Google I/O 2015 is just getting started and Google kicked off the conference with an announcement about its highly anticipated Android M. As expected, Google has added new app permissions controls for Android so users have more control over what data they share with developers. The biggest change here is that Android apps will ask for permissions whenever you use specific features within the app instead of before you install the app.
Google also took the wraps off Android Pay for the first time, which is Google’s attempt to breathe new life into its old Google Wallet mobile payments platform. Google says Android Pay will work at over 700,000 stores that accept contactless payments in the United States. Like with Google Wallet and Apple Pay, Android Pay will be based on NFC technology, which has become the standard tech for mobile payments.
Another important new feature is native support for fingerprint scanners, which will go hand-in-hand with Android Pay to help users securely authorize payments with their phones. Although many Android OEMs have released phones with fingerprint sensors before, this is the first time it will become a part of the Android platform itself.
Google is also going to address users’ battery power concerns with a new feature called Doze that will turn off all your device’s background activity when it detects it’s not being used. Google says this feature doubles the standby time on Android devices.
Like Apple, Google is also embracing USB Type-C ports for its devices that offer faster charging and that can be used for multiple functions. Google has already started using USB Type-C ports on its Chromebook laptops and Apple unveiled its first USB Type-C-equipped laptop earlier this year with its new 2015 MacBook.
Android M will be available as a developer preview today and Google’s goal is to have the final version released in the third quarter this year.
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