Google continues to tweak Android 6.0's visual interface with the latest Developer Preview, in ways both big and small. The default Google launcher has been seeing subtle changes since the M Preview was introduced, and the latest one is... interesting. The Preview 3 version of the app drawer includes a little "pop" effect when scrolling, highlighting the first app that begins with each successive letter in the alphabet. It's a little hard to describe verbally - check out the video below from YouTube user Zaid Salem. Read More
You've probably heard of Shazam. You fire up the app when a song is playing that you can't remember the name of. It will do a little magic trick, then come back with the answer and maybe even lyrics. Google's Sound Search widget does something similar, and following the update contained within the latest Android Marshmallow developer preview, it looks more up-to-date doing it.
The widget doesn't just come with a new style. The developers have also tweaked the functionality. Now the widget launches into the Google Search app's sound recognition interface rather than inside the widget itself. And there's a 1x1 widget option to choose from. Read More
We're getting very close to the final version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. See? We even have a name now. The third developer preview just came out and it contains fixes, UI tweaks, and so on. None of that will do you any good right now, but the new wallpapers it ships with will work just fine on your current device. You can grab all nine new images below. Read More
There's a new developer preview for Android M—oh wait, I mean Marshmallow, and that means lots of new features and tweaks to explore. Among the most obvious changes is a new boot animation that greets you upon starting up the device. Read More
On more than one occasion when trying out a new app and taking screenshots for the benefit of Android Police readers, something in the status bar has overshadowed the actual content I was showing off. It might be a battery in the red (which really seems to bother some people, even when they see it on someone else's phone!) or an incoming OTA update I've yet to flash. Apparently Google is tired of seeing this sort of thing in screenshots as well.
In the second version of the Android M Developer Preview, there's a new entry in the Developer options menu called "System UI tuner." (We previously took a look at this in the story about removing permanent items from the network cluster area.) Open the System UI tuner and you can also see an option called "Demo mode." Enable this, then turn it on, and your statusbar will hide all notifications, even new incoming ones, though they may still appear temporarily as heads-up notifications. Read More
The M preview changes the way Android deals with permissions. Rather than viewing a bulky list and approving all of the things an app wants access to right from the beginning, M lets you grant permission as the need arises.
Starting with the second preview, apps now need permission to access storage outside of their own personal space. This was something they could do out-of-the-box in the first preview build of Android M. Now attempting to read or write to any area that is also accessible to other apps has been designated as dangerous behavior, and you will have to allow apps to do so. Read More
Voicemails are terrible. Anyone willing to sit through the message and talk to a machine rather than send you a text message probably doesn't have good news. Android M will make the whole process a little less painful with native visual voicemail. It's just a basic implementation in the preview, and it won't work on all carriers just yet. Still, pretty cool.
Ever since Android added support for native screenshots way back in Ice Cream Sandwich, there's been a handy notification after the screenshot has been saved. In the new M preview the share button on that notification is joined by something else—a delete button. Fantastic.