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Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
Marshmallow ( codenamed Android M during development) is the sixth major version of the
Android operating system Android is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other Open-source software, open source software, designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computer, tablets. Andro ...

Android operating system
and the 13th version of Android. First released as a
beta Beta (, ; uppercase , lowercase , or cursive Cursive (also known as script, among other names) is any style of penmanship Penmanship is the technique of writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the represen ...

beta
build on May 28, 2015, it was officially released on October 5, 2015, with the
Nexus The Nexus is a Latin word for connection, usually where multiple elements meet. It may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Fictional entities * Nexus, a fictional place in the TV series ' (broadcast 1998–2006) * Nexus, a large, insect-lik ...

Nexus
devices being the first to receive the update. Marshmallow primarily focuses on improving the overall user experience of its predecessor,
Lollipop A lollipop is a type of sugar candy Sugar candy is any candy whose primary ingredient is sugar. The main types of sugar candies are hard candies, fondants, Caramel, caramels, jellies, and Nougat, nougats. In British English, this broad ...

Lollipop
. It introduced a new permissions architecture, new APIs for contextual assistants (first used by a new feature " Now on Tap" to provide context-sensitive search results), a new power management system that reduces background activity when a device is not being physically handled, native support for
fingerprint recognition A fingerprint is an impression left by the friction ridge The dermis or corium is a layer of skin between the epidermis (skin), epidermis (with which it makes up the cutis (anatomy), cutis) and subcutaneous tissues, that primarily consists ...
and
USB-C USB-C (formally known as USB Type-C) is a 24-pin USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard ''Industry Standard'' is a 1982 album by Dixie Dregs, The Dregs. It is their only album featuring vocals (by Alex Ligertwood of Sa ...

USB-C
connectors, the ability to migrate data and applications to a
microSD Secure Digital, officially abbreviated as SD, is a proprietary format, proprietary non-volatile memory, non-volatile memory card format developed by the SD Association, SD Association (SDA) for use in portable devices. The standard was introduc ...
card, and other internal changes. , less than 6% of Android devices use this version, and when it was warned that a billion users use this (or older) version, by then no longer supported with security updates, was when 40% used those versions. Since then at least 70% of the users of those old versions have upgraded to a newer version.


History

The release was internally codenamed "Macadamia Nut Cookie". The first developer preview build, codenamed Android "M", was unveiled and released at
Google I/O Google I/O (or simply I/O) is an annual developer conference A conference is a meeting of people who "confer" about a topic. Conference types include: * Academic conference, in science and academic, a formal event where researchers present res ...
on May 28, 2015, for the
Nexus 5 Nexus 5 (code-named Hammerhead) is an Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating syst ...

Nexus 5
and
Nexus 6 The Nexus 6 (codenamed Shamu) is a phablet A phablet (, ) is a mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical opera ...

Nexus 6
smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphone
s,
Nexus 9 The Nexus 9 (codenamed Volantis or Flounder) is a tablet computer A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be progra ...

Nexus 9
tablet, and
Nexus Player The Nexus Player is a digital media player co-developed by Google, Intel and Asus. It is the second media player in the Google Nexus family of consumer devices. Originally running the Android Lollipop, Android 5.0 ("Lollipop") operating system, it ...
set-top box A set-top box (STB), also colloquially known as a cable box and historically television decoder, is an information appliance A Newton PDA An information appliance (IA) is an appliance that is designed to easily perform a specific electronic ...
. The second developer preview was released on July 9, 2015, and the third and final preview was released on August 17, 2015, along with announcing that Android M would be titled Android "
Marshmallow Marshmallow (, ) is a type of confectionery Confectionery is the Art (skill), art of making confections, which are food items that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Exact definitions are difficult. In general, however, confectionery ...

Marshmallow
". On September 29, 2015, Google unveiled launch devices for Marshmallow: the
LG
LG
-produced
Nexus 5X The Nexus 5X (codenamed bullhead) is an Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ...
, the
Huawei Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. ( ; ) is a Chinese multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It designs, develops and sells telecommunications equipment, cons ...
-produced
Nexus 6P Nexus 6P (codenamed ''Angler'') is an Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** ...
, alongside Google's own
Pixel C The Pixel C is a 10.2-inch (260 mm) Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ...
tablet. Android 6.0 updates and factory images for Nexus 5, 6,
7 (2013)
7 (2013)
, 9, and Player were released on October 5, 2015. Older Nexus devices, including the
Nexus 4 The Nexus 4 (codenamed Mako) is an Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** A ...

Nexus 4
, Nexus 7 (2012) and
Nexus 10 The Nexus 10 is a tablet computer A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of ar ...

Nexus 10
, did not receive an official update. On October 14, 2015, LG announced that it planned to release Marshmallow for its flagship
LG G4 The LG G4 is an Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating syst ...

LG G4
smartphone in Poland the following week, marking the first third-party device to receive an update to Marshmallow. Android 6.0.1, a software
patch Patch may refer to: Places * Patch, St. Louis, a neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri * Patch, Gwbert, South Ceredigion, Wales People * Patch Adams, a.k.a. Hunter Adams (born 1945), founder of the Gesundheit! Institute * Alexander Patch (18 ...
featuring security fixes, support for
Unicode 8.0 Unicode, formally the Unicode Standard, is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of Character (computing), text expressed in most of the world's wri ...
emoji An emoji ( ; plural emoji or emojis) is a pictogram A pictogram, also called a pictogramme, pictograph, or simply picto, and in computer usage an icon An icon (from the Greek language, Greek 'image, resemblance') is a religious wor ...

emoji
(although without supporting skin tone extensions for human emoji), and the return of the "until next alarm" feature in Do Not Disturb mode, was released on December 7, 2015.


Features


User experience

A new "Assist"
API In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and so ...

API
allows information from a currently opened app, including text and a screenshot of the current screen, to be sent to a designated " assistant" application for analysis and processing. This system is used by the Google Search app feature " Google Now on Tap", which allows users to perform searches within the context of information currently being displayed on-screen. While the "Home" button was used in Android 5 to show available apps, the "Home" button is used now (together with a voice command) to generate on-screen cards which display information, suggestions, and actions related to the content. "Direct Share" allows Share menus to display recently used combinations of contacts and an associated app as direct targets.


Adoptable storage

The new "Adoptable storage" feature allows a newly-inserted
SD card Secure Digital, officially abbreviated as SD, is a proprietary format, proprietary non-volatile memory, non-volatile memory card format developed by the SD Association, SD Association (SDA) for use in portable devices. The standard was introduc ...

SD card
to be optionally designated as "internal" rather than "portable" storage. "Portable" storage is the default behavior used in previous Android versions, treating the media as a secondary storage device for storage of user files, and the storage media can be removed or replaced without repercussions, but user-installed apps are restricted to writing to their respective package name directories located inside Android/data. This restriction was introduced in . The Storage Access Framework, through which shared writing access to memory cards has been reinstated in , is backwards-incompatible and slower due to latencies. When designated as "Internal" storage, the storage media is reformatted with an encrypted
ext4 The ext4 journaling file system or fourth extended filesystem is a journaling file system Journaling may refer to: * Electronic message journalingElectronic message journaling is the process of retaining information relating to electronic mess ...
file system, and is "adopted" by the operating system as an extension of the primary storage partition. Existing data (including applications and "private" data folders) are migrated to the external storage, and normal operation of the device becomes dependent on the presence of the media. Apps and operating system functions will not function properly if the adopted storage device is removed, and the card can not be reused in other devices until reformatted. If the user loses access to the storage media, the adopted storage can be "forgotten", which makes the data permanently inaccessible.
Samsung The Samsung Group (or simply Samsung) ( ko, 삼성) is a South Korean Multinational corporation, multinational manufacturing Conglomerate (company), conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea. It comprises numerous affil ...

Samsung
and LG have, however, removed the ability to use an SD card as "internal" storage on their
Galaxy S7 The Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Samsung Galaxy S7 Active are Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating syst ...

Galaxy S7
and devices, with Samsung arguing that the feature could result in unexpected losses of data, and prevents users from being able to transfer data using the card.


Platform

Android Marshmallow introduces a redesigned application permissions model; apps are no longer automatically granted all of their specified permissions at installation time. An opt-in system is now used, in which users are prompted to grant or deny individual permissions (such as the ability to access the camera or microphone) to an application when they are needed for the first time. Applications remember the grants, which can be revoked by the user at any time. The new permissions model is used only by applications developed for Marshmallow using its
software development kit A software development kit (SDK) is a collection of software development Software development is the process of conceiving, specifying, designing, programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applic ...
(SDK), and older apps will continue to use the previous all-or-nothing approach. Permissions can still be revoked for those apps, though this might prevent them from working properly, and a warning is displayed to that effect. Marshmallow introduces new
power management Power management is a feature of some electrical appliances, especially copiers, computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern ...
schemes known as "Doze" and "App Standby"; when running on battery power, a device will enter a low-power state if it is inactive and not being physically handled. In this state, network connectivity and background processing are restricted, and only "high-priority" notifications are processed. Additionally, network access by apps is deferred if the user has not recently interacted with the app. Apps may request a permission to exempt themselves from these policies, but will be rejected from Google Play Store as a violation of its "Dangerous Products" policy if their core functionality is not "adversely affected" by them. Android Marshmallow provides native support for
fingerprint recognition A fingerprint is an impression left by the friction ridge The dermis or corium is a layer of skin between the epidermis (skin), epidermis (with which it makes up the cutis (anatomy), cutis) and subcutaneous tissues, that primarily consists ...
on supported devices via a standard
API In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and so ...

API
, allowing third-party applications to implement fingerprint-based authentication. Fingerprints can be used for unlocking devices and authenticating
Play Store Google Play Store, formerly Android Market, is a digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delivery or distribution o ...

Play Store
and
Google Pay Google Pay (stylized as G Pay; formerly Android Pay) is a digital walletA digital wallet also known as "e-Wallet" is an electronic device, online service, or software program that allows one party to make electronic transactions with anothe ...

Google Pay
purchases. Android Marshmallow supports
USB-C USB-C (formally known as USB Type-C) is a 24-pin USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard ''Industry Standard'' is a 1982 album by Dixie Dregs, The Dregs. It is their only album featuring vocals (by Alex Ligertwood of Sa ...

USB-C
, including the ability to instruct devices to charge another device over USB. Marshmallow also introduces "verified links" that can be configured to open directly in their specified application without further user prompts. User data for apps targeting Marshmallow can be automatically backed up to
Google Drive Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google Google LLC is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countrie ...
over Wi-Fi. Each application receives up to 25 MB of storage, which is separate from a user's Google Drive storage allotment. As of Marshmallow, the Android Compatibility Definition Document contains new security mandates for devices, dictating that those that are capable of accessing encrypted data without affecting performance must enable secure boot and device encryption by default. These conditions comprise part of a specification that must be met in order to be certified for the operating system, and be able to license Google Mobile Services software. The requirement for mandatory device encryption was originally intended to take effect on Lollipop, but was delayed due to performance issues.


See also

*
Android version history The version history of the Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (ope ...


References

{{Google Inc. Android (operating system) 2015 software