Better power management with Doze
Among the other features coming to Android M, Burke listed better power management through a technology called Doze. Using motion detection, a smartphone will know when a phone is at rest at night, for instance -- and will be able to put apps asleep in power-saving mode. Burke said using Doze can give a phone twice the battery life in standby.
On the charging side, he said M will support use of USB Type C power connectors to improve the time it takes to charge a battery by three to five times. Type C devices can also work in bi-directional mode, meaning they can accept a charge but also can charge another device.
Other new features of the hundreds coming to M include simplified volume controls, improvements to linking from one app to another, improvements to Web browsing, and changes to app permissions. On the latter, Burke said a user will be asked each time whether a microphone should be turn on, for example, inside an app, instead of just at the installation of the app.
Google also rehashed some recently announced improvements coming "in the next few weeks" to Android Wear, the OS used for wearables such as smartwatches. The improvements include the ability to scroll through screens with the flick of a wrist and to leave apps in the on position; that latter idea makes it easier to consult a Google Map at a quick glance, for instance.
David Singleton, director of Android Wear, said there are now 4,000 apps built specifically for Android Wear. "If you can dream it, you can build it," he told the developers in the room.
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