Google this year brought Android 6.0 Marshmallow as the new version of its open-source mobile platform. This new version not only comes with a new name but also offers a list of new features that are capable to make your existing smartphone a way smarter than before. Here, we are covering all these features to help you updating your smartphone to the latest Android version without any second thought.
Android Marshmallow, which was originally released for developers as Android M, is aimed to uplift user experience. It is designed to deliver the same Android experience on entry-level devices such as some Android One handsets that debuted on flagship Nexus series including the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. This comes as a competitive move by Google to rival Apple’s iOS that has already been offering an upgraded iOS experience on an as inferior hardware as the iPhone 4s.
Apart from the wider hardware support, Android Marshmallow brings some of the preloaded features that can ease the usability of smartphones. While some of these are just upgraded ones from what featured on Android Lollipop, there are also some new ones to give a fresh look and feel on an existing hardware.
Key features on Android 6.0 Marshmallow:
Google Now on Tap
Google Now on Tap is the first major feature that Android Marshmallow has to deliver an all-new experience. It offers spot-on answers in a faster and smarter manner. You just need to tap and hold the home button on your Android smartphone to enable Google Now on Tap whenever you need information on anything, from songs and celebrities to places and event venues. This searches content similar to Google Now but lets you find the exact context while using an app or Google Search.
System UI Tuner
After Google Now on Tap, System UI Tuner is the second major feature that comes exclusively on Android Marshmallow. You can activate this new feature by tap and hold the Settings gear from the notification panel and access its functions by going to the bottom of the Settings menu. It provides some ways to tune-up the existing interface. For instance, you can hide certain icons from the status bar or enable a new battery percentage indicator directly through System UI Tuner.
As battery life becomes a pain if you use more resources on your Android smartphone, Android Marshmallow has a Doze mode. The mode automatically puts the device into a sleep state when you’re away from it for a long time. This helps in enhancing the battery life on your Android Marshmallow smartphone. A proprietary app also emerged in the recent past that offers a similar experience on older Android devices. However, the mode comes as a built-in feature within Android Marshmallow.
Apps are already uplifting the success of Android platform. But when it comes to security and privacy concerns, these have become the finest source and let developers secretly your smartphone. You can turn on or off any permission for any app using App Permissions feature on Android Marshmallow. And by doing this, you can protect your private data from any app developers, even from Google itself.
Mobile payments are yet to become common across smartphone users. Meanwhile, Google has brought Android Pay to Android Marshmallow with an aim to ease mobile payment functionality on smartphones. You can easily make payments on stores or even online directly through Android Pay, instead of giving away your cash or using any of your credit or debit cards. This comes as an alternative to Apple Pay that already launched in a few developed markets but remains exclusive to iOS devices.
MicroSD card as internal storage
One of the major cons of entry-level Android smartphones is their low internal storage. Android Marshmallow resolves that cons by offering the ability to format a microSD card as internal storage. This new feature lets you use your microSD card for storing apps in addition to photos and other media content.
Android operating system is not as light as Tizen or Firefox or even iOS. This means that you need more RAM on your smartphone to get a pleasant experience; without any lag. Developers had created some task managers in the past to help managing background processes on older Android versions. But Android Marshmallow brings a default RAM management that allows you to view average memory use as well as provides you a simple and native way to manage background processes. It shows average memory percentage used by the system itself in addition to the total memory used by apps, including third-party apps and the native ones.
In addition to the key features, Android Marshmallow has an integrated fingerprint sensor support. This means that if your smartphone already has a fingerprint sensor, it will work natively through Android Marshmallow, without using resources from a third-party app. The new Android version also gives a better touchscreen experience with some tweaks on the usability front. Also, there is native USB Type-C support to provide reversible charging option on new hardware.
All in all, Android Marshmallow is a must download to make any of your existing Android smartphone a smarter one. Android Marshmallow updates are already available for a large range of smartphones by companies like HTC, LG and Motorola, while devices by Asus, OnePlus, Samsung and Xiaomi are yet to receive the new version. You can manually check its availability on your Android device by going to ‘Software update’ option in ‘Settings’ menu.