Google I/O 2015: Android OS M Revealed

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | May 29, 2015 - 03:42 PM |
Tagged: Android, google, google io, google io 2015

I'll be honest with you: I did not see a whole lot that interested me out of the Google I/O keynote. The company released a developer preview of their upcoming Android OS “M”, which refers to the thirteenth alphabetical release (although only eleven were formally lettered because they started with “C”upcake). Version nomenclature aside, this release is supposed to tune the experience. While the platform could benefit from a tune-up, it is also synonymous with not introducing major features.

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But some things are being added, including “Google Now on Tap”. The idea is that Google will understand what is happening on screen and allow the user to access more information about it. In a demo on Engadget, the user was looking at scores for the Golden State Warriors. She asked “When are they playing next”, actually using the pronoun “they”, and the phone brought up their next game (it was against the Cavaliers).

Fingerprint reading and Android Pay are also being added to this release.

Other than that, it is mostly performance and usability. One example is “Doze State”, which allows the OS to update less frequently when the device is inactive. It is supposed to play nice with alarms and notifications though, which is good. Normally, I would wait to see if it actually works before commenting on it, but this seems like something that would only be a problem if no-one thought of it. Someone clearly did, because they apparently mentioned it at the event.

Android M, whatever it will actually be called, is expected to ship to consumers in the Fall.

Source: Tech Report

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May 29, 2015 | 04:05 PM - Posted by derFunkenstein

This article could be called "Cool things your next Android phone will do when your contract is up"

May 29, 2015 | 05:01 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Pretty much.

May 29, 2015 | 06:57 PM - Posted by BillDStrong

No excitement about stereoscopic VR for Youtube, from the work they did on cardboard?

Or the new cardboard for 6' devices? Better battery life by being smarter, better permission system, a less confusing sharing implementation, bug fixes?

how about taking the underlying base of Android, the kernel and the underlying system, and making an internet of things developer OS. And an open stack that any device can talk to that will just work in Android?

Or, apps will be able to just use chrome for a better experience when using web content, which should directly translate to typing in passwords less on a daily basis?

Now, it was definitely toned down from the last few years.

May 30, 2015 | 03:16 AM - Posted by NamelessTed

I simply can't get excited for updates to Android any more. Google needs to start seriously focusing on how they are going to enable rolling out updates to phones faster. Many flagship devices have only just recently updated to Android L and many other will never see it.

It is insane to me that it is generally accepted that updates take forever on Android and it doesn't seem to both Google at all for some reason. Could you imagine if we had to wait for Dell or Lenovo to update a laptop? What if it took over 9 months to receive Windows 8.1? That would be completely unacceptable in the Windows world so why do we accept it with Android?

Every new outlet should be blasting Google about this issue at every possible opportunity until they figure it out. Android isn't a year or two old anymore, it is time Google grows up.

May 30, 2015 | 11:33 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You either dont understand how non Nexus Android device updates work or are trolling. Your beef is with Samsung or whoever makes the device. The manufacturer and carrier is who is slowing down the latest and the greatest as it must be modified to work with the customization. Pure Android devices like mine have been running Android 5.1.1 for a while. Maybe a Nexus device would be better for you.

May 31, 2015 | 09:20 PM - Posted by DerekR (not verified)

I think his point is still valid. Google may be rolling the new OS to its own Nexus line, but the Nexus line is a drop in the bucket when compared to the Android user base as a whole. I believe that Android 5.0 is still on less than 10% of Android devices. That is unacceptable.

Google comes out at events like this and touts its newest and greatest features, but where is it? It's hard to continue to be excited for new Android releases when I know I'm stuck on a device that won't ever get an update even though it can run the latest version of the OS. The Microsoft and Windows 8.1 example is a valid one. Could we imagine how much complaining would be coming for blogs about it?

Am I upset at Google? No, not directly. I'm annoyed with the manufacturer of my device or damn carrier who won't let the update be pushed out. Google does play a part and doesn't do anything, visible to us, to help when I think it should.

Android M looks cool. Too bad I have to wait till my next upgrade to get it, and by then it will be outdated.

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