​Google accidentally reveals 'Android M' in new I/O schedule

Will Google release Android M this May?
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

It looks like Google will reveal the successor to Android 5.0 Lollipop at its upcoming annual I/O 2015 developer conference.

Google may have inadvertently confirmed Android M will appear on May 28 after publishing a reference to the operating system in the I/O conference schedule which it published yesterday.

The timing of M's release wouldn't be a surprise given that Google unveiled Lollipop at the same conference last year, but it may also suggest the company will be releasing an early preview for developers as it did with Android 5.0.

The reference to Android M came under a now-removed session about an update on Google's BYOD program Android for Work, which was also announced at last year's I/O as a feature of Android Lollipop, but was released to the public only recently.

The I/O session that Google subsequently removed from the schedule stated that "Android M is bringing the power of Android to all kinds of workplaces. This opens huge new markets for hundreds of millions of devices to workers at small business, deskless workers, logistics and warehousing jobs; all be (sic) empowered by adoption of Android devices at Work".

Google took a different approach with Android 5.0 Lollipop than it did with earlier releases, offering a developer preview version known as Android L that gave developers time to familiarise themselves with the OS' new Material Design language. It was then given the Lollipop codename once it was released to the public in November under Google's alphabetic, sweet-themed naming system.

ZDNet has asked Google why it removed the Android for Work session and will update the story if it receives an answer.

Another clue that Google could be poised to reveal Android M at I/O is a session called 'What's new in Android'. Although it doesn't confirm Android M, Google said it will be announcing "coming attractions" in the work it's done to improve Lollipop's notifications, interruptions, and volumes. Android Lollipop brought cards, lock screen notifications, 'heads up' notifications, as well as ways to stop interruptions, such as 'do not disturb' and other ways to tune down notifications.

Google says it has "been hard at work refining... ways for users to control unwelcome interruptions from notifications and other sources".

Besides potentially unveiling Android M, Google has a number of other sessions for developers, including how to help them build apps that don't drain a device's battery - a major gripe for most users.

The company may also reveal its plans round Skybox, the satellite company it acquired last year for $500m to help keep Maps updated. Google will be talking about 'Earth in real time' at I/O, and how Skybox is helping it solve earthly problems.

It's also going to detail more about its recently released 'No CAPTCHA' system to ward off bots but also allow users to prove they're human with a single click.

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