Finally the await is over, Google has confirmed it has started rolling out the new and latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for supported Nexus devices. The Android Marshmallow update brings a host of new features and under-the-hood improvements such as Now on Tap assistance when you need it, new app permissions to offer even more control on the data that apps can read and smart battery feature to keep your device going longer.
Google on its blog said: “Android Marshmallow is the sweetest, smartest Android version yet.”
— Android (@Android) October 5, 2015
The recently launched Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will come with Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box. For older Nexus devices such as the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9 and the Nexus Player, the update will be available over the air.
How to update your Nexus device to Android Marshmallow?
Once the update arrives you will get a notification on your device. Alternatively, you can head over to Settings > About Phone > System Update > Check Now, to manually check if the update has arrived.
Do note, as Google is steadily rolling out the updates, you might have to wait for sometime till the update reaches your devices. This will however, depend on your location, carrier, and several other factors.
10 key new features of Android Marshmallow 6.0:
Refreshed Google Now launcher:
Google has added a few tweaks to the Google Now launcher for Android Marshmallow. New animations are added to make the interface visually intuitive. The new app drawer now looks cleaner and also features vertical scrolling. Other improvements come in the form of predictive app suggestions and fast alphabetic scrolling. That’s not all; the homescreen can now be rotated horizontally too.
The new version brings back granular app permissions control that was last seen on Jelly Bean. Most apps ask for permission to access contacts, photos and other information. At the time of install, users are asked for permission by the app to access all of this information. Once you ‘ok’ access to these apps, there is no way you can go back and change that permission setting unless you re-install.
The new feature allows Android system to ‘adopt’ the external memory device such as a microSD card to use it as an onboard storage. This makes it easier to store games and apps on your smartphone.
Chrome Custom Tabs:
Chrome custom tabs is a another new feature that allows websites to add buttons and menu items to the browser that makes a Chrome tab feel like an app. So when a user clicks on a web link in an app, it will open the Chrome browser within the app. This lets users take advantage of various Chrome functions like remember password, auto sign-in and Google translate.
Doze and charging:
Google is focusing on improving the battery life on Android smartphones, and the new OS includes a ‘Doze’ feature that basically uses motion detection to see if the device has been left alone unattended for a long time and it will stop real-time updates during that period. Using intelligent algorithms, it temporarily snoozes unnecessary battery eating apps and functions.
Uninstall pre-loaded apps:
With the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones, Google has reduced the number of preloaded apps to offer better out-of-the-box experience. At the event, Android’s VP of Engineering also mentioned that they have developed a system to move some of its apps to post setup installation. This means, they can be uninstalled just like any other app.
The list of Google apps that could be uninstalled include Google Docs, Google Fit, Google+, Keep, News, Play Books, Sheets, Slides, and Weather. However, apps such as Gmail, Google Play Store, Settings, and Clock would remain untouchable.
Updated Google Now with ‘Now on Tap’:
This is an extremely cool new feature within Google Now that’s always ready to assist by just a long press of the home button. For example, if you are listening to a song, and want to know the singer, all you need to do is ask’ Who is the singer?’ and Google Now will understand the context and display the singer’s name.
With the new Nexus smartphones, Google has introduced Nexus Imprint, a drastically improved fingerprint sensor. On Marshmallow, Google is letting users secure individual apps with their fingerprints.
Improved word selection:
There is now a new way to select text. It now highlights one word at a time, and if you pull the handle backwards it will select each letter at a time. It’s even added a floating toolbar, something similar to what is seen on iOS, that offers cut, copy, and paste buttons, so you won’t need to go to the Action Bar to make a selection.
Improved volume controls:
The most dignified thing to do is acknowledge a mistake, when you make one. With Lollipop, Google overhauled the volume control menu, and needless to say the feedback wasn’t great. Google has now modified the volume controls to make it easier to modify the system volume, music volume, or alarm volume independently.