News Dec 24, 2015 04:03 AM EST

Android 6.0 Marshmallow Brings New, Helpful Features to the Android OS

By Staff Writer

Google updating its Android OS isn't new, but with their Marshmallow OS, users will gain new improvements for their phones. By extending the functionality and features from its previous OS, Lollipop, Marshmallow has some interesting improvements to show off.

There are a few new hardware features that will only come with buying a new phone entirely, but the Marshmallow OS has prepared for these changes so users can get the most out of their new smartphones. One is USB Type-C, allowing users to plug in their cables either way with its reversible feature. The new port standard will also allow Marshmallow devices to reverse-charge other devices using the new USB Power Delivery specification, according to AndroidPit.

It will also reintroduce support for microSD cards, finally answering the desires of developers and users. The microSD cards will be specially formatted for a single device and will be unable to be used anywhere else. So users now have the ability to expand their storage, but they will not be able to use the microSD card in a different device without wiping it.

There are a few new software additions in Marshmallow. Android Pay, Android's response to Apple Pay, will allow its users to keep their credit and debit card information stored on their phones, enabling the users to pay for things wirelessly. As Alphr noted, Android Pay will increase security by creating a virtual account number specifically for the system instead of using one from the user and will keep a running history of purchases made with the app.

A few other software changes will also bring further functionality. Now on Tap will allow users to search for anything with Google in any area of the OS, understanding the situation it's being used in so as to give the user the best search results. The addition of Doze will help increase the battery life of Marshmallow phones, detecting when the phone is being used and then suspended any non-essential tasks running in the background until the phone is used again.

There will also be many improvements to the UI and core features of the OS. An improved security feature is the app permission requests that the user can now control. Instead of asking for the configuration of app permissions when the user installs the app on the phone, now the OS will make the requests "contextual and bespoke" for the user, according to Forbes.

There will also be an adjustment to the way users view the icons in the system tray. With the System UI Tuner feature, users can adjust what they want to see in the notification area, hopefully decreasing the clutter that can happen when there are many apps open.

Long awaited, the Marshmallow OS was finally unveiled to the public on September 29, 2015. The first to receive the update was Android's flagship Nexus line in October, but to know when your Android device may (or may not) get the update, check your manufacturer's device page for more information. 

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