Google presented the latest version of its current Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google’s mobile operating system, at an event which took place on 29th of September. Not only did it introduce the latest version but it also showcased the advanced Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Right after three developer preview releases to iron out bugs, will come the concluding version of the Android Marshmallow.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow release date
Google announced on the 29th of September that Android Marshmallow will mount on existing devices of Nexus that are, the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player starting the 5th of October, so all the users of these devices should watch out and grab hat update ASAP!
The latest Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will have Marshmallow already installed and working in them. Shipping for pre-orders, which are currently open, will commence in October.
Users of devices other then Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are dependent on their particular manufacturers, for update.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow features
Six dominant features were defined by the Google VP of Engineering, David Burke at the initial introduction of Android Marshmallow at Google I/O in May 2015.
The few extra details which were mentioned by him are our major topics and for today’s article. Let’s begin.
- App permissions:
This particular area has been modernized in Marshmallow. It is purely up to you, to rather acquire or deny each applications permission individually, whatever suits you best. Permissions have been cleared out for you, which means, request will be made when you initially use a feature instead of installation time.
According to Burke, “You don’t have to agree to permissions that don’t make sense to you”. He cleared this point out by demonstrating an example of WhatsApp. WhatsApp will ask your permission to use the mic just once. You are not obliged to grant it permission you can only do so if you wish to. This particular feature enables you to have greater control over the information you wish to give access to, not the apps.
You can later alter the permissions given to apps by going into the settings option or have a look at the apps which have permission. So, Android Marshmallow has given user much more control over the device making them you less dependent.
- Web experience:
“Chrome Custom Tabs is a new feature that gives developers a way to harness all of Chrome’s capabilities, while still keeping control of the look and feel of the experience,” said Burke. For future advancements and modifications Google has been keeping an eye on the latest happenings on the way of web content consumption in order to give users a better experience of connecting with apps and sites.
You can now easily open a customized chrome window on the top of a current app, rather than opening up chrome disparately, using Chrome Custom Tabs. This will obviously give way to a more active and accelerated interaction.
It aids automated sign-in, saved passwords, auto fill, and multi-process security to reinforce the connection between apps and web practicality.
- Fingerprint support
Google is working on introducing and enabling support for fingerprint scanners on devices with Android Marshmallow. This will not only enable you to unlock your device but also let you purchase either in reality shopping or when using Play Store.
For the time being, you will require hardware fingerprint scanner. But as technology is improving so fast it is safe to say that we can see this coming on many devices in near future.
- Mobile payments
Google has introduced its latest mobile payment system that is, Android Pay. It has been constructed to accomplish the checkout mechanism efficient. It enables you to pay for items in over 700,000 stores in the US using your current credit cards.
It is adaptable with all devices starring capabilities (and running at least 4.4 KitKat). Android Pay is backed up by American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, including carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.
- App links
Before the introduction of Android Marshmallow there was a major problem faced by the developers at Google. “When a user selects a weblink from somewhere, Android doesn’t know whether to show it in a web browser, or some other app that claims support for the link.” This is the quoted outline of that problem.
When you wish to open a link on an Android phone, an ‘Open With’ dialogue box shows up, from which you have to choose from amongst YouTube, Chrome or more, in order to open that link.
These app links have been modified in Android Marshmallow and so, they can now open links with apps which have the ability to launch the content directly. So instead of asking you to make a selection in order to open some content on Facebook it will directly open Facebook to launch that particular content.
This will make Android Marshmallow much more efficient and effective because it is fast-track than its previous versions.
- Power and charging
Battery drain is a big issue in android phones which has been fixed to a greater extent in android Marshmallow with its modifications and introduction of new features. This particular feature is called Doze and it improves the standby time. With the help of motion detectors, Android will judge if a device has not been in touch with lately for e.g. if it has not been in use for a long time, following this the background mechanisms of the device will be reduced resulting in low battery drainage and twice the standby time as compared to Android lollipop. Adding to the Doze mode is the advantage that it can still start alarms and inform you of important notifications
Android Marshmallow is also compatible with USB Type-C, which enables fast-track charging, and allows users charge other devices with their phone.
- Improved cut, copy and paste
Upon selecting text on Android Marshmallow, the complete words ‘cut’, ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ will appear above the selected text area instead of complicated icons like on other Android devices.
This minor change is a major one for such frequently used feature and makes it easier to work around. And improving on such minor details shows how much attention iOS is giving to each and everything so that the overall results are drastic.
- Auto app data backup
The latest app backup on Android M is also very useful. It creates a copy of every single thing such that after reinstallation you won’t even realize that something has happened as, everything goes back to being how it was in the first place. All the data is backed up to Google drive. You can later gather data from there and replace it to where it originally was.
The only major is that it is only applicable on apps addressing API 23, which currently stands at only 5 percent among the top 200 third-party, besides games apps. Designers of apps have to enable the auto backup feature themselves and incase they do not you yourself will have to do it. However, this feature will become very beneficial in near future.
- File Manager
There is a latest built-in file manager into the Android Marshmallow. It enables users to search, copy, share, sort and delete files but lacks a couple of features that are present in the third-party file managers. This lack of features will not really appreciate users to leave third-party applications for this file manager.
In order to get to the built-in file manager you will need to go to Settings>Storage beneath that choose the USB option and then click Explore.
What else is new in Android Marshmallow?
A much deeper and detailed look in to the Android 6.0 will give you a much better understanding of it.
Auto Backup and Restore for Apps
This particular feature is adapted in collaboration with Google Drive so that all the data and settings can be automatically backed up and saved with maximum file size of 25 MB.
The backup takes place once a day and that too when the device is not being used and connected to Wi-Fi and power. The data which is uploaded is in encrypted form. In case, you lose your device or accidently delete the app, your previous progress will be restored.
New app drawer
This is the most prominent change. It previously used to scroll horizontally, and now scrolls vertically. Plus, the background I now white, instead of the shade of your home wallpaper. Lastly, four frequently visited app are listed across the top of the menu.
Android Marshmallow RAM manager
Settings > Apps > Options (three dots button) > Advanced > Memory following these steps will lead you to the menu. This is the latest RAM manager and it targets at contributing more efficient and accurate information to the users related to the app usage of RAM.
By observing the consumption of RAM by different apps the user can easily regulate apps and decide which one needs to be expelled for better and faster performance. It even shows the present performance of a device at the top so that user can get a good idea.
Adoptable Storage Devices
Google is now taking a step towards external storage use. Google’s all new storage feature that is, Adoptable Storage Devices, proceeds with an external storage source and transforms it like an internal storage. So, there is easy movement of data between internal and external storage source.
Adopted storage devices are encased in bands of encryption to comfort security interests and both micro SD cards and USB OTG drives are presently compatible.
Android Marshmallow dark theme
This dark theme option changed the menu from being pale and light in color to a darker shade of grey.
Dark theme can be easily found in Settings > Developer Options (which is enabled by clicking on your device build number seven times in the ‘About Phone’ page.)
This dark theme was first introduced in only one section but in the second developer preview that was removed too. Everyone has developed great appreciation and likeness for this dark theme which seem to have disappeared for the time being but there are some traces of it in the code, according to Hernán Castañón, in the form of night mode. So, on the basis of this news we are keeping our hopes high for its return so that at least we can prevent the white light from blinding us in the darkness of the night.
Google now has been made even more brilliant with modifications in this latest version. It stresses mainly on: knowing about different contexts, contributing with solutions and enabling you to take action.
Firstly, the context awareness has know-how of 100 million different places and knows exactly what place you are referring to. This awareness is fused in to Google Now by Google’s Knowledge Graph which has an understanding of one billion different and diverse existences and places.
By tapping once while staying on the current app you can get access to relevant content in form of various cards by Google.
Google now’s pilot program called, Now on Tap is also coming to the platform with 100 popular apps that is, you can gain access to different content while staying on the current app. You can even talk to Google and it will provide you with relevant information on that particular app. Information will be automatically provided according to the context you are currently viewing for e.g. if you are listening ot a song on Spotify and require some information regarding that particular singer. Google automatically know that you want information regarding the singer you are presently listening to.
This has made gaining information very quick and easy without having to move around n search of other apps to look into.
Visual voicemail refers to voicemail with visual interface, one that you can interact with by seeing, instead of the usual audio set-up. It needs cooperation and understanding from carriers.
Android Marshmallow will contain Visual Voicemail service attainable from the dialer. For the time being, T-Mobile and Orange France will be the only fist two carriers compatible with the functionality, according to a report by Android Police. But surely, more will follow.
Rotating home screen
The home screen rotation function is definitely quite new and has taken some time to come to reality. User can now easily rotate both, apps and home screen, fitting to your needs.
In the past, options were limited to only sharing a screenshot but now with the introduction of Android M you can easily delete the screenshots as well.
Remove status bar icons
Android Marshmallow has come up with a switch for which icons you wish to see in the status bar. For e.g. if you have Wi-Fi on but don’t really wish to see its icon then, remove it. Same is the case for Cast icon, hotspot, Do Not Disturb, alarm set, work profile, Bluetooth, cellular data and more.
In order to enable it go to Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number seven times. You’ll now be able to view Developer Options at the bottom of the Settings menu.
The modified location of memory is at the front and center of settings menu. With it being clearly visible, people are expected to have a more clear view and understanding of RAM management and different app consumption of RAM.
Network Settings Reset option
Network Settings Reset is a new feature which is not quite clearly visible in the Backup and Reset settings. This feature enables you to clear out or remove your current network settings which consists of Wi-Fi connections, cellular data and Bluetooth connections.
Storage gets a makeover
Android users always seem to have issues with internal storage. No matter how much external storage you have along with the internal storage, you always seem to be running low on it and it is not always visible in front of our eyes. In order to make this better Android Marshmallow has come up with a line bar that represents the space that you have on your phone with sections to explain and make it easier for you to analyze what is draining your device’s internal storage.
Android 6.0 official name – Android Marshmallow
It was announced on the 17th of August that Android 6.0 will be named, Marshmallow. Blog post mentions: “Compared to the previous developer preview updates, you will find this final API update fairly incremental.” This means that there is a lot more to Android Marshmallow in the final update which will surprise and be quite beneficial for all the users with its exciting new features and updates.