Android M Is for Marshmallow: Sweet Details on Operating System Update

What to expect and when users can get the Android 6.0 update.

ByALYSSA NEWCOMB
August 18, 2015, 10:46 AM
PHOTO: Google released the name of the next Android operating system, Marshmallow, on Aug. 17, 2015.
Google released the name of the next Android operating system, Marshmallow, on Aug. 17, 2015.
Android Developers Blog

— -- It's official -- Android M is for Marshmallow.

The operating system update was first previewed at Google's I/O conference in May, however the company kept its sweet name under wraps until this week, announcing the final preview of Android M, also known as Android 6.0, is ready for download for developers wishing to test their apps.

The consumer version will be available to the public sometime this fall, according to a blog post from Jamal Eason, Google's product manager of Android.

"The preview images are near final but they are not intended for consumer use," he wrote.

What makes Android M stand out from its predecessors (also named for desserts, including the most recent KitKat and Lollipop) are performance enhancements, including an easier way to find information in apps and updates to Google Now, the Android virtual personal assistant.

A power saving mode called Doze will help keep the system in a sleep-like state in order to conserve battery life. Another feature is an app's permissions system, allowing users to approve or deny security settings for an app on a case-by-case experience.

Android Pay, Google's newest answer to the mobile wallet, is also being supported in the update. Working with built-in fingerprint support in Android M, users will be able to use Near Field Communication readers in their phones to pay at certain retailers.

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