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What’s Sweet About Android 6.0 Marshmallow?

Google gave its next-generation Android 6 OS an official name and gave app developers the final software development kit (SDK) they need to publish apps that leverage the platform’s new powers.

The OS, due in the fall to consumers, was code-named Android M but now gets the sweeter Marshmallow designation.

The developments were announced in a Google blog post. Android M was unveiled at Google’s I/O conference in May.

Here are some of the key features that Marshmallow will offer:

Fingerprint recognition, Android Pay: The 6.0 OS will support Android Pay and add support for fingerprint recognition, which can be used in conjunction with Android Pay or to unlock a phone.

Battery life: Doze power-saving mode will extend battery life by using motion detection to determine if the device has been left unattended for a while. If so, Android will cut back background activity.

Now on Tap: This feature lets users access Google Now information wherever they are on their device. For example, if a friend texts about going to dinner at a new restaurant, the phone owner doesn’t have to leave the texting app to launch Google Now to get restaurant reviews, menus, and directions book a table. Now On Tap deep links users into relevant apps.

USB-C connectors: The OS will support smartphones with USB-C connectors, which can be inserted any side up.

More app-permission control: An app will ask for permissions when launched, and permissions can be managed in settings. Permissions will also be flexible. If an app asks for access to the camera and microphone, for example, users can choose to grant both, one or none.

Enhanced share: From one app, users can share content via a link to a social-network app, letting users share content directly with a specific friend or community.

For more, see this API overview from Google.