Android M has a lot of little improvements but we’ve listed our top five personal favourites.
At the Nexus conference today, Google unveiled the final build of Android Marshmallow 6.0. This new operating system brings forth plenty of new features that focus on refinement rather than revolution. We’ve picked out the Top 5 best improvements to happen in Android 6.0.
1. Standardised Fingerprint support
Up until now, fingerprint sensors have been an optional feature in Android. Any manufacturer who wished to use one would need to hard code the implementation themselves as the operating system carried no native support. With Android Marshmallow, the feature is baked into the OS. It’s now possible to make payments and integrate the sensor into applications, giving plenty of potential for developers. This means that any manufacturer can implement a fingerprint scanner with minimal effort, giving a huge boost to both developers and users.
Battery management has always been somewhat of an issue of in Android, with no dedicated app for monitoring usage. With Windows Phone and iOS both having applications for said use, Android was starting look a little archaic in comparison. Enter Doze, a full battery management app that does more than just turn on power saver when you’re running out of juice. This new addition dynamically monitors your usage and adjusts background processes accordingly. Google says this could double a device’s standby time, though it’s worth noting that there is a trade-off. Applications may not spring to life as instantly as before since the OS will now suspend those which are lying dormant in the background. Still, it’s a worthwhile compromise for better power efficiency we think.
3. RAM Manager
After the memorygate disaster that affected some early adopters of Android Lollipop, Google has finally introduced a RAM Manager tool that gives detailed information into background app usage. While the app won’t allow any real control over usage, the diagnostics will allow users to see exact usage of specific applications in real-time. There’s also a handy bar at the top of the RAM Manager which rates the performance of the handset overall, useful for checking at a glance to see if all of those apps are running efficiently.
4. Google Now
Google Now has gotten some big upgrades in Android M, starting with the On Tap feature that debuted earlier this year. The personal assistant
Skynet can now tap into anything currently displayed on-screen, giving relevant information immediately. Say you have an article on a famous figure open on the screen, Google Now can actually see that on your device and show information relevant to that topic. It doesn’t just work with web pages either, the feature is available throughout the entire operating system and any application. Checking your emails? Google Now can read the email, pull out key info and give recommendations. It’s pretty impressive and really does put the assistant light-years ahead of both Cortana and Siri with regards to context sensitivity.
5. Home screen update
This may seem like less of a deal than the other four but it’s an overdue feature that has been greatly missed on smaller devices. Previously, landscape mode was only available on Tablet devices or those with larger screens. With Android M, this has been extended to all devices. At last, we can see things in the correct orientation!
For more on Google, visit What Mobile’s dedicated Google page.