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Android 6 Marshmallow update: when you'll get it and key features

Source: TechRadar
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/techradar/allnews/~3/u4JkAFO8CJw/android-m-release-date-when-can-i-get-it-1297182
November 08, 2016

Update: Android 6 Marshmallow is no longer the latest and greatest in Google's mobile software - Android Nougat is now out in the wild.

And, while most high-profile devices have been taken care of, there are still plenty of phones out there that haven't yet received the Android Marshmallow update.

So, the question remains: is Marshmallow likely to ever arrive on your device if it hasn't yet? As time marches on, the answer leans more towards "no", but we'll be keeping this guide up to date with any details we hear about new adopters of Google's big 2015 software update.

Original article follows below.

Android Marshmallow is here. There are battery life improvements, greater app permission controls, standardized support for fingerprint scanners, more granular volume controls, USB-C support and new Google Now features, which are all part of a mix that makes this an exciting upgrade for users. But is your phone actually going to get it?

The release process for Android updates is more complicated than Apple's iOS updates, and just because an update has been launched that doesn't necessarily mean you'll have access to it.

In fact, you probably won't have Marshmallow yet. So far 18.7% of devices are running Marshmallow - that's not a great adoption rate for Google.

It's down to device manufacturers, and in some countries the carriers too, who spend quite a bit of time with the new software before releasing it to their devices. This comes at a time when Google has already released Android Nougat though.

Android

If you own a Nexus device you're in luck, as not surprisingly Google's new software has landed on those first – and manufacturers like Motorola are generally better at getting updates out quickly. But other manufacturers are a little less predictable.

To make the latest Android update less of a mystery, here's our constantly updated information on when it's likely to land on your phone.

Disclaimer: This article includes information for the rollout of Android Marshmallow software, but depending on region, mobile operator and carrier it can take longer than expected.

Google and Nexus

Nexus 6

At the launch of Android Marshmallow, Google updated its Nexus range of products to the OS. Now, it has rolled out the Android Nougat update to the range, which includes the Nexus 5, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and the whole range of Android One devices.

Looking back to previous devices, Marshmallow won't be coming to the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2012) or Nexus 10.

Samsung

Galaxy S6

Samsung did a pretty good job of getting Android Lollipop on to its phones rapidly, but it slowed things down considerably for the Marshmallow launch. That said, almost all of the major handsets now feature the latest software.

The Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note Edge and Galaxy Note 4 now have the update in most regions and both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge launched with Marshmallow pre-installed.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has been updated too in the US, but only on certain networks. Samsung's Galaxy S6 Active and Galaxy A5 is also getting the update to Marshmallow now.

The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is getting the update in some markets now as well, but there's no guarantee it'll be on your version yet. Some versions of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo are now also receiving Marshmallow across the UK and Europe. There's still no word from Samsung on whether the Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Alpha will get the update.

Sources claim the Galaxy Note 3 may never see the update to Android 6 as well.

As for tablets, the Galaxy Tab S2 is currently receiving the update to Android Marshmallow in both its 9.7 and 8.0-inch sizes, while the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is still waiting. If you're on Verizon the Galaxy Tab S will get the software upgrade, but Samsung has confirmed it won't if you're not on that carrier.

HTC

HTC One M9

The HTC 10 launched with Android 6, and the Marshmallow is in the process of rolling out to those who have a One M9 and One M8, One A9, One E9, One E8, One M8 Eye and Desire 826

HTC has also confirmed the Desire 820, HTC Desire 816, One M8s, One M9+, One ME, Butterfly 3 and HTC Desire Eye will get the upgrade, but it's taking quite a long time.

Sony

Sony

Sony has finished updating its phones with the Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia Z4 Tablet, Xperia Z3+, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z2 all seeing the Android 6 Marshmallow update.

The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, Xperia M4 Aqua, Xperia C4, Xperia C5 Ultra and the Xperia M5 are now the latest phones to get the upgrade.

The Xperia XZ, Xperia X Compact, Xperia X, Xperia XA and Xperia X Performance all come running Android 6 software while the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1 Compact will be missing out.

LG

LG G4

LG hasn't been clear with its Marshmallow update plans, but the LG G4, LG G4c, LG G3, LG Magna, LG Spirit and LG V10 all have Android 6 software now. The LG G5 launched with the software already installed and we'd expect the LG G Flex 2 might get Marshmallow, but there's no official word yet.

Motorola

Moto X

Motorola is updating the Moto X Style, Moto X Play, Moto X Force, Moto G 2015, Moto G 2014, Moto E (2nd gen), Moto X 2014, Moto MAXX, Moto Turbo, Moto X Pure Edition (2015), Droid Turbo 2, Droid Maxx 2 and Nexus 6.

Marshmallow will also come to the 2014 version of the Moto X Pure Edition and the Droid Turbo.

Huawei

Huawei Mate 8

The Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus both landed with Android Marshmallow.

The company has also confirmed that the Huawei P8, Huawei P8 Max, Mate S, Ascend Mate 7, P8 Youth Edition, G7, G7 Plus, X2, 4X and Play 4C will be getting Android 6.0 at some point, but there's no word on an official date yet.

OnePlus

OnePlus One

The OnePlus One has received its own version of Android 6 Marshmallow in the form of Cyanogen OS 13, while the OnePlus 2 is also getting it as part of an OxygenOS 3.0.2 software update. Plus the OnePlus X is now getting the update to OxygenOS 3.1.3.

The OnePlus 3 launched with Android Marshmallow software already on board.

BlackBerry

BlackBerry Priv

The BlackBerry DTEK50 is already running Marshmallow, while the BlackBerry Priv - the first phone from the Canadian manufacturer to feature Android software - has been treated to the Marshmallowy goodness too.

Asus

Zenfone 2

Asus is another company which often isn't particularly speedy with its updates. It has now given updates to the ZenFone 2, ZenFone 2 Deluxe, ZenFone 2 Deluxe Special Edition and the ZenFone 2 Laser. Now the ZenFone Selfie and ZenFone Zoom are getting the update too.

Asus has confirmed to TechRadar the PadFone S and ZenFone Max are all set to get the update to Android 6 and we're hopeful it will launch very soon.

Honor

Honor 6

Honor has revealed its update schedule for Marshmallow and it's not going to be long now. The Honor 7 is already getting the update, while Honor 6 users in India are also receiving it. Honor has released the update for Honor 5X, but it's just in the US for now.

It's expected the Honor 6 Plus and Honor 4X will get the update before long, but right now it's not certain.

ZTE

Blade S6

ZTE doesn't always bother to update its phones, so if you have one you may have to make do without Android Marshmallow. The ZTE Axon Pro is getting the Marshmallow update, but that seems to be it.

Nvidia

Nvidia Shield

The Nvidia Shield Tablet ATV has already received the Android 6 Marshmallow update. The Shield Tablet K1 and the original Shield tablet have also started getting it.

Other manufacturers

Nextbit currently has one phone, the Nextbit Robin, and while it launched in February with Android Lollipop it has now been updated to Android Marshmallow.

While you're waiting to get Android 6.0 Marshmallow, you'd probably like to know more about the new features it incorporates. We've been playing around with the operating system, and here are some of our favorite features.

It's not a big design-based update like Lollipop was. Material Design is still intact here, and most of the focus is on new features and bug fixes.

Android Pay

Android Pay

Technically you can use Android Pay without the Marshmallow software, but having the latest OS is certainly a big help.

The update to Marshmallow brings with it fingerprint sensor functionality for the first time, so you don't even need to open up an app – you can just unlock your phone with your finger and place it on the contactless payment terminal.

Android Pay

Third-party apps are also supported within Marshmallow, making it much easier to buy stuff directly in your Android phone.

However, Android Pay is only available in the US and UK right now, and there are no clear plans for when it'll be rolling out around the rest of the world.

Android Marshmallow fingerprint support

We've seen some smartphone manufacturers already include fingerprint scanners in their devices, but with Android Marshmallow Google is standardizing support across the platform.

You can use a fingerprint scanner to unlock your device and pay for media from the Google Play Store, and the fingerprint scanning tech is also open to developers. That means devs can build it into their own applications, enabling you to sign into them without a password and pay for goods using Android Pay.

Android Marshmallow voice controls

Android 6.0 opens the way for improved voice control features thanks to the new Voice Interaction API, which will enable app developers to build voice control directly into their apps.

This means owners of Android Marshmallow devices will soon be able to speak to their apps – and the apps will even talk back.

One of the examples Google has detailed is the TuneIn app. A user can say "OK Google, listen to music on TuneIn", and the TuneIn app will not only load, but will then ask "What genre of music would you like to listen to?".

The user can then reply with their favourite genre. This natural way of speaking to our smartphone and the apps installed on it could revolutionize the way we interact with our devices.

Google has released a video to demonstrate the potential of Voice Interaction API, which you can view below.

Android Marshmallow battery life

Google has done a lot of work in the areas of battery life and power in Android Marshmallow, which will be music to many users' ears.

First up Google has developed the Doze feature. Your device will use motion sensors to detect when it hasn't been moved for an extended period of time, and will switch to a deeper sleep mode that consumes much less power.

Android Doze

Your device won't be completely useless in this mode, however, as Doze still allows for alarms to go off and key notifications to come through.

Google says it took two Nexus 9 tablets, one running Lollipop and the other Android Marshmallow, loaded the same apps and settings on both, and then tested the standby power drain on the two.

Apparently, the Nexus 9 running Android Marshmallow lasted up to two times longer than its Lollipop counterpart. It sounds impressive, and we're hoping it translates to noticeably better battery life for our devices.

Android Marshmallow Now on Tap

Android Marshmallow

With Android Marshmallow comes an intelligent new assistant feature called Now on Tap. An enhancement to Google Now, Now on Tap enables users to access information anywhere on their Android Marshmallow device, no matter what they're doing.

Users can simply tap and hold the home button to pull up a query without leaving the app or website they're in. If a friend emails you about seeing a movie, for example, Now on Tap could pull up info such as ratings or the trailer, or even enable you to buy tickets.

Android Marshmallow

You can also look at other apps on your phone, like Yelp or OpenTable, to book a dinner reservation or read reviews about a restaurant a friend has suggested.

And Now on Tap isn't just for basic info – you can also use voice searches for more specific queries, such as finding out who sings a particular song.

Android Marshmallow permissions

Android Marshmallow release date

App permissions are more intuitive in Marshmallow, giving users the option to allow or deny specific permissions within an app, rather than having to accept all permissions at once.

On Lollipop you have to accept permissions when you download an app, but with Android Marshmallow you won't be asked to grant access to features until you come to use them for the first time in the app.

Android Marshmallow

That means, for example, that you can give WhatsApp access to your camera, but not to your microphone if you wish. You can even revoke access for a particular permission by diving into the settings if you've accidentally allowed it.

More new features on Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Android Marshmallow

Google has simplified volume controls once again with the Android Marshmallow update, with more granular control over the various audio settings on your device, from ringtones and alarms to music playback and voice calls.

Word selection has been made easier too, with Android Marshmallow highlighting text more intuitively, and a floating menu offers controls such as cut, copy and paste at your fingertips, rather than in the toolbar at the top of the display.

Fire up the Chrome web browser on Android Marshmallow and you'll benefit from Chrome Custom Tabs, which enables websites to customize the toolbar and menu of the Chrome tab to provide dedicated buttons and options.

An example shown on stage at Google IO was Pinterest, which was able to add a 'Pin' button to the toolbar on certain pages.

App linking has been vastly improved in Android Marshmallow, with Google's software now more adept at working out whether a link should be opened in a browser or a compatible app. That means fewer 'Open with' pop up boxes flashing up on screen and generally getting in the way.

Now it's just a case of sitting back and waiting for your device to get the Android Marshmallow update.

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