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series_android_m_feature_spotlights

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Battery Usage Chart Shows Bars For Camera And Flashlight Usage

Marshmallow's first developer preview may have been released several months ago, but we're still discovering lots of little new enhancements and features. In Android 6.0, the battery history chart now displays separate bars for both camera and flashlight usage, in addition to the usual bars for things like GPS and WiFi. If you don't see them yet, it's likely because you haven't used either since you last charged your device, which is the default behavior for almost every other bar in the chart.

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[Harshmallows Part 2] You Can Send More Androids To Their Certain Death In Marshmallow's Easter Egg Multiplayer Mode

Boy did those poor green robots not learn their lesson from trying to escape the deathly grip of lollipops or what! Not only are they back, stupidly hoping for another outcome with the new marshmallow monsters, but they brought along friends for the ride. As if seeing one green robot collapse on the floor, hit its head on the ceiling, or tumble to its demise on a killer 'shmallow wasn't enough, now you gotta endure the sight of five more equally innocent but differently colored Androids do just the same. This easter egg is all kinds of evil, just like we predicted from that one screenshot we saw last month.

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[Update: Same In Final 6.0] System UI Tuner Is Alive And Well In Android 6.0 Preview 3, But There's A New Way To Activate It

Initially, upon flashing the third developer preview of Android 6.0, we thought our beloved System UI Tuner had gone the way of the dodo. Not so - it's still here, it's just a little less obvious how to get it. If you flashed the latest developer preview and didn't wipe your user data (or received it via OTA), you probably didn't even notice anything changed aside from a little gear icon in your settings shortcut in the quick toggle area, and that little icon is key - press and hold it to activate (or deactivate) the system UI tuner, which will then appear at the bottom of the settings app.

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Here's The Cute Little Android 6.0 Marshmallow USB Debug Icon

Every major version renaming of Android brings with it a series of new graphics and designs to enjoy that are interspersed across the interface. One of these is the USB Debug icon that shows up in the notification bar. Traditionally it has followed the naming of the version, but with two eyes and two antennae, so on Android 5.0 and 5.1, we had a mutant lollipop-insect icon, and over the previous versions we've seen all kinds of desserts become droid-like creatures.

When Android M's previews were released, the icon was a simple M graphic akin to the M logo but in plain white, because we didn't know what the dessert name would be.

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Android M Begins Locking Down Floating Apps, Requires Users To Grant Special Permission To Draw On Other Apps

 

Floating apps have become emblematic of Android's unique flexibility and range. No other mobile OS allows non-system apps to directly interact with users and overtake the screen while another app is supposed to be in the foreground. This capability allows for a powerful and customizable user experience, but it can also quickly become a problem if an app is poorly implemented or its developer abuses this privilege for malicious purposes.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is setting some new rules for drawing on the screen. Starting with Developer Preview 3, apps targeting API 23 (or above) will have to ask users to grant permission for them to draw on top of other apps.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Emergency Calls Automatically Display The Nearest Contact Center And Your Current Location

This feature has taken us a long time to confirm, readers - sorry about that. Testing it would have required us to call 9-1-1 for the sole purpose of testing out a neat new tool on a smartphone, and aside from being extremely illegal, none of us wanted to explain to a hard-working emergency dispatcher that we were using a vital service to write up a blog post. And on that note, please, please don't test out this feature on your own Android M preview build. We're only sharing a screenshot sent in to us by a reader which we assume was taken during an actual emergency.

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Google Translate 4.3 Includes Systemwide Translation Option For Devices Running Marshmallow

Are you tired of having to copy text, flip to the Translate app, paste the text, copy the translated text, then paste it back into whatever you're working on? It appears Google has you covered, as long as you're running Android 6.0. Taking advantage of Marshmallow's new contextual selection functionality, it appears that the latest version of the Google Translate app has added the ability to translate words on the fly from text fields that follow the new Text Selection behavior.

translate_systemwide_2 translate_systemwide_1

It goes without saying that this is incredibly useful. Besides translate, the mind wanders at the possibility of what else could be done with the contextual selection features in Marshmallow.

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Android Marshmallow Preview 3 Adds Per-App Battery Usage In mAh (Milliamp-Hours) To Battery Use Details Area

While Android's own battery stats have always been quite robust compared to, say, iOS, many have long yearned for even more practical but granular statistics to help them evaluate their device's power consumption. In the third Android 6.0 developer preview, Google has now added a new field to battery stats for individuals apps: usage of battery capacity in mAh.

Screenshot_20150818-135438 Screenshot_20150818-135403 Screenshot_20150818-135448

Milliamp-hours are used (as opposed to milliwatt-hours) because this is how smartphone batteries are rated to consumers, and the unit more or less works if you just want a device-specific measurement of consumption. Of course, because it's a computed usage, it's hard to say how accurate or meaningful the figure really is (if you have any insight on this, feel free to enlighten us in the comments).

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Latest Marshmallow Dev Preview Introduces A Streamlined Volume Animation

One of the greatest problems in stock Android since the debut of Lollipop last year has been the volume slider - putting aside Lollipop's initially confusing volume modes, the slider unceremoniously pops into place when the user hits the volume keys on their device. Of course I'm kidding, but nevertheless it looks like Google has enhanced the volume controls in the latest Marshmallow dev preview with some motion design love.

Now, when users hit a volume key, the panel slides into place from off canvas. The slider's current position is highlighted with its own translucent halo (which may or may not really be necessary).

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