Mobility

Android Marshmallow: What, when, and where?

If you're excited about the newest Android operating system, Marshmallow, Jack Wallen speculates on when and what devices might see the upgrade.

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Image: Jack Wallen

The details of when and what devices will first receive Android Marshmallow is mostly speculation, because life and technology hiccups happen. Your device may be listed as one of the first, only to find out your carrier has opted to hold off to further test the end result. In fact, carriers can be that last barrier to entry for upgrades. For example, I have two different Motorola Moto X devices. The first is my "official" phone from AT&T (the carrier that I've been locked into for years). The second is from Verizon. The Verizon device was upgraded to Lollipop just a few weeks ago. The first, from AT&T, has yet to see any signs of the upgrade (as of this morning, the upgrade service wasn't even available for the AT&T device).

With all of that said, what about the Marshmallow upgrade? It has been rumored that Marshmallow, Android 6.0, will be the most sizable upgrade Google has put out for the Android platform. This is one upgrade that you'll most certainly want to have, as it fixes some of the lingering issues with Lollipop, including:

  • Battery life
  • Greater app permissions
  • Standardized support for fingerprint readers
  • Better volume controls
  • USB-C support
  • Google Now On Tap

What about the releases? Let's take a look at what we know.

Nexus devices

As you might have expected, the Nexus devices (Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9, and Nexus Player) will start receiving the upgrade first. In fact, those devices should begin seeing the update roll out the week of October 5. This will be, of course, an OTA update. If you happen to have a Nexus 4 or 7 (2012 edition), you won't be receiving the Marshmallow update. Googles Nexus 5X and 6P will launch with the Marshmallow update installed.

HTC devices

The following HTC devices will be getting the Marshmallow update by the end of 2015:

  • One M9
  • One M8

The following HTC devices will be getting the Marshmallow update some time in early 2016:

  • M9+
  • E9
  • ME
  • E8
  • M8 EYE
  • Butterfly 3
  • Desire 826
  • Desire 820
  • Desire 815

Unfortunately, according to HTC, not all carriers will be able to deliver the update. Which carriers that is remains to be seen.

Samsung devices

Samsung has yet to comment on when/if their devices will receive the Marshmallow update. The only thing that is known is (oddly enough) their new devices, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy 6 Edge+, are not shipping with Marshmallow.

Even though they haven't made an official announcement, it's pretty safe to assume the following devices will be getting Marshmallow in the coming months:

  • S6
  • S6 Edge
  • Note 4
  • Note Edge
  • Note 5
  • S6 Edge+
  • S6 Duos
  • Note 4 Duos
  • Alpha
  • Tab A

If you happen to enjoy one of Samsung's flagship devices, you can bet that upgrade will come by end of 2015 or early 2016.

LG devices

Like Samsung, LG has yet to make any official announcement. Even so, the LG G4 and G3 are safe bets to be receiving the Marshmallow upgrade.

It should be noted that LG did state there would be no Android 5.1 upgrade coming. That indicates that they'll be skipping directly to 6.0. The LG G4 Pro will, most likely, launch with Marshmallow.

Sony devices

Sony is another device manufacturer remaining silent about the upgrade. However, you can be sure that the following devices will receive the upgrade in the coming months:

  • Z4
  • Z3
  • Z3+
  • Z4 Tablet

What is telling about this is that the Android M preview has been available for selected Xperia devices for some time.

Motorola

If you're a proud owner of a Moto X (Pure edition), a Moto X Play, or Moto X (2014 edition), you'll most like be the first Motorola user to see the upgrade. When that will happen remains a mystery. If you own a Moto G (2015 or 2014 editions), you'll also see the roll-out of Marshmallow... only not as soon as the X devices.

Summary

Once you get beyond Nexus devices, your guess is as good as mine as to when you will see the upgrade happen. If Verizon is your carrier, you'll likely see it sooner than later. However, if you're locked into an AT&T contract, the upgrade might be a bit slower.

Are you excited about the Android Marshmallow update? If so, what feature are you looking forward to the most? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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