After sharing a teaser video suggesting the name possibilities for the upcoming Android 6.0 operating system, Google finally confirmed Android M will be dubbed Marshmallow. Google tends to name its operating systems after desserts, and previous OS names include Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat.
Android M highlights
Android Marshmallow is billed as the most powerful Android OS yet, with hundreds of improvements, although some may be hard to notice at first. One notable feature includes a revamped permissions system that enables users to decide the information their apps can use. Users can confirm or deny access to any app. If a user downloaded WhatsApp for Android today, they would be prompted to grant permissions for the app to access the user’s contacts, calendar, photos, camera, and more. Android Marshmallow won’t ask users for permission right after the download, instead it will ask for permission for specific tasks. If a user wants to send a voice memo, they can grant the app access to the phone’s microphone. Alternatively, users can also revoke permissions from certain apps.
Android Pay and Google Now
Google Now also gets an update that allows users to access information anytime. Users can tap and hold the Google Now button to pull up queries without leaving the app they are currently using.
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One of the more exciting updates is Android Pay, a useful feature that enables users to pay for goods and services with their smartphones. Marshmallow comes with native finger support so users can confirms purchases with a fingerprint. The same feature can be used to unlock devices and make Google Play purchases.
Android M is currently available as a developer preview for Nexus 5 and 6 smartphones. It is also available on Sony handsets and tablets. The public release is expected to come during the third quarter of this year.