The main features that have come out of the android M preview are:
- App Permissions Management
Users can now manage each app permission individually and apps will request permissions when they need and not on installation, users can now fully disable certain permissions individually, there’s 8 toggles that can be managed, location, camera, microphone, contacts, phone, sms, calendar and sensors.
- Web Experience
Developers now have access to chrome custom tab API’s allowing them to embed the web browser into the app, and add app features to the in-app browser tab, as an example, open a link on pinterest and the browser no has a pin it button on top, the chrome custom tab also has access to most of the user data that they have on chrome, like saved passwords and autofill
- App Links
Android is smarter with web links, like a twitter link on a email will immediately open twitter instead of asking what to do with it, this is because M is smarter and apps can verify themselves with the server to confirm that link belongs to the app and not other
- Android Pay
This is the full replacement of Google Wallet, it uses NFC and Host Card Emulation, Google says is about simplicity, security and choice, works with all four major CC providers, Visa, Master Cards, American Express and Discover, Android pay will come pre-installed on AT&T, Verizon and T-mobile on new devices, it’ll work in 700,000 stores in the US and also for purchasing apps, and in-app purchases on Google play, Android Pay is not limited to M it will work with any device running 4.4 and up that support NFC though Fingerprint support for Pay its limited to M, more information about Pay can be found on the spoiler below
- Fingerprint Support
With the M release, Fingerprint support will be backed into Android natively, no need for OEM to create special drivers or API’s to support a fingerprint sensor, M will standardize that across all of android this will also allow developers take advantage of the feature to support secure logins and the like
- Improved Power management and Hardware Support
Lastly the M release will improve power consumption on android again mainly with the introduction of Doze, a new feature that will use the sensors on the device to kill background processes when the in stand by mode though alarms and priority service will still be active, Google is reporting Doze can give up to twice the battery life on the Nexus 9, also M will included native support for USB type C and with comes especial features due to the hardware capabilities, like using the device to charge another device instead of charging itself, so you can share power with your friends.
Hopefully with these features we will see longer battery and better hardware utilization with the new models