Android VP of Engineering Dave Burke’s presentation on Android M yesterday saw quite a few huge new additions coming to the OS from granular app permissions to improved battery standby management and, of course, Android Pay (check out our roundup). But one thing that might have got lost in the noise for some of you was Google’s newfound embrace of the USB Type-C standard and what it will actually do for you in practice.
USB Type-C is both flippable and bi-directional. That first attribute means that you won’t have to fiddle in the dark with plugging the USB cable connector into your phone the right-side up, because there isn’t a right-side up with Type-C.
More interesting, though, is the bi-directional ability of USB Type-C and Android M’s new interface support for it. What this means in theory is that, while this wouldn’t be practical, you could connect your Android phone to your laptop and charge your laptop with your phone instead of the other way around. You can also send files in either direction as was obviously possible before, but the new interface you see above for managing all these abilities in one place looks quite convenient.
Finally as you might be able to make out from the image above, Google is ready to welcome in more musicians with the warm embrace of MIDI support. This is big because while because 5.0 Lollipop brought support for some audio devices like USB microphones and amplifiers, it left out a lot of musical instruments that use the MIDI standard to send data back and forth between other devices. Maybe this will encourage more musicians and music app developers to consider Android again.
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