Although Google Marshmallow isn’t out yet, everybody knows what to expect as Google is planning to launch two new smartphones (the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X) in India during mid-October preloaded with the latest version, Android 6.0. Having read up on it, what stands out for me in particular is how so many of the new features increase the value for money of all Android devices globally.
It was during May this year that Google announced Android 6.0 was on its way, and if you’re a Nexus owner then you will be happy to know that you will be at the front of the rollout line, starting this week. So what can you expect from the latest Android M operating system update and how will it increase the value for money of your device if you upgrade?
Unsurprisingly, the first set of devices to get the update are the Google owned Nexus line of products. After that, any customers with one of the major flagship devices from Samsung, HTC or Sony should get the upgrade soon after. Don’t expect it until at least late 2015 or at the very latest, early 2016.
Anyway, time is just a number, so let's instead focus on what we can actually look forward to from the most important aspects of the update.
Doze – When your device enters into rest mode, Doze mode will automatically kick in and put your phone into a sleep state. This is purely to increase your standby life and increase the value for money per charge.
USB Type C – The new OS will support USB Type C charging and data transfer, which will speed up transfers and reduce charging times. It is also rumoured that most devices will adopt a USB Type 3 port from 2016, (similar to iPhone 6’s).
App Standby – The new OS will now prevent apps that are hardly used from draining battery, again extending the life of your phone.
PRIVACY & SECURITY
Fingerprint Sensors – The update is pushing more users towards authenticating purchases, unlocking their device and paying in stores with inbuilt fingerprint scanners.
Android M Apps – All apps designed for Marshmallow will only ask permissions when they actually need it, but you may still deny and continue using the app.
Advanced Controls – You can turn on/off the permissions of your installed apps, to give yourself more security and reduce your exposure to fraud.
Boot Verification – Each time the device boots, it will notify you if the firmware or operating system has been modified.
Instant Access – Now you don’t even have to exit an app to get assistance, simply hold the home button to bring up the help options.
Speak More – App developers will now have the ability to utilise new voice interaction services. If a user says “Play Music” within Google Music, the app will respond, “What genre?”
Bluetooth Stylus – improved pressure sensitivity and modifier keys will improve the usability and dexterity of your stylus accessories.
Smarter Text – Built in undo/redo and the text actions have been moved closer within your fingers reach.
Text – Save money on translation apps because the Android 6.0 update will bring new translation options that help you translate words as you type them. (This requires the Google Translate app to be installed.)
Application Performance – If you’re looking to buy a new phone in 2016 but don’t want to spend extortionate amounts, then lower memory usage rates from apps in 6.0 may mean you can buy a phone with a smaller amount of RAM to keep costs down.
SETUP & MIGRATION
Emails – During setup you can now add an additional email address, besides the standard Gmail account to speed up the process.
App Backup – If you’ve bought apps or downloaded free ones and previously lost valuable data due to unknown reasons, rest assured that the new OS will seamlessly back up all information.
Transfer - Fed up with expensive iPhones and want to migrate over to a better-valued Android device, well transferring all your data, apps and accounts just got much easier through Google Transfer.
App Links – Installed apps will now automatically recognise URL’s and check to see if you already have the app installed so it can open information whithin the app rather than on the web.
Centralised Settings – Manage your app’s settings in one location such as battery, memory, notifications and permissions.
Do Not Disturb – If you want to save money by buying an Android device but love the iPhone ‘Do Not Disturb’ toggle on the side of the iPhone, then know that Android are now putting an easily accessible toggle in their quick settings menu.
Though Shall Pass – If someone calls you more than once within 15 minutes, whilst within Do Not Disturb mode then you can allow him or her to call through.
BLE – Bluetooth Low Energy will now be more efficient, so scanning for nearby devices and playing music will take less of a toll on your battery life.
Pocket WiFi - If you need to use a portable WiFi at any point during your day, then you can rest assured that you will now have the ability to get more money out of your service through newly supported 5GHz frequency bands.
Flex Storage – If you don’t have one of the latest flagship devices (which do not have removable storage), then Flex Storage will improve encryption on your external storage or SD cards. Ultimately securing your data much more easily.
However, it doesn’t seem like everyone is as keen on updating their operating systems like me, because at last count on the 7th September 2015 only 21% of Android devices around the world were running Lollipop. 39.2% were running Kit-Kat, so that leaves an additional 40% that are still running operating systems that are older than two years.
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