Google formally announced Android M (Marshmallow?) at Google I/O, and released preview images for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and the Nexus player. If you don’t own any of these devices, you can also run Android M in the emulator using the preview SDK.
- User Control of Permissions – With Android M, apps can trigger requests for permissions at runtime, and let users choose whether to allow it. For example, if your flashlight app suddenly request access to your contact list, a window may pop up and you are free to decline it. Users will also have easy access to manage all their app permissions in settings.
- Doze improves Battery Life – Android M will use motion detection to learn if a device has been used for a while, and automatically reduce background activity in other to save on battery life. Google calls this power management improvement “Doze”.
- Now on Tap – This basically let you access Google Now features from any app. For example, if you are in a chat app, and your friends mention a restaurant, you can find details within the chat app, check the menu, book a table and so on. For details visit Inside Search.
- Fingerprint Support – Flasgship phones come with a fingerprint scanner, but so far, it was not natively supported in Android, and manufacturers had their own implementation. Android M addressed this issue
- Android Pay – Android users will now be able to use their phone to securely use their Android phone to pay in stores or in thousands of Android Pay partner apps. You can find more on Android Police article . I assume this only works in the US for now (TBC)
- External Storage Support and A2DP Bluetooth streaming on Android TV. Check out Android Police article for more info.
Google also released some tools for developers such as Android Studio v1.3 preview which brings code editing and debugging for C/C++ code support among other things, an Android Design Support Library to make Material design apps easier, and Google Play services v7.5 which includes new features like Smart Lock for Passwords, new APIs for Google Cloud Messaging and Google Cast, Google Maps API on Android Wear devices, and more.
For more changes, you may also want to read Liliputing post which also shows multi-windows mode, dark mode, auto-backup for apps, and more.
Thanks to Harley for links to various resources related to Android M Preview release.