By now you should have been familiar with the latest sugary treat Google has named its newest version of Android after. And if you’re not, what rock have you been living under?
Google revealed everything about the new Android version on September 29, during the Nexus event, disclosing the cool, new features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow to the public. During the event, Google boasted about a wide range of new features that Android 6.0 offers, and here are some of them we consider cool:
New App Drawer
The new app drawer is the very first thing you’ll notice about Android Marshmallow. Before Marshmallow, scrolling was done horizontally against a shade of your homepage wallpaper. Android 6.0 introduces vertical scrolling against a white background. And at the very top of the drawer, you will find four of your most recently used apps.
Rotating Home Screen
Google has finally brought the rotating home screen feature to Android. Now you can make use of your home screen in landscape mode.
Fingerprint sensors are turning out to be common features on smartphones these days. Every phone manufacturer is slapping on the feature into some of their phones, coding everything on their own to make sure that the sensors work well without hitches. But this should stop soon now that Android Marshmallow is here. This is because Google is now dedicating its time to building support for fingerprint sensors into Android. This way, phone manufactures wouldn’t have to worry about coding the sensors into their devices all by themselves as the feature will be supported by Android Marshmallow. With fingerprint sensors, Android device users will be able to secure their devices and authorize payments on Android Pay. The fingerprint sensor will also allow for secure app purchases on the Google Play Store.
New App Permission Structure
Before Marshmallow, and as part of their installation process, Android apps ask for access to anything they might need on your device before you are allowed to install. They usually require access to your messages, location, camera, and so on, and you have no other choice but to accept these conditions and surrender your device to the app’s will.
But Android Marshmallow is here now and it allows you to decide for yourself which permission individual apps get on your device. For instance, if you wish to download Instagram, and you do not wish for Instagram to have access to your camera settings, with Android Marshmallow, you can do that. As a result, you have an idea when a particular app is using a feature and why it is using it.
App Backup and Restore
With Android Marshmallow, all your app data and settings are automatically backed up on Google Drive when your device is idle and connected to Wi-Fi. So if you ever find that your data has been wiped out or if you ever change your device, you shouldn’t worry as you will now be able to restore all of your apps and settings as they were before.
Doze Battery Optimization
If there is anything that connects smartphone users to each other, it’s their unending search to find better ways to utilize battery life. Google has realized this and have tailored Android Marshmallow to solve our worries. Doze is a new feature that studies how apps are used on Android devices and fine-tunes app activity accordingly. Basically, if you are not using your Android device, Doze notices this and stops such apps from running in the background and draining your battery.
Google Now on Tap
This is one of the most interesting feature Android Marshmallow offers. What it does is to take Google Now through your apps to analyze the data it finds there and provide more information on that data, and instantly, too. For instance, if you’re texting someone and they invite you to the Cinema, holding the home button will activate Google Now on Tap, which will show the address of the Cinema on a map. Or if you are on TechsNG on your browser reading this particular post, Google Now might pull up ‘USB Type-C’ and provide more information about the new technology.
Android Marshmallow has added support for USB Type-C for Android devices. This is a tiny new reversible USB format that allows you to charge smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It can also be used to transfer data between devices. Google’s Pixel C, as well as the LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P are one of the first devices to feature the USB Type-C charger.
Cut, Copy, Paste
It might look like a minute improvement, but it is an improvement nonetheless. Marshmallow has a new way of handling copy and pasting text. With previous Android versions, you would have to move up to the top of your screen to use the cut, copy, and paste buttons on selected text. With Marshmallow, the cut, copy, and paste option will now pop up directly above the text you’ve selected.
With these features, it is evident that Google meant every word when they said the Marshmallow is the most polished version of Android so far. The first set of devices exhibiting this polished experience is the LG Nexus 5X, Huawei Nexus 6P, and Google’s very own Pixel C, its first Android-powered tablet.
Google has confirmed that new Android version is set to be available to other Nexus devices (Nexus 5 and the Nexus 6 handsets, as well as the Nexus 7 and Nexus 9 tablets) starting from October 5.
HTC has also released a list of HTC devices that will be getting the Marshmallow update very soon.
The Android Marshmallow update is also set to be available to non-Nexus devices in the coming months.