Top 5 Features: Android M

You heard all about Lollipop, and if you opened this article from a device running KitKat or a lower version of Android’s confectioneries, then I feel sorry for you … it’s not a good thing. You’re missing out on some great features: seamless synchronization between all your android devices (including chrome on Windows and Mac), material design (awesome aesthetics), lock-screen notifications, smart power saving (extended battery life, up to 90 minutes compared to KitKat), multiple user accounts (like that on Windows, guest mode available for temporary use) without any dependency on files or apps from other accounts, etc. One good thing about android is, even if your device is no more eligible to receive OTA updates from carriers and/or manufacturers, trust developers at XDA to continue molding custom ROMs on any new Android API.

At this year’s Google I/O Developers Conference (like last year’s), a new Android version was announced. Google, unlike “yaanom,” does well with announcing new features and as things stand now, below are the top five [must know] features about Android M (Android 6.0).

5. Tweaked Material Design

If Android L was aesthetically awesome, then Android M is an aesthetic “chef d’oeuvre.” What Android M demonstrated was that, a mobile OS can appear overly elaborate on looks, but still run faster than its predecessor. Opening apps and files, scrolling … was instantaneous on Android M on the Nexus, as compared to Lollipop. App permissions have also been redefined to give more control to user (as opposed to granting all permission to apps on installation). Selecting words to cut or copy has also been tweaked.

4. The “Unannounced “

These are the great features Google doesn’t highlight at every Developer Conference, but comes fully packed in the OS when released. Considering that Google announced Android Pay (like Apple Pay) and Biometric security (like Touch ID), it was surprising that they left out the support for full-state apps backup (like in iOS), although with a limited 25MB per app on Google Drive. This will make switching from one Android device to the other seamless! In previous versions of Android (including Lollipop), apps could only be uninstalled from the App Drawer; it can now be done from any home screen, if the icon is available. Quick settings are now fully customizable. Ever bemoaned how Android treats External SD like John Snow? External SDs will now be read, written and treated like a native storage! Then of course, from now until its official release, Google will most likely add more features.

3. Heightened “Google Now”

In Android L and its predecessors, the Google Now app was living in isolation, relative to third party apps support. With “Now On Tap,” Google Now’s prowess can be tapped by third party apps and make available useful data to enhance user experience. Let’s consider asking Bae where she wants to spend Valentine. She mentions this restaurant you’ve never heard of. Before, you would have Googled the restaurant. With Now On Tap, you can just long-press the home key of your device (without leaving the conversation screen) and the location and ratings (where applicable) of the said restaurant will be displayed in seconds! Keep an eye on what Twitter will do with this feature. My only concern is with third party apps having access to private data (like location & search history) stored in Google Now.

2. Extended Battery Life

After HTC Dream (the very first Android Phone, released in October 2008, running Donut), Google has been committed to making battery usage on Android efficient. Android M promises to improve the experience. The power feature “Doze,” will use motion sensors to detect when your phone has been idle and minimizing power usage of background apps and data demands. Google experimented this on the Nexus 9 … standby time was doubled, compared to Lollipop. However, Google was mute on the stats for heavy or everyday battery consumption.

1. USB Type-C Support

USB Type-C (not an Apple invention … I repeat, NOT an Apple invention) on Android will make top spot on any list on the subject. USB Type-C (USB 3.1) can ship 100W of power (USB 3.0 ships only 4.5W) and Android M is smoking this. This means charging and file transfers on Android will be on steroids. [This next one will make citizens of Dumsor Land smile] Now, imagine having a low battery. No power bank, no light, no laptop, but a friend has a fully charged android phone and wishes to share that power with you … yep! that will be possible in Android M. One annoying thing “low-key” about USB cables is making sure you’re inserting the right side or end into your phone, computer, or charger. By early next year, it wouldn’t matter which way you insert it and orgasm will still be achieved; your current USB cable will be like having a diskette in 2016 (eeww!). USB 3.1 will also bring super-clear audio experience to headphones.

If you have any plans of buying any new device soon, please, chill!

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