Android Marshmallow v6.0.1 has already started rolling out to Nexus devices, but when will your phone get the Android Marshmallow update? Here we reveal exactly what to expect from Android Marshmallow, including the UK release date and new features.
Android Marshmallow UK release date: When is Android M coming out?
Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 is available now to owners of Nexus phones and tablets. If you don't see an OTA update for it, here's How to get Android M 6.0.1 now. The OS will also be available to non-Nexus phones and tablets in early 2016.
When will my phone get Android Marshmallow?
Well, that all depends on your phone. If it's a high-end device from a well-known manufacturer such as Sony, Samsung or HTC, it's almost certain that an upgrade to Marshmallow will become available to it. However, don't expect to get the upgrade until early 2016, since it will first roll out to Nexus devices.
Nexus devices (Nexus 5, 6, 7, 9 and Player) should recieve the Android Marshmallow update from the week commencing 5 October.
LG Android Marshmallow updates
And it has been confirmed that the LG G4 will be the first non-Nexus device to get the upgrade, in Poland. Europe, Asia and the Americas will 'follow', according to the company.
“By working closely with Google, LG has been able to bring Android 6.0 to the G4 ahead of any of our competitors,” said vice president and head of marketing communications, Chris Yie. “While speed alone isn’t an indicator of great service, it does go a long way toward giving consumers the confidence that LG is committed to its existing customers first.”
It's highly likely that LG will update phones such as the LG G3, LG G Flex 2 and LG V10 but there has been no announcement.
HTC Android Marshmallow updates
HTC has already confirmed that the HTC One M9, HTC One M9+ and HTC One M8 will all receive the Android M update. The latest, as you can see below, is tha the M9 will get version 6.0 while the One A9 - which comes with Marshmallow - will get an update to 6.0.1.
Oddly, in the UK HTC One M8 owners will get the upgrade before One M9 owners - and the update should start rolling out in mid-January.
Lots of questions on this, so quick update: M9 unlocked Marshmallow OS update and A9 6.0.1 (with updated emoji) is on target for this month.— Mo Versi (@moversi) December 7, 2015
Here's the latest from HTC on the Marshmallow update for the M9
We’ve begun rolling out the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update to the unlocked One M9 and selected carriers so you should see the update soon.— HTC UK (@HTC_UK) January 26, 2016
HTC phones getting Android Marshmallow:
• HTC One M9+
• HTC One E9+
• HTC One M8
• HTC One E9
• HTC One ME
• HTC One E8
• HTC One M8 Eye
• HTC Butterfly 3
• HTC Desire 826
• HTC Desire 820
• HTC Desire 816
OnePlus Android Marshmallow updates
Carl Pei suggests the OnePlus 2 will get the Marshmallow upgrade in the first quarter of 2016. The OnePlus X will also get the upgrade, although it hasn't been confirmed exactly when.
Sony Android Marshmallow updates
Similarly, while Sony hasn't said when its devices will get Marshmallow, it has confirmed that the following phones and tablets will be upgraded:
• Xperia Z5
• Xperia Z5 Dual
• Xperia Z5 Compact
• Xperia Z5 Premium
• Xperia Z5 Premium Dual
• Xperia Z4 Tablet
• Xperia Z3+
• Xperia Z3+ Dual
• Xperia Z3
• Xperia Z3 Dual
• Xperia Z3 Compact
• Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
• Xperia Z2
• Xperia Z2 Tablet
• Xperia M5
• Xperia M5 Dual
• Xperia C5 Ultra
• Xperia C5 Ultra Dual
• Xperia M4 Aqua
• Xperia M4 Aqua Dual
• Xperia C4
• Xperia C4 Dual
"Sony Mobile is working hard to bring this update to as many of the above listed devices as possible in a timely manner. Users can expect new Sony features, additional functionality and a better user experience with the Android version 6.0 software update," said the firm.
Samsung Android Marshmallow updates
It's harder to keep up with Samsung's Android updates as they vary around the world. Many of its devices will get Android Marshmallow, though, and the firmware upgrade has already been rolling out in some countries. If the upgrade roadmap on Times News is correct, here's what it looks like.
• Samsung Galaxy Note 5
• Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
• Samsung Galaxy S6
• Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
Update 2 Feb: The Marshmallow update is currently rolling out to the Galaxy S6 in South Korea, although there's still no word on when the update will make its way to the UK.
• Samsung Galaxy Note 4
• Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
• Samsung Galaxy Alpha
• Samsung Galaxy S5
• Samsung Galaxy A8
• Samsung Galaxy A7
• Samsung Galaxy A5
• Samsung Galaxy A3
• Samsung Galaxy E7
• Samsung Galaxy E5
Huawei and Honor Android Marshmallow updates
According to Dispatch Times, Huawei will start rolling out Android 6.0 Marshallow to its phones and tablets in November. Meanwhile, Honor phones will get the update in Februray 2016
• Huawei P8
• Huawei P8 Max
• Huawei Mate S
• Ascend Mate 7
• Ascend G7
• Ascend G7 Plus
• Huawei G8
• MediaPad X2
• Honor 7
• Honor 6 Plus
• Honor 6
• Honor 4X
• Honor 4C
Coming soon! Starting February 2016, we will be rolling out Android M to honor phones. pic.twitter.com/BN3gwPqs6g— Honor India (@HiHonorIndia) November 1, 2015
Motorola Android Marshmallow updates
Now owned by Lenovo, Motorola has confirmed a number of its devices will be updated to Android Marshmallow. As for timings, the phone maker is being far less specific but you can check for updates on the software page.
"we have high standards, so we’ll work fast but we won’t push the upgrades out until we know they’re ready. Look for more news on timing in the coming weeks," it says.
• 2015 Moto X Pure Edition (3rd gen)
• 2015 Moto X Style (3rd gen)
• 2015 Moto X Play
• 2015 Moto G (3rd gen)
• 2014 Moto X Pure Edition in the US (2nd gen)
• 2014 Moto X in Latin America, Canada, Europe and Asia (2nd gen)
• 2014 Moto G and Moto G with 4G LTE (2nd gen)
• Droid Turbo
• 2014 Moto Maxx
• 2014 Moto Turbo
• Nexus 6
• Moto X Force
• Droid Turbo 2
• Droid Maxx 2
• 2015 Moto E with 4G LTE in Latin America, Canada, Europe and Asia (2nd Gen)
Older phones - Android Marshmallow updates
Cheaper and older smartphones, or those from smaller manufacturers, may never get the upgrade to Android M. One of the key criticisms against Android is its fragmentation.
At the last count, on 5 October 2015, only 23.5 percent of Android devices were running Lollipop, and 38.9 percent KitKat. That leaves 37.6 percent running Android operating systems more than two years old, and that 37.6 percent translates to an awful lot of phones and tablets.
If you're running Lollipop now then you may well get an upgrade to Android M. If you're running KitKat or an older Android operating system, don't count your chickens.
Android Milkshake or Android Marshmallow? Android 5.2 or Android 6.0? What will the new Android be called?
After months of rumours and arguments in the office over the version number and name of the next Android, Google has finally ended the dispute by announcing that Android M will be Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
So Milkshake, Mars, Macadamia, Milky Way, Meringue, Milk Dud and other possibles are all out of the window. Also the 5:20 time in the demo mode of one of the developer previews indicating the version number being 5.2 is also incorrect. We also thought it would be 5.2 since there are no major updates.
Following Android Alpha and Android Beta, Google has always named its Android OS updates after sweet treats, and in alphabetical order. So far we've had Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop.
"Whether you like them straight out of the bag, roasted to a golden brown exterior with a molten center, or in fluff form, who doesn’t like marshmallows? We definitely like them! Since the launch of the M Developer Preview at Google I/O in May, we’ve enjoyed all of your participation and feedback. Today with the final Developer Preview update, we're introducing the official Android 6.0 SDK and opening Google Play for publishing your apps that target the new API level 23 in Android Marshmallow," said Google.
Android Marshmallow new features: What to expect from new Android M
Android M is an incremental upgrade and focuses largely on bug fixes. Google is concentrating on six areas with Android M: App Permissions, Web Experience, App Links, Mobile Payments, Fingerprint Support and Power & Charging. See also: Android M vs iOS 9 comparison.
A few of these categories are particularly interesting. In terms of power Google announced Doze, a new deeper-sleep state for devices running Android M that uses motion detection to learn when a device is not in use and puts them into a sort of ultra power-saving mode. You'll still get important notifications, but Doze has the potential to bring up to two times longer battery life, as Google has shown to be the case with the Nexus 9 running Android M.
When the power finally runs out there will be Android M-wide support for USB Type C, or USB-C, which is a reversible-type connector that not only allows you to charge your phone or tablet three- to five times faster but you can use it to charge another device.
With Android M Google will also standardise support for fingerprint sensors. Not only will these be used to unlock and secure your phone, but they tie in nicely with the new Android Pay mobile payments system, which focuses on simplicity, security and choice. Android Pay is an open API, allowing devs to add it to their own apps.
App permissions are also changing in Android M. Rather than requesting your permission to use certain features at installation time, Android M apps will request permission for activities the first time it is required.
Many of the new features in Android are developer-focused improvements (as show in the below slide) that will make the whole experience smoother for Android users, although they may not necessarily be obvious changes.
Another new feature in Android M is Now on Tap, which is in essence Google Now but wherever you are on your phone. Say for example you're on WhatsApp with a friend, discussing where to go for dinner and your friend suggests a restaurant that you've never heard of. Activating Now on Tap by holding the home button will bring up a plethora of information on the restaurant, including opening times, reviews, directions from your current location and (if available) a way to book a table there and then. According to Google, it'll get more accurate the more you use it too.
As well as these main features, Android M also brings with it a plethora of smaller improvements. These improvements include easy access to Voice Action from the lock screen - simply swipe from the left corner to activate Google's Voice Action technology. There are also new window animations in Android M, with elements now appearing from their point of interaction, providing a nice 'flow'. As well as this, there's also an improved notification system that resembles Apple's banner notification, allowing for unintrusive notifications on your Android device.
Google has also included an 'Intelligent Prediction Engine' that sounds like Apple's 'Proactive' assistant in iOS 9. Google has said that Android M will monitor your habits and produce a tray of app shortcuts that it thinks you'll be using, at various different times of the day. It should become more accurate the more you use it, too.
Android Marshmallow sample apps
Google has unveiled three new sample apps for Android Marshmallow that show how some of its features will work. They are not designed for consumers, however, and Are available to devs through the Google samples repository on Github or through Android Studio.
Rich Hyndman introduced the new apps in an Android Developers blog post, where you can learn more about each of them. However, to summarise, Android Direct Share provides APIs to make sharing data between apps more intuitive and quick for users, while Android MidiSynth and MidiScope are both associated with new MIDI support in Android 6.0.
Android Marshmallow launch live stream
Android Marshmallow launch live blog
Android Marshmallow live video stream: How to watch Android M 6.0 live - Google I/O keynote live video stream
In June 2015 Google live-streamed its Android M Developer Preview launch, and you can watch the Android M announcement right here in our live video.
Android Marshmallow hype before the announcement
Android M was spotted in the wild months ago - even before Android Lollipop was announced there were reported sightings of Android M. Over on the Android Open Source Project developers were twice seen discussing Android M - firstly in regard to Logcat, and secondly in regard to a data interchange format. Neither will mean anything to end users, according to Myce, but can be useful to developers.
Soon after a report surfaced from Reuters suggesting that Android M would operate in and be built directly into cars, independently of a paired smartphone, with Google taking a much stronger focus on Android Auto..
Reports of Android M have been coming in ever since, and now there's even talk of Android N.
The strongest evidence that we will see a new version of Android this year comes from Google software engineer Hiroshi Lockheimer, who told Fast Company that Google has adopted a "yearly cadence of big releases, so, for instance, one year we release J, the next year we release K, and then the year after that L, and then this year we'll launch M, and so you can predict what will happen next year."
In terms of new features, Google was expected to focus once again on performance and battery life. We'd like to see improved parental controls, more customisation, smarter gestures and an Android-standard ultra power saving mode.
Read next: Best new phones coming soon.