Android 6.0 was first released back in September, with Google’s Nexus handsets being the first to benefit from the update. And for the past five months, it has been slowly rolling out to all compatible Android devices, one brand at a time.
Has your phone already received the update? If so, upgrade your OS right now, because Android Marshmallow is the best version so far. But what is it all about?
The latest update of the OS brings brand new features to the table, and its re-design makes it the most aesthetically pleasing version yet. It is the biggest change we’ve ever seen to Google’s Android.
Here are our favourite things about Android Marshmallow:
Due to reach the UK later this month, Android Pay is Google’s answer to Apple’s mobile payment app. It allows users to make payments using only their phone, storing credit card information on the device, then using contactless technology.
Android Pay uses a virtual account number to keep your details more secure, and Android Device Manager makes it easy to lock and wipe your phone remotely – would your brand new Galaxy S7 Edge get lost, or stolen.
The update to Google Now is one of the most important changes that were made to Marshmallow. It looks the same as in previous versions, but is now a part of every area of the OS – it can look through every application you’re using.
Users activate Now on Tap with a long press on the usual Google Now button (the circle on the screen). Useful information will pop up on your screen, depending on your activity: what you’re reading, listening to, or watching.
Android hasn’t always been too accommodating when it comes to extra memory – although most Android-compatible phones boast micro SD slots, the SD card was always treated as separate from the internal memory.
This is a thing of the past with Adoptive Storage. If you choose to use your micro SD as a permanent form of storage, Marshmallow will now treat it just like the memory on your phone, and won’t make a fuss about the ‘outsider’ anymore, letting you add apps, games and more on the card seamlessly.
There’s many tips and tricks you can use to boost your battery life. Now, Android adds Doze Mode to the list – when it detects that you haven’t used your phone in a while, it automatically puts it to sleep to save the battery.
What’s more, App Standby Mode will reduce battery consumption for apps you rarely use, so they don’t drain your phone without you even opening them.
Marshmallow boasts one of the most useful and powerful voice command feature yet. To start with, it’s easily accessible from the lock screen – simply swipe, and start talking. If your phone is unlocked and on the home screen, just say ‘Ok, Google’ to start.
Apps are also much better at understanding your commands. For example, you only need to say, ‘Shazam this song’ and your phone will automatically launch the app to listen for the song that’s playing.
Android’s app launcher has seen a complete change of look – instead of scrolling right and left to go through your apps, it is now a vertical, alphabetical list, with a search bar at the top making it easier to find the app you want.
But the best thing about it are the four apps at the top. Marshmallow can learn which apps you use the most, and at what time of the day (Facebook on your lunch break, Emails in the morning…) So when you open your phone at a certain time, the drawer will show you the apps you are most likely to need.
Marshmallow now makes it even easier to share content to a single person. You used to have to copy a link, then find the person in your contact list and paste a link into a message to send them.
Direct Share allows you to simply tap ‘share’, then see a list of your most talked-to contacts and the apps you use to chat with them. When you tap their icon, you’ll be taken to the messaging app and the link will be ready to send in the text field.
Because Android is the most popular of Mobile OS, there are plenty of new smartphones arriving on the market throughout the year. Some mobile phones coming soon have more interest in them than others, like the recent launches of the Samsung Galaxy S7, or the new modular smartphone LG G5.
Want to know more about upcoming phones? Check out our daily articles!
So there you have it – our favourite Android Marshmallow features, but we’re sure to discover even more great things as we get used to the new OS.