Some interesting news was announced at the Google I/O 2015 developer conference – the launch of Android Marshmallow, or simply known as the ‘Android M.’
The new operating software (OS) is pegged for release in November 2015 and is believed to succeed the previous OS, the Android 5.1 Lollipop by a fairly large margin, owing to a host of new and interesting features.
With the launch of Android M and its numerous benefits for phones and tablets, there is also a wide array of interesting Android M features available for smartwatches, be it the Pebble Time Steel or the Moto 360. Here are some of the new and upgraded features on Android M for smartwatches:
1) App permissions are far more controlled
App permissions have been fine-tuned for smartwatches. This means that when walking along a street, you can give your apps permission to access contacts and your files at the very point you ask it to.
With earlier Android versions, app permissions were granted at the point of installation. With this change, app permissions will be controlled and your smartwatch will have a dedicated section to show you which apps have specific access to your contacts, pictures and so forth.
Previously, Google’s foray into hand-writing recognition was limited to the Google Translate app and through the Google Input Tool. It will now be possible to use hand-writing recognition on the watch…and use it to draw ‘emojis’.
The hand-writing recognition for emojis on smartwatches supports hundreds of emojis that can be used for emails, WhatsApp etc.
3) Apps can be left in a low-power state
The new Android M ‘battery optimization’ feature for smartwatches boasts of ‘energy conservation’ and ‘battery optimization’. Battery life can be managed despite the number of apps running in the background.
Android M inactivates apps automatically and shuts them down until and unless the need for them arises again. You can alternatively get into the Battery Optimizations section in Android M and get the smartwatch to ignore the optimizations.
A new and updated version of the ‘wrist recognition’ feature is available on smartwatches with the Android M. If you want to scroll through notifications, messages or even the weather for the next seven days, you can do so by twisting your wrist in a whole number of ways.
Though it may take a fair amount of practice initially, information can be found relatively quickly – though at the cost of perhaps some funny looks if done in public. You also want to make sure you don’t accidently call someone by turning a door knob – so choose which ones to activate and what for carefully!