2015 Google I/O has come and gone, and with it a host of new announcements for the Android platform, along with a revamped version of the Google Photos app for both Android and iOS devices.
Some of the newly touted features of the coming version of Android are:
– Greater Control Over App Permissions
In Android M, you will now be able to go into each individual app setting and disable some of the permissions uses on your phone. (Think Facebook Messenger) From now on, if you aren’t comfortable with an app requesting access to your contacts, or you location, or the camera, or microphone, you can now deny that ability. But be warned that doing that could hinder the ability of the app to perform as it would normally.
– Fingerprint Support
Fingerprint scanning as a security measure on smartphones have been available on select Android phones for quite some time, 2011’s Motorola Atrix comes to mind. Further down the line Samsung included the feature in it’s Galaxy S line of phones. The 2014 Google flagship phone, the Nexus 6 was originally slated to have a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone as well, until Apple bought the manufacturer responsible for building the scanners and included them in their iPhone line of phones. Well now in Android M, Fingerprint scanning support will become native to the operating system. This in turn will give incentive for many of Android’s OEM partners to begin incorporating this technology in their new flagship models. Some as early as this year. (Nexus 2015 Maybe) The fingerprint scanners will allow its users to unlock the device, as well as authenticate it’s user when making purchases in the Google Play Store, as well as when using the next new feature.
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– Android Pay
Android Pay is Google’s next attempt at mobile payments. Google Wallet, which has been available on Android since 2011 will be going away in favor of this new service. Named in the same vein as Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, Android Pay is designed to be more secure, easier to use, and available in more retail establishments, as more than 700,000 retailers will be able to take care of your transactions using this new service.
– Better Battery Life
We’ve become ever more dependent on our mobile devices to get us through the day. And the last thing you want to do is to be tied to a charger because the battery on your phone just can’t keep up with you. Google is attempting to address this issue on a system level with “Doze”. By improving the efficiency of your phone during standby times, in theory, you should have more battery available to use when you really need it. “Doze” uses your phone’s motion detectors to determine if the phone has not used and shuts down background processes. Google claims that “Doze” will allow your phone to last twice as long as it does now on devices that are not yet equipped with Android M Developer Preview. The rest of us will be able to put it to the test upon the release of the next Nexus phones. (Or you can test it right now on your rooted Nexus Devices!)
– Google Photos
One of the other major announcements made at this past Google I/O was the release of the new Google Photos app, which is available now on both Android and iOS devices. Google photos, which was at one time tied to the Google+ social network, has now been separated from G+ and is now a standalone service that provides it’s users with unlimited storage of all their photos of 16MP resolution or smaller, and 1080p videos. The new Google Photos is also capable of automatically categorizing photos based on the people in them, the places where those photos were taken, and things that are present in the photos. And the more you use it, the more accurate it gets!
For full coverage of the entire event. Check out this video from CNET.