As Google rolls out the latest version of its Android operating system, the Android version 6.0 Marshmallow, app development just got better. Are there any major and incremental changes to this latest update or is it just the same as its predecessors? What is Android M all about? We find out some of the key features of the update in this article.
1. Android Pay
An NFC-based payments system aimed at providing simplicity, choice and security to the users with faster and easier checkout processes. Similar to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, Android Pay is based on the Google Wallet.
2. App Permissions
Users have a greater control of the apps that they now install, which is actually a great feature. The users can choose to accept or deny permissions to individual apps as and when they are updated; the app permission process is simplified. This new feature asks for permissions when a user tries a feature, instead of asking for app permission at the time of installation.
3. Fingerprint Support
Although available on quite a few OEMs, the Marshmallow update makes the fingerprint scanning an inherent part of the operating system, which means an increase in the security and the number of devices supporting the feature.
4. Fewer Pre-installed Apps
With Google relaxing its restrictions on the number of “pre-installed” applications, smartphone manufacturers now have the ability to eliminate the number of previously mandatory pre-installed apps on the devices. Lesser bloatware means the user’s devices can allocate more space for better or other essential mobile applications.
5. Smarter Battery
With features like ‘Doze’ and ‘App Standby’, the latest version of the Android operating system significantly increases the battery life of the device. While the ‘Doze’ mode automatically puts the device in the ‘sleep’ mode when it is at rest, the ‘App Standby’ mode limits the impact of seldom-used apps on the battery life of the device.
6. Contextual Assistance
The Marshmallow update allows users to get assistance with the Now On Tap feature, without leaving what the users are currently doing. Simply touching and holding the home button will do the trick. With Direct Share, the users can share content with the right users from the right app, directly.
7. Lock Screen Personalization
With Android Marshmallow, users can now put personalized messages or their names on the lock screen using the Lock Screen Message feature. The personalized messages appear on the lock screen just below the time and date display.
8. Android Runtime (ART)
Multi-tasking also becomes faster with the latest version of Android with lower memory overhead and enhanced application performance for running multiple applications simultaneously.
9. Android For Work
The version 6 release features enhanced controls for corporate-owned and single-use devices with data usage tracking, VPN in settings and runtime permission management. Also, a work status notification briefcase bar icon that appears when users are using an application from their work profile. If the device is directly unlocked to the app in the work profile, the user is automatically notified. Additionally, when viewing past messages or receiving calls, users can access the complete work contact details, even if they are not logged into their work profiles.
For Android app developers to start developing applications that utilize these (and more) features of Android M, they must first download the Android SDK, followed by the SDK Manager to download the Android SDK 6.0 platform and the system images. And, if the app the needs to be synchronized across the web or other devices, a web application development company can seem like a feasible option.