If you’re not one of the lucky few people with Android Marshmallow, then you’re probably going to receive it over the coming weeks.
To get you excited for the big release, here are the top 8 best features we love on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
1) Android Pay
Android Pay is similar to Apple Pay in that it allows users to store credit and debit card information on their smartphones and wirelessly pay for goods and services with a tap.
Your account is secured using a virtual account number that isn’t linked to your actual account number – which enhances security.
You can also view a detailed history of your purchases made using the app. Android Pay has been available in the United States since late September and is expected to roll out to more countries throughout 2016 (although we have no idea when).
2) Adoptive Storage
Typically when you insert a microSD card into Android, it’s treated as a separate storage unit. That’s annoying if you bought, say, a 128GB microSD card that you don’t plan on removing anytime soon.
Fortunately, Android 6.0 Marshmallow comes with a nifty feature called adoptive storage. That lets you turn your memory card into a permanent storage system on your phone instead of separate storage space.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by microSD management in Android, then this adoptive storage feature can be a lifesaver.
3) USB Type-C
Okay, most average Android users might not get too excited about this. But USB Type-C is the best connection format we’ve ever seen on Android.
With USB Type-C, you can enjoy crazy fast connection speeds and faster charging than conventional cables. Android Marshmallow has built-in USB Type-C support, which is important because we’ll see this format rolling out on all major Androids over the next few years.
4) Easy Permission Management
If you’ve ever been curious about why that new mobile game you just downloaded needs to read through every text message you’ve ever sent, then you’ll appreciate the easy permission management found in the new version of Android.
That permission management lets you customize which apps have which permissions. Previously, permissions were an all or nothing thing: you could either accept every permission or not install the app.
Now, Marshmallow only asks for your permission when you actually need to use a feature. So instead of granting Snapchat camera access when you first install it, you’ll only be asked once – the first time you use it.
Of course, you can go back and modify these permissions at any time from the App permissions menu under Settings.
iOS has actually had this feature for a long time and it’s worked quite well. I’m glad to see it’s finally coming to Android.
5) Sexy New Personalized Lockscreen Messages
If you ever thought that Android lockscreens were a bit boring, then you’ll definitely appreciate the new lockscreen message personalization options.
On Android Marshmallow, a new textbox will appear just under the time on your lockscreen, letting you personalize your phone in a cool new way. Use it to put your name. Or maybe inject a motivational quote or a reminder. It’s all yours.
Photo courtesy of Alphr.com.
6) Better Storage Management
With apps, photos, and videos getting larger than ever before, we need new ways to manage our storage space. Marshmallow replaces Lollipop’s clunky storage system for a more streamlined interface.
The new Marshmallow interface shows users how much storage space you’ve used, how much is used by each individual app, and even which apps are using the most RAM.
7) Doze Battery Life Saver
Google recognized that battery life was a top complaint across all Android devices so they set out to make it better. Google’s top engineers came up with Doze.
Doze works by using your phone’s motion sensors to detect when your phone isn’t moving.
When your phone isn’t moving, Google assumes you don’t need it as much, and it eventually puts your phone into a deep sleep. During deep sleep mode, your phone will stop all non-essential tasks and avoid syncing until the handset moves again.
This should lead to hours of additional battery life on your device. It will also be kind of annoying for those who leave their phone untouched on their desks all day waiting for it to ring.
8) Fingerprint Sensors Now Compatible with Third Party Apps
Certain Android devices have had fingerprint sensor support for a while now. However, Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the first version of Android that actually bakes fingerprint sensor support right into the system.
What does that mean? It means that third-party Android apps now have fingerprint sensor support. Fingerprinting will actually be front and center on a lot of Android moving forward, including on third party apps that need to verify your identity before making a purchase, among other things.
Ultimately, Android Marshmallow isn’t a substantial Android upgrade. It does, however, introduce a range of smaller changes that will have a noticeable impact on how you use your devices.
What are you most excited about for Android 6.0 Marshmallow?