It’s that time of the year when Google showcases to its developers what they are up to and where they want the community to focus. They also introduce the G’s and I’s of Android. This year it is the ‘M’. Marshmallow or Mishti Doi, by the time it reaches to most of us it will be stale. I am sure many people in India must be still surviving on ice cream sandwiches. Coming back to ‘M’ (why do I have a feeling I am reviewing a James Bond Film?) , it will not be much different from the Lollipop on the surface at-least for people with average intelligentsia like myself. It basically continues with the material designs and other good things of Lollipop. ‘L’ in itself was a huge upgrade and is quite a recent one so doing too much would have been little too early. But there are some bits in the I/O which I found interesting and very useful for general public and here are my top picks
Yes you heard it right. Actually photos is the app me, you and every person who uses an Android phone will use and more so in the future as all your photos and videos you upload here will be free for life and unlimited. Yes again you heard it right UNLIMITED. You can access these photos and videos from all devices which has this app, even iPhone and windows PC. There are quite a bit of enhancements in the app and it has become much more easy to operate.
Google Now (Now on Tap)
After all Google is a search engine and they should be doing searches well. Google now is now contextually more strong. When you long press the center button it will show you results and related app links by understanding what you are trying to understand or find or do next. That means you work gets faster.
The browser the links better with apps and you don’t need to use in app browsers. Chrome will blend with the look and feel of the app and the transition will be seamless. You remember the options you get when you press a Facebook link in a message or mail and you get options, well you will not see them anymore and you will be straight taken to the app you wish to open or the page you wish to read.
Battery life and power management
After project Volta in Lollipop Google with the ‘M’ edition brings in ‘Doze’. It basically hibernates you device when not in use for long time. For sensing usage it will use various censors and other mambo jumbo. It will reduce the app refresh rates and hence cutting some of the multitasking abilities of android but it will still give you priority notifications. You all know Android phones are power guzzlers hence I think this is a pretty neat thing.
Currently when you download an app, it basically asks you for numerous permissions. in Android M there will be no permission asked initially. It will only ask you permissions in the app when you are using some feature and you need hardware or software to activate you perform the task. I think this went like a rocket over you head but that’s the simplest I could explain you.
I know Nokia already has it with Here Maps but still it makes a lot of sense for a country like India where call drops and network connectivity are questionable to have offline capabilities. A for me I will download an offline Delhi NCR map and enjoy turn by turn voice navigation. BY the way do you know your friend You tube already has an off line function. It was debuted few months back in India. You can download a video when you are on WiFi and watch it later, cool.
Honorary mention – Pay & Fingerprint scanner
How many of you have used Apple pay in India, I am sure no one has even used NFC for anything more than tapping and playing music. So another year or two forget it will come to India.
Fingerprint scanner are now integrated in the system so companies like Samsung and HTC need not make their own software for their scanners. also in future more mid range phones can afford a fingerprint scanner.
I missed Chromecast in I/O though, instead we had HBO Now
So there you are my top 5. Of-course Google had many more things to showcase in the I/O like Android wear (Timex, Rolex, Tag, HMT???), Android Auto (Which one uses it yet in India), Nest (my house uses a Godrej lock). I would still like to talk about tow things
Endless possibilities for the future especially in the education system and gaming.
Connecting the next billion geeks
Optimizing the data usage so that people can work with lesser internet speeds. Much needed for countries like India.
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This time there was no one jumping on the roof.