Back at Google I/O in May, Google announced “Android M”, the latest version of its Android operating system. Almost immediately, they released a preview build for developers to tinker with. It was a bit buggy, sure — but it let developers test their apps and get to know the new OS before everyone else got their hands on it.
Today, Google is taking a second swing with the release of Android M Developer Preview 2.
So how do you get this latest build?
First, you need a compatible device — that is, the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, or Nexus 9. From there, it depends on whether or not you’re running that previously released build of Android M; if yes, you can get version two via the built-in OTA update screen. If no, you’ll have to go download the image and flash it onto your device manually.
Wondering what’s new from version 1 to version 2?
API additions can be pretty exciting stuff if you’re a developer — but if you’re just a casual user, don’t worry too much about rushing onto this latest build.
With that said, Android M will bring some sleek additions to the table when it’s ready for public consumption. Things like:
- A better App Permissions system: Apps will ask for permissions when they need them, rather than in one big unreadable prompt at install.
- Android Pay: Android’s new built-in mobile payments system. It’s like Google Wallet — except it’s now built in at an OS level, and since Google is working more closely with carriers this time, it should actually be supported on almost all newly released Android phones
- Doze: Improved power-saving logic for apps that try to sync when your device is asleep.
- USB Type C support
Alas, like all builds of Android… even once Google says it’s ready to ship, it’s up to your phone manufacturer and carrier to actually send it your way. Which… can take a while.