[Android M Feature Spotlight] The Stock Keyboard Now Has A Split-Screen Mode On Larger Devices
[Android M Feature Spotlight] The Notification Shade Will Now Drop Down Closer To Where You Touch On Tablets
[Android M Feature Spotlight] Native Bluetooth Stylus Support Is Here
[Android M Feature Spotlight] The New Share Menu Is Simplified, Shows Many More Apps At Once Instead Of One Option Per Line
[Android M Feature Spotlight] Deep Linking Without Selector Prompts Can Be Changed Or Removed By Users On A Per-App Basis
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Wireless styli have generally been relegated to the Windows and iOS world, but now that more and more connected accessories are using Bluetooth, there are fewer reasons than ever for tools like these not to be universal. With Android "M," Google is introducing native support for Bluetooth styluses. Developers are, of course, getting APIs to interact with these devices, and that's where we're getting our information - the API overview for M.
Pressure sensitivity and accuracy make connected styluses much better than their capacitive cousins, and for the creative types out there, full cross-platform compatibility should end up making the product ecosystem as a whole better. Granted, the fancier styluses out there will still probably need their respective apps and software to get full functionality on Android, so this probably isn't an instant solution as much as it is laying the groundwork for future products from the likes of Wacom and Adobe.
Developers can easily add in stylus support to their applications, which essentially just entails writing in some code to recognize the button inputs on the pens, with the OS taking care of all the pressure sensitivity business.
Could native smart stylus support render the stylus-enabled screens of devices like the Note series redundant? I suppose there's an argument for compactness and a built-in holder, but I can't see a very good reason to pay for a stylus-ready display on something like a tablet if you've got a whole ecosystem of pens and associated software out there to choose from now. Then again, a native stylus may be more accurate - I'm not exactly a mobile pen expert, so I'll leave that to the graphic designers and doodlers among you to debate.
Here's the relevant part (starting at 26:32) of the What's New in Android talk at I/O 2015:
- Android Developers