Our answer is YES, you need to switch to Android Marshmallow. In this text, you will find out why you should do it and what new products the new Android Marshmallow brings us, or the marshmallow cookie is here! Google officially launched the new operating system on October 5, 2015. If you’re wondering why we haven’t written about it before, here’s the answer: simply because we haven’t had a chance to try it out. Now that all Nexus devices can be updated to a new version of the operating system, we could try and test it for you ourselves.
What does Android Marshmallow look like?
This is definitely the first question you will ask. And the answer is – it looks the same as the previous version. There are no dramatic changes in the design so you will feel “at home”. The material design direction is still current, so there are no surprises.
Google Now is everywhere. The trend of smarter and more proactive virtual assistants continues, so in addition to the talkative Siri and the resourceful Cortana, we now have Google Now getting better and better. You can communicate with this service in two ways:
- touch – all you have to do is hold your finger on the Home button for a long time and Google Now will appear. If you have just read an email in which a friend mentions a movie you watched on Google Now, it will open the movie’s IMDB app or website, and even offer to book tickets if the movie is currently in theaters.
- Voice – If you say “OK Google” you will activate voice commands for this service. You will be able to talk to your phone and tell it what action to take for you. Unfortunately, Google currently only understands English, but we expect it to learn Serbian quickly, so we can talk nicely.
See what Google Now looks like in action:
Better battery utilization. Android Marshmallow guarantees better battery usage. There are a few tricks that have allowed us to make our phones last a little longer:
- Your phone will be able to snooze – yes, you read that right. With Android Marshmallow, your smart devices will be even smarter and know they can rest when not in use. Then “Dose mode” or snooze will be activated, which is very similar to “Airplane mode”. The device will turn off all background processes and checks, and will only register calls, alarms, and messages.
- Charging batteries is much faster and more efficient – thanks to a new USB protocol that has been introduced and natively supported. It is a USB C type that enables significantly faster data transfer and visibly faster battery charging.
- Apps aren’t constantly active – App Standby prevents them from depleting your device non-stop. If the application is not active, the operating system will limit its resources.
We did notice a small shift in battery life, but given that the phone we used for testing was in non-stop use, it’s hard to say how much better the battery really works. TechRadar publishes allegations from Google, which says that they performed tests on Nexus 9 tablets, where Android Lollipop was installed on one, and Marshmallow on the other. Both devices used the same applications and spent the same time on vacation. It turned out that the one with the newer operating system was even twice as durable. Whether that will really be the case remains to be seen.
Better application management. We’ve already mentioned the App Standby feature, but that’s not all. Android brings us a much better and more secure application management system.
Until now, you had to give all permissions to one application when you installed it. Many of us have never paid attention to what this application requires of us. Now, this rule has changed – each application is installed only with a basic set of permissions. If another permit is needed, it will be requested when it becomes necessary. For example, when we install Viber, it will need permission to access our contacts and nothing more, and only when we want to call someone through this application, then we will be asked for permission to use a microphone.
Another novelty related to applications is the possibility to back them up. Yes, this was possible before, but all data and settings in the application were lost. For example, if you were to reactivate a game, you had to go through all the levels from the beginning. With Marshmallow this is not the case. Saved apps are returned in the same format you left them in, so you no longer have to worry about your games after returning from storage.
What else does Android Marshmallow bring?
In addition to these significant and large innovations, Android Marshmallow brings many other small improvements that make this operating system more comfortable and convenient to use. Here are some examples:
- native fingerprint authorization means that this option has become part of the operating system,
- sound control has been improved, so now you can choose the volume at which the alarm will sound. You can have different sound intensities for notifications, calls, and alarm clock,
- when you open a link from a certain application, “Internet” will no longer appear, but Chrome tabs. They are actually part of Chrome and will be able to faithfully show you the look of that website.
- the left swipe on the lock screen triggers Google search and is no longer a shortcut to calls,
- the ability to manage files in the Settings section has been improved. It is still better to use a specialized application for handling documents on your device, but let’s say that the default option is now usable, especially if you use a microSD card.
You can use Android Pay, a virtual wallet. When will I be able to use Android Marshmallow on my smart device?
Unfortunately, when it comes to Android, it is not possible for all devices to get the opportunity to switch to the new generation of the operating system at once. The update date depends primarily on the phone manufacturer, so we’ll wait until we’re all able to enjoy the newspaper. If Google is to be believed, all phones that currently have Android KitKat should be able to switch to Marshmallow by next spring. We really hope so.
Do I need to upgrade to a new operating system?
Our answer is YES. You should always update the operating system on your devices for one very important reason – your security! Although the emphasis is not on security as much as on the innovations that each new operating system brings, each of them is really more secure than its predecessor. So think about your security and update your device on time.