Google has finally begun its rollout of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, with plans to deliver the update over-the-air to Nexus phones first. Like previous upgrades, it will take place in stages; so people might have to wait a while before they can check it out.
Users of the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9 and Nexus Player are guaranteed updates. The new Nexus 5X and 6P will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box. The timeline for non-Nexus devices is a bit of a mystery at this point. Some manufacturers, like HTC and Motorola, have confirmed which of its devices will get the upgrade, but haven’t provided a specific date.
Android Marshmallow comes with a number of significant improvements. First up is its brand new Now on Tap feature. Users can utilize it to pull up information from multiple apps without leaving the screen they’re currently on. For instance, if a person receives an invite to a movie, long-pressing the home button could lead to links for directions, sites to book the ticket and suggestions for a calendar entry.
Google has added two new functions to extend the battery life of a device. In Doze mode, the software can make out when the smartphone is idle and automatically switches to a deep sleep status in order to save power. The tech giant tested the new feature on multiple Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 handsets by installing Lollipop on half and Marshmallow in the rest.
Google claims the phones running the latter lasted 30% longer on average. The other new tool is called App Standby. In this function, all the rarely used applications are put into a reduced activity state so the battery power can be directed towards tools which are accessed frequently. The new OS additionally carries enhanced privacy controls, which allow users to decide what permissions to grant an app.
Instead of letting an application have access to various tools from the get-go, people can turn on and off authorizations in settings. As a bonus, apps which have been designed for Android 6.0 Marshmallow only ask for permission when it’s required. Finally, the OS has introduced native fingerprint scanner support, which ensures quick transactions through Android Pay and the Google Play Store.