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Android Marshmallow vs Lollipop VS | What’s New Inside Marshmallow

Android 6.0 Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop and Hidden Features


With the recent launch of the Nexus smartphones, Google officially rolled out its latest update – Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Released in October of 2015, this sweetly named operating system is a free update and is loaded with an array of new features. And since a majority of Google’s partners chose to modify the stock Android by adding custom skins and overlays, the exact user experience might vary depending on the brand and model. To be precise, Android Marshmallow isn’t a revamp of everything the users knew about Android. Rather, it’s an extension of the core features whose foundations were laid in the previous version – Android Lollipop. Following the tradition, Android Marshmallow comes pre-installed on the latest Nexus Devices – Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P and will be followed in a quick succession for the previous Nexus devices.

Android Marshmallow Release Date

Google has unveiled Android Marshmallow for the first time in May 2015 at Google I/O with the codename Android M. Since then, enthusiasts started guessing the exact name of the sweet treat that the software might be named after. On August 17, Google finally put an end to the guessing game, overlooking the likes of ‘Malt Ball’, ‘Milkshake’ and ‘Meringue’ to officially confirm that the latest version will be formally known as Android Marshmallow.

Following all the hype and hysteria around the name, the update for Android Marshmallow was officially released on October 5, 2015. Shortly after this, LG announced that the company would be launching its third-party upgrade for its flagship LG G4 in the following week. On December 7, 2015, the Android 6.0.1 update was released by Google with revamped security updates and added support for additional emojis.

In-Depth Comparison of Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 5.1 Lollipop


Marshmallow vs Lollipop: Google Now on Tap

By far, Google Now on Tap is the biggest revolution that made on Android Marshmallow. By long pressing the Home button, Google Now makes a note of the apps running on the screen and offers relevant information on the keywords observed. For instance, if you receive a message from someone about a restaurant, activating Google Now will get you navigation directions or online reviews. This feature effectively saves you the time for leaving the app to find additional information. That said, this feature is not without flaws; but it has the potential to evolve into a key feature soon.

Marshmallow vs Lollipop: App Permissions

With Android Marshmallow, there is finally a coherent way to manage individual app permissions. On Android Lollipop, the user had to allow all the app permissions before attempting to download an app from the Play Store. But this is no longer the case in Android Marshmallow. Instead, the user can allow or deny individual app permissions like granting access to the microphone/ location etc. Besides, the user also has the option to revoke app permissions even after granting them in the first place.

Marshmallow vs Lollipop: Doze

Starting with Lollipop’s Project Volta, Google has laid foundations to enhance the battery life of smartphones. In this regard, a new feature called ‘Doze’ is incorporated in Android Marshmallow. In short, it is an intelligent battery management feature that enhances battery life by putting the device into something close to the airplane mode when you’re not using it. This feature uses the motion sensors of the device to detect if the phone is being used or not and sends it into hibernation. The actual considerations are more complicated and we don’t have any credible information on it but the battery savings are reported to be phenomenal. While the devices running on Android Lollipop lose an average of 15-20 percent of battery overnight, Doze takes that down to 3-4 percent.

Marshmallow vs Lollipop: Fingerprint Sensors

With the Marshmallow update, Google has finally brought in a uniform platform for fingerprint sensors. Until now, third-party manufacturers have been adding fingerprint sensors to the devices with their own software. It is actually the first time that the fingerprint sensor is supported by the core Android OS itself. As on the iPhone, the user can now use this feature to unlock the device, make payments or switch easily between running apps and more. This is a big step forward and now that the OS is fit to add support for fingerprint, most of the future handsets are expected to include such capabilities.

Marshmallow vs Lollipop: USB Type-C

The latest USB Type-C is a feature that is more related to hardware than the software. Google’s latest update now provides native support for the next-generation connector/charger and it is expected to be seen on a plethora of new smartphones and tablets in future. With the USB Type-C, the user can now connect the USB in either direction and can be used to charge other devices too. Essentially, this provides faster charging, data transfer, advanced multitasking and most importantly, reversible male part. Quite a decent upgrade, one should accept!

Marshmallow vs Lollipop: Volume Controls

When Android Lollipop was brought out, there are quite a few volume setting changes made to make the user experience more flexible but it all ended up being confusing. But in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the volume settings are now much clearer. By putting the volume to zero with the volume buttons, the device enters a quiet mode and by tapping on the ‘Do not disturb’ button in the quick settings the user can switch between different volume profiles. Also, there are 3 different bars each for Notification, Ringtone and Alarm to individually alter the respective volumes.

Now that we all the key differences between Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android Lollipop are discussed, here are 5 hidden features in the Marshmallow update that might be missed out by common eye. And again, the exact user experience might vary depending on the brand and model.

Hidden Secrets of Android 6.0 Marshmallow

hidden features marshmallow

1) ‘OK Google’ Anytime: This is an easily overlooked feature in the Marshmallow update. Now, the Google search bar is not limited to the main home screen rather, it is present on every home screen. So, as long as the phone screen is active, the user can search for anything by just saying ‘OK Google’.

2) Stock File Explorer: There are many third-party file explorer applications that can be used to view and organise the files and most of them are free. But with the Marshmallow update, Google has brought in a stock file explorer that is just enough to carry out the basic functions of copy, move and share. The file explorer can be accessed by going to Settings–> Storage & USB–> Explore.

3) Lock-Screen Message: This feature serves multiple purposes of displaying an inspirational quote or displaying useful contact information that comes in handy in case the phone is lost. By displaying a phone number or email address or a physical address on the lock screen, there is a greater chance that someone will return it if they find it.

4) Hidden ‘Flappy Bird’ Clone: Similar to the Android Lollipop, there is a Flappy Bird clone that’s hidden in the Marshmallow operating system. It can be accessed by going to Settings–> About Phone and repeatedly tapping the Android version number until the ‘M’ icon shows up. Long pressing the ‘M’ activates the game.

5) Display Battery Percentage: Until now, there are multiple ways to check the exact battery percentage but it has been made even easier in Android Marshmallow. Now, by just swiping down the status bar using two fingers, the exact battery percentage can be seen. If the user wants the battery percentage to be always displayed, the ‘Show Embedded Battery Percentage’ can be toggled on.

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