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Android M officially outlined at Google I/O 2015

Luke Johnson

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Android

Move over Android Lollipop, Google has just announced your replacement, Android M.

While the software’s full title has yet to be disclosed, the search giant has outlined a number of new Android M-bound features, with the smartphone software set to bring the whole Google ecosystem closer together.

Instead of introducing headline new functionality, Google has confirmed that Android M will focus largely on “making everything work better together”.

“We always start I/O by giving an update of our upcoming platform release,” Google’s Senior Vice President of Products, Sundar Pichai said during the company’s Google I/O keynote.

He added: “L was a major release for us in which we tackled many form factors. With Android M we have really gone back to basics.

“We have really focussed on polish and quality. We have solved thousands of bugs and really focussed on making everything work better together.”

Pichai’s comments were echoed up by Google’s Vice President of Engineering, David Burke, who suggested quality was at the heart of M.

“This year we have made a conscious decision to focus on quality, end-to-end,” he stated.

“The central theme of M is improving the core user experience of Android. Our focus is on product excellence. Everything from squashing hundreds of bugs to thinking about how the platform has worked for years.”

Related: Android M features: What's new?

So what changes will we see in Google's next major software update to Android? One major addition is a new mobile payment platform, dubbed 'Android Pay'.

It's a not-so-subtle direct rival to Apple Pay, and will allow users to make contactless payments through NFC readers, as well as inside applications.

Another key feature of Android M is support for fingerprint sensors; the API for this will be open to developers. This means fingerprints can soon be used to unlock your phone, as well as for app security.

What's special about the fingerprint feature is that it will also allow you to make mobile payments using Android Pay; think Apple Pay and Touch ID, but Google-flavoured.

The final major revelation on Android M is that Google is in talks with manufacturers to make USB-C ports the standard on future M-powered smartphones.

USB-C is a new type of device connection that will eventually replace Micro USB, and recently debuted on Apple's new MacBook for 2015.

Check out our full round-up of Android M features right here.

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