I just got the Nexus 6, first thing first for any Android user is to unlock the boot-loader. Easy peasy, boot into bootloader mode and run “fastboot oem unlock” then done deal. Next is to download the Android M developer Preview, http://developer.android.com/preview/index.html
You will need to extract the tarball and inside is the complete system. You will also need the correct driver and there are errors that are encountered that you must run “mfastboot” to complete. (These links will be at the bottom.) I am not responsible for anything that happens, the apocalypse, your cat grows horns, your wife leaves you and so forth, you take full responsibility if you brick your phone or tablet. You will need to download the correct images and the links will cover that. So now on to my review, so far I am so excited with this build!
Well first things first, for being a preview it doesn’t make a totally bad daily driver. Now don’t expect all the bells and whistles that was at Google I/O, this is not perfect by any means hence the title preview. Android Pay , direct share, and all the rest aren’t there. The thing that I really wanted to play with is the Now on Tap, a simple feature that will provide an informational Now Card that is based on what you say or what is on the screen.
So why would I like or want to try on this unfinished Android M Preview? Well let’s see, there’s a new revamped app launcher. Instead of cards displaying your apps you swiped through in Lollipop, you are now scrolling through a list with all the apps listed in alphabetical order. The top row is listed with your 4 most recent apps, and does a very good job at that. Android M’s other big feature is a smarter take on app permissions. Gone are the days of agreeing to permissions before you even used an app are way over, well maybe down the road for sure.
The most noticeable feature that is a revamped version on Lollipop is the improved sound and notification controls. Before you could crank the volume all the way to vibrate then one more click and it would go into silent mode. Now with Android M Preview that one last click puts you into a “Do Not Disturb” mode, which you can play with from the quick settings. Even though Android’s original implementation was near perfect, Androids M Preview is most definitely a step in the right direction. Playing with it I just leave it in Priority Only Mode so I can filter everything but what I want to come through.
Other than that there are mostly minor changes and I touched on some of the things that wow’d me. If your uncomfortable with an unfinished product you shouldn’t play around with Android M yet for sure. Even though it is far from finished I am enjoying the new features, and the whole Material Design aspect. That being said I will run it for a while and report my good and bad aspects and whatever I might find. Until then this will be my daily driver.
This is the easy way to install Android M Preview
This is the “mfastboot” file needed to flash the system.img. (You will need this or it will error out!)