Using Marshmallow is a very different experience from operating Lollipop and its predecessors. Instead of apps pages browsed horizontally, Marshmallow has an apps box with a vertical scroll reminiscent of the apps menu on Windows Phones. It’s a matter of personal preference which method you might like, but Trusted Reviews suggests people with large apps collections may find it faster.
If you’re not a fan of the apps box, Marshmallow has you covered. There’s also a search bar at the top so you can find apps in your collection or new ones in Google Play faster. An algorithm also puts your four most important apps at the top of your apps menu.
With its new memory manager, Marshmallow seeks to address one of the major problems with Lollipop. Many suggested that the earlier memory-hungry operating system struggled in phones light on RAM. Marshmallow’s memory manager lets you check the memory usage of your apps so you can identify any programs that might be impairing your phone’s performance.
Customize Battery Optimization
Google takes Lollipop’s battery-saving capabilities one step further with Marshmallow’s battery optimization settings. By default, all apps except the Android system have battery optimization set, which helps save battery life while the apps aren’t in use. However, you can choose to disable battery optimization for individual apps.
Google Now on Tap
In older operating systems, Android’s digital assistant was only accessible via the Google Now section of the phone. Marshmallow has made it much easier to access this handy feature thanks to Now on Tap. According to AndroidPit, Google Now on Tap might be “the biggest deal of all” in this new operating system.
Hold down the home button and the Google Now Assistant will scan your screen and find additional information that might be relevant online. For example, if you’re having an instant message conversation about a restaurant, the Google Now Assistant might suggest you visit the restaurant’s website.
Permissions Process More Secure
Using previous Android operating systems, you granted apps permission to access features like your camera and contacts list on installation. After that, the apps could do basically whatever they liked with the information on your phone. This has changed with Marshmallow. Now if an app wants to use your camera, it’ll need to ask directly before accessing the feature. This will make app behavior much more predictable and secure. If you ever change your mind, you can also revoke an app’s access to your camera, contacts, and other items via the settings menu.
USB Type-C/3.1 Support
Android has future-proofed its operating system by giving it full support for USB-C. That’s probably not so important right now, but it’ll be big news when USB-C phones with USB 3.1 support start being released. They’ll be able to transmit 40 times the power of existing USB connectors, allowing us to charge our batteries in a fraction of the time.
Available on a Range of Devices
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is already available on several Google phones: the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9. The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will also have the operating system on their release. Marshmallow is currently being developed for other devices, including the powerful Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone.
New Doze Mode
Your Marshmallow-compatible device should last a little longer on each battery charge than with previous versions, thanks to a new Doze mode. This recognizes when your device is resting and puts it in this new battery-saving mode. Alarms and incoming message alerts will still sound, but the phone will perform fewer background services. According to Google, Doze helps the Nexus 9’s battery last twice as long.
With a host of exciting new features and a smart new look, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system is sure to be exciting for Android’s loyal customer base as well as new users.