Google first previewed the next version of Android to developers (and the world) back in late May. At the time, it was simply called Android M, with Google stating that the official name for the mobile operating system would come at a later date. Well, the time is today and the official name is Marshmallow.
Of all the tasty treats that begin with the letter “M”, Marshmallow was definitely the safe choice, although it was reported that the internal codename for the operating system was Macadamia Nut Cookie. In addition to the name, we’ve also learned that the official version number for Marshmallow is Android 6.0.
“Although the Android 6.0 SDK is final, the devices system images are still developer preview versions… the preview images are near final but they are not intended for consumer use,” said Jamal Eason, Android Product Manager on the official Android Developers Blog. “Remember that when Android 6.0 Marshmallow launches to the public later this fall, you'll need to manually re-flash your device to a factory image to continue to receive consumer OTA updates for your Nexus device.”
Android M is shaping up to be more of a maintenance release for for Google rather than one that completely overhauls the UI and blasts us with dozens of new headliner features. Google has made it a point to improve the performance of the operating system and increase stability (we’re also hoping that some attention has been paid to beefing up security as well).
There have been significant changes made to App Permissions along with some new additions like Custom Chrome Tabs, Support for Android Pay (a rival to Samsung Pay and Apple Pay), a native fingerprint API, and a new Doze mode which allows devices to sip power if they have been left unused for a set period of time. Google is also pushing developers to embrace the new USB-C standard which supports reversible cabling.
With that being said, one of the first devices that will support Android 6.0 Marshmallow is LG’s new 5.2-inch Nexus smartphone, which we saw in the flesh earlier this morning. It will reportedly be joined by a 5.7-inch phablet from Huawei.