Earlier this week, Google set out a statue depicting the new Android M, outside their MountainView HQ, to be unveiled post the announcement.
— The Next Web (@TheNextWeb) August 17, 2015
Well, well, now that we have the official announcement made, and very much trending everywhere, let’s go over what we know about the new Android M. 1. Following their unconventional tradition of naming the Android versions alphabetically and after some sort of sweet delicacy, Google has decided upon calling the latest one Marshmallow, before which we had Lollipop, Kit-Kat and Jellybean. Elaborating more regarding this on the official Android Developer’s blog, Jamal Eason, Product manager at Android, said, “Since the launch of the M Developer Preview at Google I/O in May, we’ve enjoyed all of your participation and feedback. Today with the final Developer Preview update, we’re introducing the official Android 6.0 SDK and opening Google Play for publishing your apps that target the new API level 23 in Android Marshmallow.” 2. Amongst the newest features that Marshmallow will have – Android Pay is what is being looked forward to the most. Modeled after Apple’s Apple Pay, and Samsung’s recent announcement of Samsung Pay, Android Pay will allow the users to make mobile payments for apps, and goods purchased at retail stores. Currently, Android Pay has tied up with leading brands like Best Buy, Bloomingdale’s, Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Macy’s, Game Stop, Pepsi, Petco, Panera Bread, Subway, Staples, ToysRUs, Dunkin’ Donuts, Etsy, Groupon, and more. They are looking to expand their list even further, while working on their security features. Currently:
- When you shop at a merchant, Android Pay doesn’t send your actual credit or debit card number with your payment. Instead they use a virtual account number to represent your account information — so your card details stay safe.
- As soon as you make a purchase, you’ll see a payment confirmation that shows you exactly where a given transaction happened, along with the merchant’s name and number. So it’s easy to catch any suspicious activity.
- No more frantically canceling your credit cards. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password, even wipe it clean of your personal information.
3. Google Now, that is considered Google’s digital assistant at the moment, will be seeing a new feature – Now On Tap, in the new Android version 6.0. Currently, the user can tap a single button on his home-screen for access to Google Now, much like Siri for Apple. Introducing Now On Tap will generate data suggestions based on the user’s activity at any given point of time – for example, when a friend texts you for a meet-up at a certain location, Now On Tap will generate information about how far the place is, how long it is going to take to go there, the user ratings on the place and its actual location on the Maps. See how Now On Tap works in the video below:
5. Marshmallow comes with a few API differences, elaborating on which, Jamal writes, “Compared to the previous developer preview update, you will find this final API update fairly incremental. You can check out all the API differences here, but a few of the changes since the last developer update include:
- Android Platform Change: Final Permissions User Interface — we updated the permissions user interface and enhanced some of the permissions behavior.
- API Change: Updates to the Fingerprint API — which enables better error reporting, better fingerprint enrollment experience, plus enumeration support for greater reliability.”