Google released the first developer preview of Android 6.0 in May, giving us a good idea of what to expect from the next version of the operating system that powers millions of smartphones, tablets, TV, boxes, and smartwatches. But it wasn’t called Android 6.0… it was just “Android M.”

Now we know what the M stands for: Marshmallow. That’s the code-name for Android 6.0, which Google is officially unveiling today, along with the official Android 6.0 software developer kit.

The company is also releasing a third and final developer preview update before making Android 6.0 available to the public.

android marshmallow

The latest update includes an updated Fingerprint API, a revised permissions user interface, and some other changes. But the bigger news is that Google is now encouraging developers to submit apps developed for Android 6.0 (using API 23) to the Google Play Store in preparation for the wider launch of Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

New preview images are available for the Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 smartphones, the Nexus 9 tablet, and the Nexus Player TV box. If you’re already running an earlier preview of Android M, you should get the final preview through an over-the-air update. If not, you can download the factory image from Google… or wait for the over-the-air update to roll out after Android M is officially released.

+Alex Ruiz
+Alex Ruiz

Among other things, Android M brings more user control over which permission an app can use, automatic cloud backups of app data (for apps that support the feature), changes to the way USB flash drives and microSD cards can be used, a System UI tuner that lets you add or remove Quick Settings tiles, and reduced power consumption when your device is inactive.

There’s also native support for fingerprint readers and a new Android Pay platform for secure mobile payments on devices with NFC capabilities.

Here’s a short demo video showing the first Android M developer preview. A few things may look different by the time Android 6.0 launches.

Want to know more about Google’s codenames for Android and what goes into the creation of the statues on the Google Campus? There’s a video for that too. One thing I learned: the codenames aren’t actually based on desserts… they’re “tasty treats.” So we could see less sweet junk food names in the future.

Also… yes. Google occasionally trolls us with misleading clues.

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15 replies on “Meet Google Android 6.0 Marshmallow”

  1. Looks like it’s time to put my Nexus 7 and my wife’s Nexus 4 out to pasture since it seems they’re done getting OS updates (non-security ones anyway), unless that list of Nexus devices will grow?

  2. There are many very significant changes here – most for the good. BUT the second I saw:

    “automatic cloud backups of app data”

    I hit the brakes. Unless you can turn that off, then Android-M is NOT going to happen around to me. Google already spies on me too much. And now they are going to put my application’s data on the “Cloud”, automatically? No way!

  3. “changes to the way USB flash drives and microSD cards can be used”

    Oh no, these had better be changes for the better.

      1. Okay I looked into it. Basically they are now allowing you to format a USB drive or SD card to act just like internal storage, and freely move app data to it.

        This is great news for anyone who uses an Android box on their TV. You can get a cheapie 8gb model, and plug a USB drive into it, and freely move your heftier apps onto it without rooting.

        1. Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you. I was just looking for a quick way to summarize some of the things I’d already written in the long “what’s new in Android M” article.

  4. Jiminy Cricket that was fast! Android 6! Just think of it. I was expecting 5.5 or maybe even 5.2 or the like. But 6!? Wow.

  5. Great, Just 2 more updates and maybe Cricket wireless will push Lollipop out to their customers!

    1. Update: After talking to a Cricket tech support, for the umpteenth time, She amazingly transferred me to, of all places, A Samsung Tech support. Imagine my surprise! He informed me that the Samsung person at ANY Best Buy store could do the update for me, and free of charge! I was too surprised to be ticked off right there and then. I called my nearest Best Buy store, spoke to the Samsung person and I was informed that it was true, all the stores Samsung person were authorized to do it, and free of charge. Some one at Cricket should have known that. But be that as may be, at least now I know and can share that here and on their ashbackwards Face Book page too where I’ve been repeatedly informed that because my Note 3 was AT&T and I transferred to Cricket I would not get the Lollipop update.
      The question is, do I want to? Any advice before I get it done? I have read not so good reports in the Lollipop update for the Note 3.

      1. I only have an LG G2, so your mileage may vary, but I upgraded to 5.0.2 a couple of weeks ago and it’s been fine. I was using an H2O Wirelress SIM card, but I think because I have an unlocked AT&T phone, the update was pushed to my phone without me having to do anything. Hopefully, I’ll start receiving the security updates when they start happening. Good luck at Best Buy. Let us know if and when you get the update.

        1. By the way, worst case, if the update doesn’t go well, if you’re willing to root your phone, you should be able to go back to Android 4.4.2. That would be a pain, of course, but at least it’s an option.

          1. I just came from Best Buy! It took all of 15-20 minutes (chit-chat included) to update the phone to Lollipop. Playing with it now! As a bonus the great Samsung Experience gal deleted every single AT&T app out of the phone! No questions asked and even commented it would free up a lot of space on the phone! I told her I just wanted some of the bloat and those apps being on in the background. She said I could turn them off, which I already had done, but hey she took them out! I wanted to ask her about some of the Samsung apps too but I figured I needed to think that through, and I can always try later. I think they may object to that….lol But Lollipop is a beautiful thing so far! And it was done through the Samsung site they have access to, not Keis! She stated she used to get a lot of folks who tried Keis and had problems later. Anyway, everything looks good so far.

          2. Thanks for taking the time to come back and update us. Glad it worked out for you and that you’re enjoying your lollipop!

          3. You know, what’s interesting is that the info about this service was out there all the time! I have posted my frustration with Cricket/Samsung/former ATT phones since Lollipop was rolled out! I did it on many blogs I frequent and if the topic was being discussed. As well as Cricket and ATT sites, and I have called their tech services on it. This bit of info was never offered up by anyone, not a soul! Not a post, not an email, not as a tech support suggestion until Monday when apparently I hit upon the right CSR at Cricket! She herself did not know and transferred me, again, to the right Tech support agent at Samsung! Who then offered a free fix if I sent my phone to Samsung, which I would have done, but then as an aside mentioned that Best Buy could and would do it! I have to wonder at the whole sequence of events!
            I posted this info on Cricket facebook page and I have gotten several thanks from just as frustrated people with Samsung phones thanking me for this info. Apparently I was not alone! Enjoy the info and glad I could help! Perhaps Brad can do a small piece on this help to Samsung stuck-on-kit kat fellow users.

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