Thursday, 7 May 2015

Google will announce Android M at I/O keynote this month

Just as it's done in years past, Google will unveil the latest version of Android at its annual I/O developer conference. The company hasn't officially come out and confirmed this directly, but a session description that briefly appeared as part of the I/O schedule made specific mention of "Android M." (The session in question has now been removed from Google's I/O website.) When it was announced in 2014, Android 5.0 was first known as "Android L" before Google revealed its final "Lollipop" name months later. And while that version has so far made it to just 10 percent of all Android devices, Google isn't slowing down any in pushing the operating system forward.
Sadly the I/O session descriptions don't offer too many details on what to expect; the "Android at Work" session only says Android M "brings power of Android to all kinds of workplaces." Google has already started putting Android everywhere it can; it's on phones, tablets, in cars, powering TVs, and even running on Chrome OS. Now it sounds like there'll be a greater focus on making Android a force in the enterprise — and Google obviously needs developers to play a role in that.

Improved notifications and more powerful voice controls could be coming in Android M

Another session focused on "interruptions" hints that the company has been working to refine the new approach to notifications that came alongside Lollipop. Yet another session mentions something called "Voice Access" and suggests Google wants to let users control every feature of Android apps (and the device they're running on using only their voice. This would expand beyond the "OK Google" commands that are possible now. Google describes Voice Access as such:
Mobile hardware has adopted the touch screen as the primary mode of input. And with 1 billion active Android users, there’s no sign of this slowing down. What if you could provide users with a new method of access to your apps with little to no development overhead? In this talk, we introduce Voice Access, a service that gives anyone access to their Android device through voice alone. We will focus on simple steps developers can follow to ensure that Voice Access provides an optimal experience within their apps.
What might these changes look like? We'll know in only a few short weeks. Google's I/O keynote led by Sundar Pichai kicks off May 28th at 12:30PM.
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