Google releases Android M Developer Preview 2 with bug fixes and new APIs

android m lead
Credit: Jason Cross

Android M is on track for the fall, and the latest Developer Preview includes near-final APIs.

When Google released the Android M Developer Preview at Google I/O in May, it promised updates on a nearly monthly schedule leading up to launch in the fall. Today it makes good on that promise (albeit maybe a little late) with Developer Preview 2.

Available for the Nexus 5, 6, 9, and Nexus Player, this new update to the Developer Preview includes a host of tweaks and bug fixes based on feedback from the developer community. Perhaps more importantly, it includes near-final APIs for developers to work into their apps.

Google lists the major changes as follows:

Android Platform Changes:

  • Modifications to platform permissions including external storage, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth location, and changes to contacts/identity permissions. Device connections through the USB port are now set to charge-only mode by default. To access the device, users must explicitly grant permission.

API Changes:

  • Updated Bluetooth Stylus APIs with updated callback events. View.onContextClickListener and GestureDetector.OnContextClickListener to listen for stylus button presses and to perform secondary actions.
  • Updated Media API with new callback InputDevice.hasMicrophone() method for determining if a device microphone exists.

Fixes for developer-reported issues:

  • TextInputLayout doesn't set hint for embedded EditText. (fixed issue)
  • Camera Permission issue with Legacy Apps (fixed issue)

If you're running the Developer Preview already, you'll get this update delivered over-the-air within the coming days. If you're impatient, you can head to the Developer Preview site and download a new system image. Want to get in on the fun? Here's how to install the developer preview on your own Nexus device.

The impact on you: Even if you don't plan on running the Developer Preview yourself, frequent public updates like this are good news for you as an Android user. The more people get their hands on Google's new operating system early, the more bugs get reported and fixed, and the more developers update their apps to take advantage of the new features.

Android Lollipop was the first Android release to get an early public developer preview, but it still shipped with a wide array of bugs and has been slow to roll out to devices. The company needs to work harder to rectify these issues with the Android M release this fall.

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