Google has pulled the wrappers off the next version of Android at its annual I/O developer conference. Dubbed Android M, it’s set to land towards the end of this year, bringing with it a series of small improvements to the platform.
In a likely sign of what's to come with Apple's iOS 9 software too, Google isn’t going big with changes to Android this year. Instead, it's refining the experience after the major overhaul of Android Lollipop.
That means that there are changes to how app permissions work. Now users will be prompted to give their permission for apps to access specific parts of a device when they need to, rather than doing so en masse when installing an app.
Google also says it’s going to make linking between apps easier, as well as opening Chrome web pages much faster from add–ons.
Android Pay is perhaps the biggest news, with the Big G’s Apple Pay rival taking front and centre when Android M launches.
Google has teamed up with 700,000 US retailers and will let users pair their MasterCard, AmEx and Visa with their mobile payment tool.
Battery life is once again a big deal. Although the rather blighted Lollipop OS claimed to address battery issues, Android remains a nightmare when it comes to battery drain.
A new feature called Doze will apparently be able to sense when a device is inactive and conserve power accordingly. It will be intriguing to see how this works in practice.
Google hasn’t said exactly when the final build of Android M will launch, but it’s expected to be out alongside new Nexus phones by the end of 2015.