As expected, Google kicked off Google I/O 2015 with the announcement that the next major version of Android is coming out later this year. Much as it did last year, it unveiled a developer preview version today. Known only as Android M for now, Google will announce the official version number and name later this year when it’s ready for release.
Android M will focus on bringing additional stability and usability to the mobile operating system. Android Lollipop was a substantial update and Google has identified some areas where it can be further improved.
App permission management is getting an overhaul. Not only will apps trigger permission requests at runtime as they are needed but users will also have access to review them later in the Settings section.
Another new feature is called Doze. It promises to make “Android devices smarter about managing power” by using motion detection to sense when a device has been left unattended for a while. During these times, Android will exponentially reduce background activity, “trading off a little bit of app freshness for longer battery life.”
The Android M Developer Preview is now available for download for the Google Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Player. The public release will follow sometime this fall, presumably with new Nexus devices in tow.
Google is also making it easier to use Google Now. Contextually aware, it will be available within apps, making it easier to perform actions such as locating a restaurant or setting a reminder without leaving an app.
Google also unveiled a new payment system called Google Pay. Building on the previous services, it will incorporate features such as fingerprint recognition. The service will be supported by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless along with some 700,000 stores across the U.S.
Other features we can look forward to include support for USB Type-C, usability improvements (including improvements to cut-and-paste) and more that Google will reveal as we get closer to the public release.
Unfortunately, little new was announced for Android Wear. With Google having just released Android Wear 5.1.1, it chose to focus on the features introduced in that release rather than give us a glimpse at what is coming next.
Before announcing Android M, Google proudly announced that Android users now numbered a billion. Three other Google services, search, Chrome and YouTube also claimed such numbers. Gmail is not far behind with 900 million active monthly users.
Source : Android Developers Blog