What Should We Expect from Android M? – Part #1

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Android M

[Latest news]: Over the last weekend, Google had a step further and made Android 5.0 Lollipop available on its 2012 flagship – Nexus 4 with build number LRX21T.

While Google is continuing its launch of Android 5.0 to more and more device models (Nexus family gets the first), the successor to Android Lollipop seems to be already planned at Google. If it goes the same way, the next Android version would most likely be dubbed as Android M.

The mention of “M” appeared on Google’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP) forum back in September. One change we could see in Android M could be Colored Output in Logcat so that the output is colored similar to the ones in DDMS.

Android M first mention - colored output

And the other discussion of Android M is about Protobuf (Protocol Buffer).

Android M second mention - protobuf

First things first, let’s take a look at some quick questions among many Android users. And we made a table shown as below that will be useful for our predication (We only traced back to 2 years ago when Android Jelly Bean was published).

1. When would it be announced and released?

This is probably the question that Android enthusiasts are most concerned with every time. Lollipop is not yet popular, so it’s still a long way to get Android M. The first bet of Android M would be probably a preview on Google I/O 2015, which is in May or June next year. And we could see the announcement of Android M in September or October and get it on our devices one month later one by one. However, Android 5.0 Lollipop seems not like a gap-filler like KitKat, so a better chance to preview Android M may be in mid-2016 on Google I/O.

Android Versions

2. What would be the version of Android M? Android 5.x or Android 6.0?

Would it stay in Android 5.x with some important improvements? Or would it be different enough to merit a jump to 6.0? Based on the above screenshots, it’s still very hard to say how far the next version is going. But we think Lollipop would probably be like Jelly Bean that contains some small digits before the arrival of Android M.

3. What would be the codename?

When Android L was previewed, there were many speculations around the real name for ‘L’ until Lollipop won the title. The sweet evolution of Android from Cupcake to Lollipop surely leads to the next sweet dessert. Let’s give it a guess:

  • Android M&Ms (Google co-branded with KitKat of Nestlé one year ago, which shows a high possibility to co-brand with another food giant – Mars for Android M&Ms.)
  • Android Marshmallow
  • Android Macaron
  • Android Mud Cake
  • Android Mentos Mint (This one is also interesting. Google might bring more interesting/innovative things in Android M to give a fresh and cool feeling to users and developers.)
  • Android Muffin
  • Android Malster
  • Android Milky Way

What’s your favorite name for Andorid M? Share it with us in comments.

4. Would Android M on my phone or tablet?

To most of the Android device owners, yes. But if you still held a device with a 512 MB RAM, then it might be not the same case. As for Android 4.4 KitKat, a 512 MB RAM was deemed as a recommended minimum amount of RAM. So one or two years later, a 1024 MB RAM may be required to run Android M smoothly. Also devices that are still in the middle range but will be low end by the time of Android M might not get ‘M’ running, either.

This is our first quick talk about the rumored Android M. The second part will include more speculations on the new features/improvements that Google will bring to us in Android M. Stay tuned with us.