Google unveils plans for next version of Android

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Android M will introduce Android Pay, support for fingerprint scanners, improved power management and Now on Tap

Google has revealed its plans for the next version of its Android operating system, which is due to launch in the autumn.

“Android M” will be the follow-up to Lollipop, which was released in September, and will bring a host of new features to the Android operating system.

New features that were announced at Google I/O in San Francisco include a newly designed app drawer, a RAM manager that Google says could help improve performance and changes ot Google Chrome, Google Photos and Google Now.

Now, Google’s personal assistant software, will be given a new feature called “Now on Tap”, which provides Now content (such as weather and travel updates) without having to leave apps you’re currently using.

M is for…?

Google did not reveal the exact name of Android M, but it is likely to be named after another sweet, following Lollipop and Key Lime Pie.

The update will also add “standardised support” for fingerprint scanners. Several manufacturers, including Samsung and Apple, have already included fingerprint technology on their handsets, but Android M will also allow the tech to be used on the Google Play store, if you have a device with the necessary hardware.

It also includes Google’s new mobile payment system Android Pay, which will allow Android users in the US use their phone as a credit card in more than 700,000 stores. It includes support from American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, although no details about UK availability were disclosed. android m

Google said a new feature called Doze will help improve battery life when an Android smartphone is on standby by using motion detectors to recognise when a device hasn’t been used for awhile.

Google said it had tested two Nexus 9 devices, one running Android M and the other running Lollipop, with the former device lasting twice as long in standby as the latter.

The software giant also said it was making changes to app permissions.

“We’re greatly simplifying app permissions,” said Google’s Dave Burke. “Apps will now ask you for permissions the first time you try to use a feature, instead of asking during app installation.”

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