When the latest iteration of Google’s Android OS (Android M) was announced at the Google I/O in May, the company didn’t shy away from asserting that the developer preview(which was full of bugs initially) will receive regular updates with time. And Google isn’t going back on its word either.
Holding up to its end of the bargain, Google has today announced the second developer preview of its Android M mobile OS. The developer preview provides an early access opportunity for developers, who are the core of any software platform, to test and optimize their apps for the next release of Android.
The new preview version of Android M is available for download from developer.android.com, where there are updated images for the Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Nexus Player range of devices. The SDK has been updated as well, and for the first time ever in the Android Developer Preview program, devices that are running the old version of Android M will be sent an OTA update for the new version. If you’re using an emulator, you can update via the SDK Manager in Android Studio.
If you already have the first Android M Developer Preview loaded on the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or the Nexus Player, you can update to Preview 2 by going to Settings > About phone > System updates. Click on “Check For Update.”
So what changes can you expect to notice? A significant amount of focus has been put on fixing and improving ‘permissions,’ including the fingerprint scanner API, remote Bluetooth/MAC, WiFi, and Bluetooth. You can find the changelog from the release notes here.
Another preview is expected before the final launch of the much-awaited Android M before year-end.
Android M’s Q3 launch is expected to bring forth the following major features like user control over app permissions, a fingerprint API, a power-saving “Doze” mode, and USB type-C support. Over time, it is expected to come out with ‘Google Now on Tap’ as well.
You could expect a few bugs here and there, since the consumer launch is still a few months away(judging from the set of changes and APIs introduced so far). Known issues include Messenger app crash on a 64-bit emulator, while YouTube users may have to skip on the share function. Android enthusiasts can flash the ROM if they wish, but beware of the stability issues they might face as this is only a beta release.