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Android M: All you need to know

Android 5.0 Lollipop has probably only been installed on 10% devices but it is not slowing down Google and heads are already starting spinning towards the next version, presently known as Android M or Android 6.0. There is currently no official statements from Google as when Android M will be officially revealed, but the 2015 Google I/O Conference set for May 28 and May 29 2015 in San Francisco at the Moscone West Convention Center, developers will be showcasing a number of features that users can expect from the latest version of Android OS.

Design and Interface

According to reports, Android M will be featuring Material Design and will look widely different and more refined from Android Lollipop. You can expect all opening and closing animation, quick reply as in iOS 8. With smart phones with larger screens are flooding the market, it would be better if the interface allows you to work in dual mode window mode. This is another design tweak you may see on Android M wherein you will be allowed to have resizable, floating windows that can be dragged on the screen while you are doing something.

Improved Notifications

Notifications is one thing that are constantly improved upon as users are always expecting relevant notifications, which only appear when they need them. Android M will have better syncing when it comes to app notifications for multiple devices. For example if you have already seen and dismissed an app notification on your smart phone, you won’t be to do it again on your tablet working under same account and will be automatically taken care by Android M. Thus users can expect some changes as to how the notifications are displayed and interacted with Android M, thus it is planning to unify them across all devices.

While we’re on the topic of notices, the next creation of Google OS could advantage from better syncing when it comes to app notices for several gadgets. If you’ve already ignored a twitter update or indication on your smart phone, it’s annoying to have to do it again on your product.

Voice Access

The function will be adding a voice component toward accessing apps, a likely support for Android M services offering hands-free convenience. In the Google I/O schedule it is described as “Your app, now available hands-free,” making it apparent that voice actions may soon be incorporated in Android.

Smart Home

Leveraging the concept of Internet of Things, it will be an interesting feature to look for in Android M, as the developers will try to give you full control over your connected devices at home or in office via third party applications.

Improved Security

With smart phones adoption increasing gradually security is an another aspect that grows more importantly. Google recently introduced “kill switch” option in Android 5.1 to make thieved phones useless, and now at Android M, Google is working more closely to address the issue. To address privacy concerns, Google is expected to give users more control over what apps have access to, like location, contacts and photos. Currently, Android displays to users as to what information an app requires access to before starting an installation. If a user is not comfortable allowing so many permissions for an app, they can cancel an installation. With the new settings, users don’t have to deal with all-or-nothing situations as they can choose separate permissions that can be granted to an app.

Also few third-party manufacturers have incorporated guest mode ability to their own devices – the LG G3 for example – but native Android OS still lacks the feature. The closest you can get at the moment is the guest mode via Google’s downloadable Android Device Manager app. The benefit of having a locked-down guest mode comes when you have handed the phone to a friend or child to use for a while and you don’t want them browsing through your personal data or having access to your credit card account.

Android Auto

Android M will have a substantial focus on Google’s Android Auto software, and that the functionality may be equipped into upcoming cars as standard, without the need to even plug in a phone. Google has already partnered with Audi, Ford, Honda and Volvo and the new Android Auto software in Android M will allow you to pick your GPS route and music for the road before you’ve even got into the car.

Anuj Sharma: