​Google releases second preview of Android M

Google says platform and API changes for the newest version of Android is near complete.

Google has released the first update to its Android M developer preview, inching the mobile OS closer to its final release.

Google describes the M Developer Preview 2 as an "incremental update". It brings thousands of tiny fixes and a few major changes to the platform and APIs, as well as other issues reported by developers.

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Google released Android M in May, bringing with it headline features including a new permission model. Instead of apps asking for blanket access when they're installed, with Android M, they will ask for specific permissions when in use, as and when needed.

The platform changes in Preview 2 mostly deal with modifications to these permissions, including moving external storage to "dangerous", requiring apps intending to write to it to request permission at runtime. Other permission changes have been made to Bluetooth, wi-fi, accounts, and identity.

A key change to the interface, as Android Police noted, is a new memory overview screen in Settings, which delivers a snapshot of the system's overall usage rather than the old breakdown by app. The per-app view is still there but tucked away behind the text "memory used by apps".

Google said in its release notes that apps bundled with the system image are no longer granted dangerous permissions automatically. Also, a new tool for developers will let the app see whether the user has previously rejected a permission request.

Given its preview status, there are a few issues Google's Android team need to iron out before its scheduled release in the third quarter. Android for Work in M isn't working, it's impossible to share video in the YouTube app, as well as other glitches.

Google lists on its Android developer blog that its updated the Bluetooth Stylus API to listen for stylus button presses, and Media API to help detect if a device microphone exists.

Google plans to release one more preview update before the final release in Q3 but says that with this update most platform and API features are "near final". The Android maker said it is on schedule to meet the fall deadline.

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