Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) – Everything you need to know

Android Marshmallow (formerly M) is the name of the successor of Android Lollipop. On May 28, 2015, during Google I / O 2015, the new Android version was officially unveiled by Google. It was announced that the update is focused on small improvements and the quality of the operating system. That does not mean that Marshmallow introduces no new features. You can read everything we know so far about the new Android on this page.

Android Marshmallow in a nutshell

Android Marshmallow introduces many improvements that are visible and less visible. We have listed the main points below for you in a row.

  • Android is more energy efficient by “Doze” smart power-saving mode
  • Now you can approve or reject individual app permissions
  • Google Now on Tap: function uses the context of your screen for relevant information
  • Standard support for Android Pay and fingerprint scanners
  • Support for USB-C on smartphones and tablets
  • Simpler options for adjusting the volume
  • Handy hovering clipboard for cutting and pasting into text
  • Various bug fixes and stability improvements
  • Preview version available since May 2015, Android Marshmallow release in Q3 2015

The above information is based on the first three preview versions, so it’s possible that it alters the foregoing, in preparation for the official Android Marshmallow release later this year.

The innovations in Android Marshmallow

At the beginning of Google I/O 2015, where Android Marshmallow was officially unveiled, Google said that the new Android version is mainly focused on fixing bugs. There are thousands of bug fixes in Marshmallow, which is beneficial to the stability and security of the operating system.

Google made a preview version of Android Marshmallow available after Google I/O, as the search giant did last year with Android Lollipop. The Android Marshmallow release of the consumer version will occur a few months later, in the third quarter. But which innovations introduces Marshmallow exactly? We will elaborate on below.

Better battery life by “Doze”

The new Android version is aimed at better performance and deals smarter with features that require a lot of battery. Google Apps will minimize asking users for their locations, relieving the working memory as much as possible and background processes become even more remote.

Android Doze
image via androidcentral.com

Android Marshmallow is thanks to a new feature called “Doze” easier on the battery of your smartphone. To reduce battery consumption, Marshmallow will use smart motion detection to see if your Android device is moved. If this is not the case, then the sleep mode is switched on. Which uses less data and power, which Google ensures that Android devices (the Nexus 9 is given as an example) can do twice as long with one full battery charge.

App permissions

App permissions are still all or nothing for Android. When downloading an app you see what permissions it needs, but you should accept them all in order to use the app. iOS users already have the ability to determine which applications can and can not access, and that is with Android 6.0 finally possible too.
Android M app permissions

With this version of Android, you will not have to accept all app permissions anymore when you install an app. Only when the app will get access to a specific permission, such as contacts, location, camera or photos, then the user has to give permission to a permission through a pop-up window. Once the app has permission, it will stay that way until the user turns it off again.

In the settings, there is a new section where users can view the permissions of all the apps and customize them. For each permission, you can indicate whether the app should have this access. Hopefully, the new feature will not lead to new problems, for example, in Facebook users who block access to photos, but don’t understand why they can directly upload pictures to the social network.

Google Now on Tap

Android Marshmallow also introduced Google Now on Tap. This is a new feature that analyzes what is displayed on your screen, and on this basis shows the right information at the right time. Now on Tap can set reminders, query information on restaurants and find the appropriate phone numbers for your search.
Google Now on Tap
Now on Tap works in all apps without the app developer having to make special adjustments. So, for example, you can while playing a particular song, ask for the name of the artist using a voice command.

Press the home button on your Android device in and say ‘I need help with this” and Now on Tap will provide you with information based on the context. If you have opened an e-mail that is about a particular movie, Now on Tap will show you relevant information at the touch of a button (think of the trailer, actors, and IMDb information). This allows you to quickly check whether the film is worth watching.

Android Pay and fingerprint authentication

Another major innovation of Android Marshmallow is Android Pay. The payment platform was previously leaked and should be particularly easy to use. Simplicity, security, and choice are key. The latter is partly because your credit card number is not shared with shops where you pay.
Android Pay

Android Pay works with any Android phone with NFC and requires Android 4.4 (KitKat) or newer. Pay is still deployed in the US alone; it is still unclear whether and when users from other countries can pay with the payment platform.

A focus of Android 6.0 Marshmallow which connects to Android Pay is the native support for fingerprint scanners. With Android 6.0 it is possible to unlock your phone with your fingerprint and make payment in Google Play. An API for developers is made available to implement the feature in apps.

Other minor improvements in Android 6.0

Android 6.0 also brings some minor features and improvements. An example of this is the USB-c-connection. During Google I/O 2015 we received some information about the new connection, but Google promises that we hear more about it soon. The advantage of USB-c is that this connection enables faster throughput and data flow. So you can quickly recharge your phone and transfer files.

Finally, new are the simpler options for adjusting the volume and a floating pasteboard. With the latter, cutting and pasting from text selections will be easier.

Marshmallow release date

The Android Marshmallow preview images are now available. The consumer release of the new Android version will be in the third quarter of this year, and then we will finally know what exactly has all changed and improved.

References

http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/app-permissions-the-android-m-feature-that-really-matters
http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/28/8677147/google-now-on-tap-announced
https://developer.android.com/preview/features/runtime-permissions.html
https://www.android.com/pay/