Developers were audibly excited by the bevy of improvements and added features on the newest Android release, Android M. However Google did not deliver a next-generation device showcasing its software at the annual event here.
Google's senior vice president of products, Sundar Pichai, put emphasis on creating a smooth, intuitive mobile experience across devices and location. For example, Android M sports easily accessible in-app permissions and can deliver light versions of search results that consume less data for users in remote locations.
To combat battery drain, Google announced Doze. The new feature uses motion detection to determine when a device hasn’t been in use, then shuts down battery-heavy processes. In tests, a Nexus 9 handset using Android M lasted twice as long in standby as a Nexus 9 using the previous generation, Android Lollipop.
Google was “heavily involved in creating the USB type C standard,” Vice President of Engineering Dave Burke said during Thursday’s keynote. The bi-directional interconnect lets users choose whether they want to charge a device or have the device act as a charger.
In addition, Android M supports NFC-based Android Pay with support for fingerprint identification using a standard API that works across devices and sensors.
Those features may come in handy for the latest release of Android Wear, now supported on 1,500 different watch faces. The OS for wearables now has Wi-Fi support, an always-on screen that can operate in a low-power black-and-white display mode, swiping by a turn of the wrist, and the ability to draw a picture that is immediately translated into an emoji.
Android M will be available in the third quarter of this year.
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