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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Formal MIDI Support And Several Other Improvements For Audio Input And Output Are On The Way

Under the hood improvements don't always get much love, but there is a segment of Android users that will be thrilled to hear about what Google has done for those working with audio. The headlining change is an API for MIDI, which is the primary interface for communicating music-oriented information between devices. The net result of this will be making it far easier for developers to create apps that interact with hardware for making music or other sorts of sounds.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] You Can Enable And Disable Battery Saver By Voice

Google added a battery saver mode in Android 5.0 that disables various features when you need to conserve juice. You could activate it manually or have it flip on at a certain battery level. Android M adds a third option—voice.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] You Can Undo And Redo Text Changes With Bluetooth Keyboard Shortcuts

Sprinkled inside the big M letter slide during Google I/O was a list of new features on the platform, most of which we have discussed (and some of which we are still to discuss) in our M Feature Spotlight articles. One of these was a mysterious "Undo/Redo keyboard shortcuts" that you can spot in the seventh line on the left in the image below.


After stumbling to figure out what this exactly was, we reached out to Dave Burke who explained that M now supports the CTRL+Z and CTRL+Shift+Z shortcuts in text fields in Android M.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Multi-Select To Merge, Delete, Or Share Contacts

The updated contacts app in Android M has a nifty little trick up its sleeve. You can select multiple contacts from the main list to merge, delete, or share all at once. You would think this feature already existed somewhere in the stock app, but apparently not.


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[Android M Feature Spotlight] A Modern Material Bluetooth Icon Makes Its Way To The Share Menu

Stop the presses! We have groundbreaking news for you, fellow Android lovers with a knack for detail and an insatiable thirst for Material. If you remember Lollipop, you'll recall that this archaic OS had an even more archaic icon for Bluetooth when you went to share something. Oh, you've already hard reset your brain and can't recall anything prior to M? Here, let me jog your memory with a screenshot.

bluetooth-icon-old bluetooth-icon-new

Left: Barfville. Right: Yeah baby yeah! 


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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Faster Text Selection And A Floating Toolbar For Text Actions

During its I/O keynote, Google glanced a bit over a new text selection behavior in Android M, but the changes are interesting enough to further dwell over.

First up is a faster way to select text in M, where after highlighting the first word, you can drag to expand the selected text, word by word, but then when you try to retract you can be more precise and move by character. It should make it easier to pick bigger chunks of text without having to painstakingly try to hit the end of the word you want, while still giving you freedom should you want to truncate the selection in the middle of a word.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Stock Android Now Appears To Support rSAP For "Premium" Bluetooth In Some Vehicles

If you have a vehicle with "enhanced" or "premium" Bluetooth support, your Android phone may or may not have supported that protocol, known as rSAP, to date. If you had a Nexus handset, it definitely didn't (unless you used some kind of root rSAP profile solution), because the functionality wasn't built into the Android OS. rSAP, for the record, allows you to connect your vehicle to a mobile network over Bluetooth using your phone's SIM card to authenticate against, allowing things like in-car Wi-Fi hotspots, connectivity to in-car apps requiring mobile data, and potentially other features depending on the brand of car.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] A Quick Look At Changes To The Dialer App

Android M has a lot of cool new features, and we're working hard to highlight as many of the good ones as we can. In this post, I'm going to quickly go over some of the changes we're seeing in the stock dialer app, which actually got a bit of a refresh all around.

First up, space is being used more efficiently, thanks to the most recent call card no longer being a thing.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Volume Controls Provide Quick Access To Individual Ringtone, Media, And Alarm Volume Again

The Lollipop update attached all the priority notification settings to the volume dialog, but you might recall most of that is gone. There's a little bit of Do Not Disturb in the Android M volume toggle, but more important is the improved access to individual volumes.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] There Is Now A Dedicated Default Apps UI

While many OEM-specific UI layers and custom ROMs have offered it for quite some time, stock Android has never featured a "default app" management interface for some reason. This doesn't really make much sense, considering Google introduced this whole default app thing to Android and it remains one of the OS's nicest features.

With Android M, it looks like we're finally getting a way to manage defaults without just using the draconian "reset app preferences" button. Here's what it looks like - just go to the apps area in settings and hit the 3-dot menu.

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From there, you'll see the "Default Apps" option, and then a list of activities mapped to specific applications.

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