At the end of September, Google officially introduced the first Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS devices, specifically Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. There are already on the market, so we can review the main developments in the mobile platform. You can expect the forthcoming review of the smartphone really soon.
The changes are not as evident as in the transition between Android 4.4 KitKat and 5.0 Lollipop, but they’re definitely targeted at make life easier for users. We see improvements in the optimizing battery, performance and corrections of some bugs. Let’s go over the most significant innovations.
You can find the first models with Android 6.0 Marshmallow here:
Model used for testing – Nexus 5X
|OS||Android v6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992 (2-core, 1.82GHz, Cortex-A57 & 4-core, 1.44GHz, Cortex-A53)|
|Display||5.2-inch IPS capacitive multi-touch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, oleophobic coating and 1920 x 1080 resolution|
|Connectivity||Bluetoothv4.2, A2DP, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS|
|Cameras||12.3MP with laser autofocus and dual LED flash (rear), 5MP (front)|
|Dimensions||72.6 x 147 x 7.9 mm|
There is a button that takes you to the internal menu. The applications are no longer divided into different pages, but are instead listed together in only one page, which can be scrolled down. You might notice some similarity to HTC’s user interface. While you are scrolling, you can see which letter the application starts with. To make things simpler, they are in alphabetical order. You will not be able to regroup them into folders – that is possible only for the icons on the Home screen.
You will see the applications search bar at the top, which will instantly sort the available applications after a letter of their name is typed in. If you can’t find what you are looking for, there is also a direct search on Google.
The first line of the applications list is separated by a thin line from the others suggestions and includes four applications, used most often. That is determined by a special algorithm, courtesy of Google.
Android apps for cleaning RAM are quite popular among users as they provide information on how and how much of it is in use. Now this information will be provided by the operating system itself. For this purpose the settings menu has an entirely new submenu called Memory. It gives you information about all the applications and features using the memory through the last 3, 6, 12 or 24 hours. You have the option of stopping each app.
Innovations in submenu Display
Even when the screen is locked, you can see some changes in the way the date and time appear – slightly different sans serif fonts. They can also be displayed with a slight shake of the smartphone without having to turn on the screen. In addition to the aforementioned phone shake, you will find another feature – a double press of the Power button will automatically take you to the camera application, even if you do it when the screen is locked.
With each new OS version come claims for optimized battery life, but Android 6.0 Marshmallow has a special new section that takes care of that called Battery optimization. It offers a special Doze option that decides which apps haven’t been used for a long time, so applications activity is being adjusted accordingly.
While you are sleeping, for example, certain applications cannot be stopped, but pass into pause mode and consume less energy. Google is still keeping some details secret. There is Battery saver mode, which is also available for the Lollipop version.
Volume adjustment and “Do not disturb” button
The drop-down menu has retained the same appearance as in Lollipop, but we have noticed the presence of a “Do not disturb” button. When it is activated, you will see a menu that allows you to select the time for this mode, whether you want to stop all sounds or leave alarms or favorite contacts.
Pressing the volume adjustment buttons will get you the sound slider for phone calls. There is another option available, which allows you to adjust the volume of alarms and other tones.
Google Now on Tap
While the folks at Google are trying to make their Google Now more convenient and helpful, Apple has continues updating its voice assistant Siri in the new iOS 9. By sliding right on the Home screen you will find the Google Now application. In the Now Card section of the settings menu, you will see the Now on Tap feature, which quickly became our favorite, making Google more useful than ever. Now on Tap’s secret is the ability to analyze text. For example, if a friend of yours says he is in a certain restaurant, by holding the Home button, Google detects the restaurant’s name and checks on Google, giving you information on the restaurant, photos, navigation, reservation number and everything else you might need to know.
Take a look at the example image below. We sent an email containing “Taylor Swift is cool, bro!” and Google Now detected the name and gave us detailed information, including videos in YouTube, upcoming appearances etc.
It seems that the fingerprint scanner will be seen in more and more devices. Until recently manufacturers had to mount and adjust the scanner operation with OS, but now Marshmallow supports this option, with Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P being equipped with a fingerprint sensor at the back. You will find this option, called Nexus Imprint, in settings menu. It helps you unlock the device, confirm payments and allows you to access various applications quickly, easily and securely.
USB Type-C support
Android 6.0 boasts support for USB Type-C. It’s only a matter of time before this technology spreads among smartphones, tablets and laptops. USB Type-C will provides you both faster data transfer between different devices, as well as faster charging (charged Nexus 5X from 0% to over 80% in less than an hour). You will also forget about the problematic plugging in with the microUSB port, because Type-C is reversible.
When to expect Android 6.0 Marshmallow?
The first devices running new Android 6.0 Marshmallow are Google’s Nexus models. First among them are Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, where the new version comes pre-installed. Nexus 5, X are already on the market. The new HTC One A9 is another device that comes with Android 6.0. Lots of Motorola’s models, such as Moto G3, Moto X Play, Moto X Style, are going to receive the update. Leading manufacturers will try to offer the update as soon as possible, as traditionally, this happens with flagship models first. Many companies have already offered a list of devices with planned mobile platform updates This includes Sony, Huawei, Motorola and Samsung. We expect mass distribution of Android 6.0 Marshmallow in the next few weeks.
You can find the first models with Android 6.0 Marshmallow here: