It’s official: The new version of Android is coming. Android M, as it’s currently code-named, was unveiled today at the Google I/O developer conference. The update has a host of new features, including several that will make apps feel more like the World Wide Web.
With Android M, Google is tightening the links between apps using App Links, which allow developers to explicitly define which apps to use to open various links. For the user, this feature will remove the friction involved in manually selecting which app to use and will make jumping between apps feel more like clicking links on the web.
Google is also giving developers new tools for integrating Chrome into their apps. Chrome Custom Tabs is a new feature that allows third-party apps to wrap their functionality around a customized version of the Chrome browser. This way, developers don’t need to build their own browsers into their apps, and users don’t need to jump around from app to app as much. It also gives both developers and users access to Chrome’s functionality, like saved passwords, Google Translate, and Chrome’s security preferences.
By baking the browser more thoroughly into apps and tightening the links between apps, Android M aims to craft a more seamless, web-like experience for people using Android on their phones or tablets.
These aren’t the only new features in Android M. It will also ship with more granular, easy-to-manage app permissions, which can be added or revoked on a per-feature basis at any time. For instance, if you decide you don’t want Instagram to access your location, but still want it to access your photos and microphone, you can make those changes under Settings in Android M.
Other notable features include better power management, standardized support for fingerprint scanners, and biometric authentication (including for contactless payments) and improvements to voice control and Google Now.