SVP Sundar Pichai said: "For M we've gone back to the basics. We've really focused on polish and quality, we've literally solved thousands of bugs."

These include six key new features in Android M: improved app permissions, Chrome custom tabs, better inter-app linking, mobile payments with Android Pay, in-built support for fingerprint readers, and battery management with "doze".

Improved app permissions means users can approve or deny permissions for individual features, for example access to location data or a device's camera, on a case-by case basis as they are needed, rather than requesting everything all in one go.

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Chrome custom tabs allows users to navigate to a web page from within an app without being thrown into the browser or web view. It also allows app developers to build in features like automatic sign-in, autofill, saved passwords, and multi-factor authentication.

Mobile payment is delivered through Android Pay, also newly announced today, which can be authenticated through fingerprint recognition, for which Android M offers in-built support, using an official API.

With Doze, Android M can detect if a device is stationary and, if left untouched for a while, it will begin to "exponentially back off background activity to go into a deeper sleep state", in which background updates, but not alarms or chat requests, will slow or stop.

In testing with a Nexus 9, Google claimed to have achieved double the battery life with Android M compared to the same device running Android Lollipop, thanks to Doze.

Finally, Android M will also introduce support for USB Type-C for charging, data transfer and other processes.

Android M is available to developers for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player immediately and will be available to consumers in autumn 2015.

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For more news from Google I/O, including Android Wear 2, Google's Brillo Internet of Things operating system and Weave IoT language, follow our Google I/O 2015 live blog.

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