Android M Is Marshmallow Running Android 6.0
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The tantalizing wait is over. The tasty treat in the latest Android codename is Marshmallow. For developers the fact that the SDK is Android 6.0 signals important changes.

Google has created traditions around its successive Android versions. Starting with Cupcake and continuing alphabetically they have been named after sweet, sugary confectionery - just the thing that developers need to provide a burst of energy when they have drained their resources.

The other is that a statue is added to the lawn at Google's Mountain View Headquarter as each name is announced.




In this video Nat and Lo, two Google employees who reveal interesting behind the scenes facts about the company they work for find out more about the Android naming process and how the statues are made:



As well as unveiling the statue and revealing that M means Marshmallow, Google has made available the the final Developer Preview of its SDK, announcing that it is Android 6.0  and API level 23.

The most important change that merits an integer increment is that the SDK introduces a new permissions model, where users can now directly manage app permissions at runtime. According to the documentation:

This model gives users improved visibility and control over permissions, while streamlining the installation and auto-update processes for app developers. Users can grant or revoke permissions individually for installed apps.

One very welcome behavior change is new power-saving optimizations for idle devices and apps: 

  • Doze: If a user unplugs a device and leaves it stationary, with its screen off, for a period of time, the device goes into Doze mode, where it attempts to keep the system in a sleep state. In this mode, devices periodically resume normal operations for brief periods of time so that app syncing can occur and the system can perform any pending operations.

  • App Standby: App Standby allows the system to determine that an app is idle when the user is not actively using it. The system makes this determination when the user does not touch the app for a certain period of time. If the device is unplugged, the system disables network access and suspends syncs and jobs for the apps it deems idle.

Changes to the Wi-Fi and networking API which limit how your apps can interfere with and connect and disconnect devices from other networks also seem worthwhile.

Another enhancement is that when users select text in your app, you can now display text selection actions such as Cut, Copy, and Paste in a floating toolbar.

See the Behavior Changes section of the Preview documentation for several more.

New features in Android 6.0 included new APIs to let you authenticate users by using their fingerprint scans on supported devices, and check how recently the user was last authenticated using a device unlocking mechanism (such as a lockscreen password). 

A more powerful app linking feature allows you to associate an app with a web domain you own. Based on this association, the platform can determine the default app to use to handle a particular web link and skip prompting users to select an app. There is also full data backup and restore for apps but this means that If users delete their Google accounts, their backup data is deleted as well.  

For details of many more new features see the API Overview.

Android Marshmallow will be launched this Fall. Meanwhile Google Play will accept API 23 apps via Google Play Developer Console. On the Android Developerblog, Jamal Eason, the Android Product Manager advises: 

To make sure that your updated app runs well on Android Marshmallow and older versions, we recommend that you use Google Play’s newly improved beta testing feature to get early feedback, then do a staged rollout as you release the new version to all users.



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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 August 2015 )