Android Marshmallow 6.0: When will your phone get Android Marshmallow?

Android Marshmallow now running on 10 per cent of Google smartphones

Android Marshmallow is the best Android release yet, bringing a host of great updates and features. Here's everything you need to know about the sixth edition of Google's mobile OS.

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Android Marshmallow news

09/06/2016: Google has revealed Android Marshmallow adoption has increased to be installed on 10 per cent of Android devices, showing an increase of 2.6 per cent since May. Other versions of Android weren't so popular, remaining either flat or decreasing adoption.

It's taken eight months to reach this milestone, even though it is the fastest growing iteration of the platform.In fact, the rate of adoption has doubled since April.

To put things into perspective, iOS 9 is running on 84 per cent of iPhones and iPads, so takeup is still noticeably lower compared to other platforms.

However, Android Marshmallow is still in line to become the third most popular Android version by October, which is when Android N is due to be released. Android Lollipop is the overall most popular platform, running on 35.4 per cent of devices (15.4 per cent on API version 21 and 20 per cent on API version 22), while KitKat comes in at 31.6 per cent.

Googles numbers are based on devices accessing the Google Play Store, meaning it's essentially only measuring devices that regularly download apps and games.

16/05/2016: Huawei has begun rolling out updates to Android 6.0 Marshmallow for its P8 Lite smartphone in Europe.

Huawei quietly made the OS available on its Polish support page. Germany has reportedly received the update as well, and other European countries are expected to follow. The United States should not be far behind either.

The update will take up 1.5GB on users’ P8 Lite handsets and will first be made available to the unlocked versions of the device. Following testing and approval, variants will than be rolled out to locked versions.

The P8 Lite launched in May 2015, running Android KitKat as its base OS. The device only just received Lollipop in October 2015 – the same month that Google’s Marshmallow update was first released.

Huawei P8 Lite is an older smartphone, hence why updates for this handset appear to be less of a priority for the company. At the time of publishing, the official Android developer site showed that just 7.5 per cent of Android handsets are running Marshmallow.

24/03/2016: Android 6.0 Marshmallow will soon start to be rolled out to LG V10 users, Verizon has announced.

The update - build number VS99022A - reports 9to5Google, includes all standard features of Marshmallow such as Now on Tap - to pull up relevant information cards - Doze Mode to optimise battery power, a Silent Mode option in Quick Settings, and Direct Share for simple sharing with users' contacts.

It will also be easier to control notifications with Marshmallow, as well as adjust Google Services and Apps with the new settings menu.

The update officially rolls out today (March 24), though not all users will receive it straight away. They can manually update by going to Settings > About Phone > Software updates > Check for Update.

07/01/2016: Google has revealed Android Marshmallow (version 6.0) is only running on 0.7 per cent of devices three months after its release. The company's statistics show it is one of the least popular updates, way behind Android Lollipop, which has made big gains over the last seven days.

Marshmallow's predecessor is running on more than 30 per cent of devices, with 16.9 per cent running on Android 5.0 and 15.7 per cent using Android 5.1.

Android KitKat is still the most widely used version of Android though, with 36.1 per cent of smartphones and tablets using that iteration.

Google collects its official numbers by identifying the version numbers of devices as they access Google Play.

14/12/2015: Some early users of Android 6.0 Marshmallow have reported problems with keeping time, GSMArena has reported, as system clocks appear to be out of sync.

Due to the fact that the difference is at first very small, it has only been clocked by the most eagle-eyed users, but some comments have reported that, left unchecked, a lag of up to 15 minutes can be develop over 12 hours.

Android has already rolled out a fix in the Android 6.0.1 update but, alternatively, users can simply force the handset to re-sync by restarting or manually switching from 4G to 3G. 

20/11/2015: Google is set to tag apps that contain adverts in its Play store, so users are forewarned before downloading them.

The "ad-supported" labels will identify applications that contain adverts from January 2016, whether those ads are from third-party networks or not and whether they are display, native or banner ads.

A letter to developers featured in Droid Life warns them they must sign into the Play Developer Console by 11 January to declare if their apps contain any such adverts, and they will have to make the declaration again each time they update their applications.

Any misrepresentation will violate the Google Play Developer Program Policies, and could see developers banned.

First tried out within Google's Designed for Families group of apps, the feature is now being rolled out across the Play store.

06/11/2015: Marshmallow has managed to make its way onto 0.3 per cent of Android devices, according to figures released by Google. In a report by blog Android Police, there are now more devices running the latest OS than Froyo (2.2).

This means that Marshmallow is seeing better adoption than Lollipop so far in its lifecycle. 

14/10/2015: A small, yet significant feature hole has been filled in Android Marshmallow, with the OS now supporting a built-in file manager. Or, rather, a file manager is present.

Discovered by Phandroid, the feature is accessible through Settings>Storage and USB>Explore. While quite basic visually, and not front and centre as a feature, it is a bit of a turnaround for Google, which has been holding out against an embedded file manager until now.

There are also basic functions for searching, sorting and filtering but, in the words of Phandroid "nothing that will blow the pants off you".

05/10/2015: Android Marshmallow is available from today, but it may not come to your device for some time yet.

Google's latest version of its open-source operating system will be available starting this week, first on its new Nexus devices, the Nexus 5X and 6P smartphones, as well as HTC's Nexus 9, the Asus Nexus 7, Motorola's Nexus 6 and the LG Nexus 5, according to a handy update schedule put together by India Today.

The publication claims Motorola devices will get the update "as fast as possible" while HTC's One M9 and One M8 will not have a Marshmallow update available until the end of the year.

29/09/2015: EXCLUSIVE - Marshmallow is likely to be the “cleanest Android release yet”, according to a specialist mobile developer using it in a preview.

Google opened up its new mobile operating system to developers back in May, meaning testers have been reporting bugs and flaws in the earliest versions of Marshmallow for four months before its expected release in early October.

Voicu Klein, Android developer at The App Business, a mobile software development firm, was one of those preview users, and told IT Pro: “This has allowed developers like myself, and Android enthusiasts alike, to install, use and report bugs back to Google.

“As a result, most obvious bugs will have been spotted and addressed by Google and I will happily be using it myself. Marshmallow is set to be the cleanest Android release yet.”

Android Marshmallow release date and device availability

Due to Google's somewhat opaque update schedule, it can be nigh on impossible to discern when - if at all - your device will get the update. Luckily, we've created these handy tables to let you know when your phone should be updated to Android Marshmallow.

Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge Available now
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ 08/03/2016 (rumoured)
Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge Launch
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 March/April (rumoured)

LG

LG G5 Launch
LG G4 Available now
LG G3 March/April (rumoured)

Google Nexus

Nexus 5X Launch
Nexus 6P Launch
Nexus 5 Available now 
Nexus 6 Available now

HTC

HTC One M8 Available now
HTC One M9 Available now
HTC One A9 Launch

Motorola

Moto X (2014) TBC
Moto X Pure Available now
Moto X Play TBC
Moto X Style TBC
Moto G (2014/2015) TBC
Moto E (2015) TBC

Sony

Xperia Z3+ 07/03/2016
Xperia Z5 07/03/2016
Xperia Z5 Compact 07/03/2016
Xperia Z5 Premium 07/03/2016

BlackBerry

BlackBerry Priv Q1 2016

OnePlus

OnePlus One Available now (custom install)
OnePlus Two Available now (custom install)
OnePlus X Available now (custom install)

Android Marshmallow name

One of the most entertaining subjects for speculation in the run-up to a new Android release is what the final name is going to be.

As you may or may not know, Android builds have a tradition of being named after ‘tasty treats’ (not just desserts), which was inspired by the terrible diets of Google’s engineers. One story claims that it was ‘donut burgers’ – a Krispy Kreme sliced in half with a hamburger patty in the middle – that birthed the trend.

The latest version has been dubbed Android Marshmallow, following on alphabetically from previous releases Lollipop, KitKat and Jellybean.

How Google Glass greeted the arrival of Android Marshmallow

Android Marshmallow developer preview

If you just can't wait for your device to get the official roll-out, Google has released developer preview versions of the Android M operating system that are free to download - as long as you've got a Nexus device that you’re willing to totally wipe and reformat.

However, we’d advise against anyone but the most devoted enthusiasts going down this route. Not only is it unreasonably fiddly and time-consuming, it’s also not entirely worthwhile. Many of the big-ticket new features haven’t been fully implemented yet, and it’s still prone to the odd bug and hiccup.

If you really, really want to, you can – sister site Expert Reviews have been living with the developer preview since its initial launch back in May – but for the vast majority, there’s no real point.

Android Marshmallow features

In terms of new features, Android Marshmallow isn’t as much of a radical departure from form as previous releases. In fact, most of the additions are fairly minor tweaks designed to create a more seamless and intuitive user experience.

Display and app privacy

The app menu, for example, is now a single vertically scrolling screen. The ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature for notification muting has been improved too. One of the most important changes, however, is the new method for managing app permissions.

Users are getting more and more privacy-conscious, with an increasing awareness and mistrust of how much of their personal information their apps have access to. Google has acknowledged this, and now rather than simply granting a swathe of app permissions during the initial download, users can choose to allow or deny access to specific functions.

A good example of this is an IM service like Facebook Messenger. Most have voice and video calling functions built-in, but if you never use them, then the app won’t need access to the camera or microphone. Previously, users would have to grant them permission regardless, but the new system means that if it doesn’t need to use those functions, the app simply won’t ask for access.

Aside from this, there are a couple of more pedestrian updates. Improved cross-app linking means that certain links will always open in the relevant app if clicked in an email or web browser.

There’s also split-screen windowing, as seen on devices like the Galaxy Note 4, and a boost to standby power in the form of Doze. Since this mainly deals with polling updates while the device is in sleep mode, this is largely going to be more useful for tablets than it is for phones, but it’s still a welcome addition.

Android Pay and Now on Tap

Of course, there are a few shiny flagship features for fans to salivate over too. As part of the seemingly endless swathe of fingerprint-powered payment technologies like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, Marshmallow will bring Android Pay to phones equipped with the requisite sensors.

There’s also a particularly exciting expansion to Android’s brilliant Google Now functionality, in the form of Now on Tap. This enables Google Now functionality within apps themselves, activated with a long press on the Home button.

Now on Tap

Using Google’s advanced algorithms to detect context, Now on Tap will interpret your request based on what you’re looking at at the time. If you’re reading a review of a restaurant, for example, you could bring up Now on Tap and ask ‘How do I get there?’, and Now on Tap will give you directions using your chosen maps service.

This is thanks to the new integration with your apps. If a friend’s sent you an email about going to see a film, bringing up Now on Tap from within the email will show you basic information about the film, along with shortcuts to various relevant apps, such as a trailer for the film on YouTube, or ratings on IMDB.

This article was originally published on 10/09/2015. The most recent update was on 16/05/2016.