As the next major version of the Android operating system nears its final release, Google has finally christened it with a proper name: Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Many pundits thought the version number would be 5.2 (to succeed Android 5.1 Lollipop), but Google went for 6.0 instead. While Marshmallow has few changes to offer in terms of interface and visual effects, its new features and upgrades to the inner workings of Android seem substantial enough to justify the jump to a full version number.
Back when it was first announced in May, Android 6.0 Marshmallow–or Android M as it was called then–teased us with features such as Android Pay, USB Type-C support and simplified app permissions. Over time, more features and changes followed:
- The new visual voicemail, for instance, lets users manage their voice messages using a visual interface instead of having to dial for instructions.
- It’s taken a long time, but the homescreen for smartphones gets a landscape format.
The app drawer now scrolls vertically for faster navigation.
- Users can remove status bar icons, reset network settings and delete screenshots in the notification preview.
It’s rumored that two upcoming Nexus smartphones will launch later this year to show off the features of Android Marshmallow.