It’s not just Google Nexus devices that are starting to receive Android 6.0 Marshmallow software this week. Google has also begun offering updates for phones that are part of the Android One program.
These are low-cost phones with entry-level specs, but hardware that’s been confirmed by Google to offer a good user experience. The phones are produced by independent hardware companies, but Google is in charge of software updates for Android One phones.
Some of the first models to receive over-the-air updates are rolling out for the Spice Dream Uno, MicroMax Canvas A1, and Myphone Uno smartphones. These are all pretty much the same phone, featuring a 4.5 inch, 854 x 480 pixel display, MediaTek MT6582 quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and 1700 mAh battery.
The phones have microSD card slots for removable storage. Up until now that microSD card has useful primarily for allowing you to store music, videos, and other files. But one of the key new features in Android 6.0 is the ability to “adopt” external storage.
Basically, the operating system can reformat a microSD card and treat it like internal storage. This allows you to install apps and app data to the microSD card. You’ll want a reasonably fast card if you plan to do this — and Android will tell you if the card you’re using is too slow.
Still, Android 6.0 could make it very easy to increase the amount of usable storage on low-cost Android One phones that have as little as 4GB of built-in space.
Other new features in Android M include automatic cloud backups of app data, more user control over the permissions used by apps, a new app launcher, support for Google Now on Tap, and power management improvements.