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Several key Android M features may have just been revealed

Published May 7th, 2015 10:20AM EDT
Android M Features: Google I/O 2015

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Whether it wanted to or not, Google confirmed that Android M is coming at Google I/O 2015 in a schedule section for the upcoming event. The full name of Android M is yet to be announced, and its features still remain a mystery for the time being. However, the same Google I/O schedule reveals other details about Google’s upcoming announcements, and several of them are likely tied to the future of Android.

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“Voice Access” is one of the features that Android M might introduce, Phandroid reports. Essentially, developers will be invited to add voice as a new interaction method in their apps, in addition to touch. It’s likely that support for such features will be built into Android M, so apps can offer users hands-free access to apps.

One other potential Android M feature might be “Nearby,” Android Police notes, a feature that was rumored in the past. Nearby would let Android devices communicate with people, places and devices in close proximity. It’s not clear, however, whether an update to Android M would be required to have Nearby features enabled on compatible devices. The publication notes that Nearby will be enabled with a Play Services update.

In addition to “Nearby,” a developer session called “Proximity-Based Communication” can also be found on the Google I/O schedule, hinting at future smartphone functionality that might be enabled in Android M.

Material Design will be a major focus at Google. After looking at the full schedule, 9to5Google discovered a “handful” of Material Design sessions scheduled at Google I/O, including one aptly called “Bringing Material Design to life on Android.”

The blog also notes sessions for other Google products including Chromecast, Maps, messaging, virtual reality and Nest. These may very well be related to Android M in one way or another.

A session called “Designing games for Google Cast” will teach developers how to make games that will offer users a “multi-screen interactive format.”

Google I/O takes place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California from May 28th to May 30th, and BGR will be on hand reporting live from the event.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.