Saturday, 14 November 2015

Android M Initial Impressions (CM 13 on Moto E)


NOTE:- This is just a "basic" review of Android Marshmallow ROM. 
I used cm 13 on Moto E - condor 2014 for review.
The CM 13 ROM is Unofficial and is in testing mode. 

This is really a great news that Moto E users will be enjoying Marshmallow Android 6.0, through CaynogenMod 13 [Not sure if we will get Stock 6.0]. 
The build is currently unofficial and is under testing mode. [very unstable].
Developer @ashwin007 from XDA is working on this build. We hope to see a stable ROM soon.

Since people are afraid or are waiting for stable build to come, they are not flashing the build. So i thought to give you all a glimpse of what CM 13 is like ;)

Here is the review of the latest CM 13, I couldn't make a video because even screen recorder app was crashing. 


The above pictures are snapshots from my Moto E, you can see the android version is 6.0 & CM version is 13 [Unofficial].

Lets Talk About Features Of Android M.

1.USER INTERFACE :- 




The CM 13 looks just like the CM 12.1 with little changes in font and animations.The STOCK 6.0 has more animations as compared to CM 13. All those STOCK animations of 6.0 are due the Google Now launcher. If you install Google Now launcher you can find various animations which make the UI more elegant. 
Also now if you want to uninstall any app you don't need to open drawer you just can do that by swiping the shortcut on the home screen [Feature of Google Now][You can download and see the animations on your current ROM/Android too. Install Google Now, click here].

Also the volume panel animation is changed is more appealing then what it was before.
Overall if you are using Google Now Launcher you will have a great UI to deal with.


2.Google Now on TAP :- 


Android M comes with a new function known as Google Now on Tap, now when you press your home key for some time instead of google now opening up android scans the screen and gives you a google card that is relevant to the context. [It does work :-P].
E.G :- A friend sends you a email regarding some movie say Inception, the the tap will scan the screen and show you a google card regarding the movie Inception, it's ratings, summary, cast and much more. Now you don't have to switch apps to search anything, just use Google Now on Tap. 

3.System UI Tuner :- 



CaynogenMod is famous for letting the users modify the android and personalize it, taking  a step further Google now has given a hidden option "System UI tuner", which lets you change few things of your UI. Open the notification bar and press settings icon for some time and release it, a hidden menu in settings will appear this lets you change the icons that appear on status bar, lets you see the battery percentage and also rearrange the quick settings. This is not so great for CM users, since CM is doing this by giving the option in previous version of android too. But STOCK USERS will find this a interesting thing. 

4.Multi Window Mode :-


This is a really awesome function for all the users that have a big screen, the multi-window mode is a function that you can enable from developer settings. [go to about phone, press build number multiple times to enable developer mode]. After enabling this when you click on recent apps tab you can see a square icon on each and every tab of recent's menu. clicking on this icon will open a pop up asking you the position of the window and the screen is divided into two halves. [you can see that I am using app store and accessing settings at the same time]. It's a awesome function.

5.Storage:-

This I feel is a great update to the Android, when you go to storage menu we can see the Internal memory and the SD card [if available]. We can see the files present in both using the inbuilt file explorer [which was missing since a long time].
Apart from that for the first time when the system mounts the SD card, it asks us if we want to use the SD cad as Internal Memory or external.
Format As External :- we can use it as a storage device for movies, pictures etc. It can be removed and used in other phone.
Format As Internal :- It will save all the apps, data and consider it as internal memory. pictures, movies etc can be saved but it cannot be removed [It will cause issues if removed].
Making SD card as a internal memory is a great option if you have a less internal memory,but if you have a good internal memory then it's recommended not to use SD card as Internal because irrespective of class of SD card, speed will have a impact. It won't be same as the actual internal memory speed of the phone.

6.RAM Usage :-

 
Not a great thing for general users, but now the settings has a separate option named Memory. It gives us quick stats about the RAM usage and what apps are currently running. 
Not something that impresses me :)

7.Apps :-
 

 
Whenever you go to apps say for example you select google app, you can now see many details like battery used by this app, ram used by the app, also the data used by the app. this will help you analyze the apps and remove the unwanted ones consuming the resources. 
Also you can reset app permissions, allowing us to increase the privacy.
The best feature they added is that when you click on notifications you can block all notifications or you can untick 'allow peeking', this will avoid the app to slide notifications on your screen when you are using the phone. [the head on notification won't come for that particular app].
The option is really great since many unwanted apps disturb with their head on notifications.

Few other changes :-

There are many more minor UI changes that makes Android M better. The notification panel is made more interactive so that you don't need to go to settings again and again. Also few minor changes like when you plug USB cable it show us a dialog box with many options[see the above pics].

So there are many such small small updates, overall making Android M a great package.
Andorid M is itself in a beta state and we are hoping that it will be soon released to many devices as a STABLE ROM through OTA.

Moto E Condor users should be happy since in few days we hope to see a daily driver CM 13. If you want to try this ROM now click here. [Not recommended].

As soon as CM 13 becomes a little stable and can be used as daily driver i'll make a post with all the steps and links. 
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