Android M is the Android codename for the upcoming 6.0 update of the open source Android mobile operating system. The Android M release was first announced at Google I/O in May 2015 and is expected to make its official debut in October or November 2015 as the successor to the “Lollipop” Android 5.0 and 5.1 releases.
Unlike earlier releases of the Android mobile OS, the M release of Android didn’t initially carry a dessert-themed moniker, but Google did eventually provide the Marshmallow codename for the Android M release in August 2015. At the same time, Google also announced a new software developers kit (SDK) for Marshmallow and a final M Preview release to support it.
What’s New in Android M
The Android M Release is expected to refine the enhanced Material Design user interface that debuted in Lollipop, and will also feature the new Android Pay system, better app management, improved battery life and built-in support for fingerprint authentication and USB Type-C.
Android M will additionally include enhancements to the Google Now intelligent virtual assistant technology. Google Now has added contextual abilities and awareness of location, both in terms of geographical location as well as location within the phone itself via the new “Now on Tap” functionality. “Now on Tap” provides developers with the ability to build Google Now access into apps, providing contextual help directly within apps.
The Android M Release follows a number of earlier updates for Android, including Cupcake (v1.5), Donut (v1.6), Eclair (v2.0), FroYo (v2.2), Gingerbread (v2.3), Honeycomb (v3.0), Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0), Jelly Bean (v4.1, v4.2 and v4.3), KitKat (v4.4) and Lollipop (v5.0).