Google Unveils Android M at I/O Meet

Embedded software developers have a new toy to play with. At its recently concluded I/O conference, Google showcased its latest addition to the Android stable, the Android M. The last Android release was Android Lollipop.

Android M is supposed to have a smoother, more intuitive user interface. There are a number of developments in this version. For one, users can search results to consume less data, which makes it suitable for users in remote locations.

Battery drain is also a big problem with smartphones. To counter this, Google has introduced a new feature called Doze in Android M. Doze uses motion detection to gauge when a device is not being used. When it detects inactivity, it shuts down processes that consume a lot of power.

Thanks to this app, Nexus 9 handsets on Android M last twice as long as Nexus 9 handsets running Android Lollipop. Android M also supports Android Pay (a near field communication based application) with fingerprint identification capability. All these developments present fresh opportunities for embedded developers.

In another interesting development, Google also showcased an operating system for the up and coming Internet of Things called Brillo OS. The new system is based on the Android architecture, but it has been customized for lower requirements. It supports Bluetooth (low energy), WiFi and many other IoT essentials. Another development at the I/O developer meet was the launch of Weave, a cross platform common language which will help IoT devices and the internet to communicate with each other.