Android M officially outlined at Google I/O 2015

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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