Many woke up this morning to updates from their carriers. The Android 6.0 updates are actually late to most of us, but here they come. LG, Samsung, and HTC are all getting updates across the main carriers.
The LG G3 and LG G4 are getting updated to Android 6.0, the former to version VS98546A and the latter to version VS98624C. Verizon details the new features with short descriptions and some screenshots so you can already go take a look and see how LG’s flavor of Marshmallow will look like. There’s Now on Tap, Doze mode, runtime permissions, silent mode, Direct Share, and more. The LG G4 is also getting Wi-Fi calling in its update.
Samsung has announced that it is starting the roll-out of the latest version of Android to the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge from today, the 15th of February. The speed at which your phone receives this update will be defined by your network carrier though, and some users won’t see this update for some time.
What are the new features?
Google Now on Tap – Long-pressing the home button and Google will provide information that’s contextually relevant to what is on screen at the time. So, emails that mention a venue, say, Empire State Building, will offer ratings, location and other information automatically. If Google can see a time, you can also add a calendar entry too.
When summoned, Now on Tap reads the content of any screen on your phone, whether it is in a Google or third-party app, and delivers information that might be relevant to keywords on-screen. This could be Google Search results about people, places or things mentioned in an article you’re reading or app suggestions that are relevant to what Now on Tap has picked up (Maps, Yelp or UrbanSpoon for a restaurant named in a text message, for example).
Doze and App Standby – this really couldn’t have come at a better time, as the S6 and S6 Edge don’t have the best battery life when compared to other phones. Doze allows your phone to sleep when it’s not in use, conserving power. It’s really designed to keep the phone running as long as possible when it’s not being used at all. It only enters this mode if it’s not being moved around, turned on and isn’t connected to a power outlet.
Better security – app permissions are an area that Android has needed to improve for a long time. Now an app designed for Android 6 will ask you about permissions only when you open it. So Twitter will ask for access to your photos and location while WhatsApp will ask for contacts, camera, photos and microphone. This should help people understand what an app is doing, and you can revoke these permissions at any time. Bad news is that apps need to be written to use this feature, and old apps can carry on as they were.
Fingerprint API app sign-in – you can now use your fingerprint scanner to sign-in to apps. Before you could only log-in to the device itself with a fingerprint. Marshmallow fixes that, and catches up to iPhone.
Android Marshmallow introduces system-level fingerprint support via the new fingerprint API. Both new Nexus devices have a fingerprint scanner. Registering a fingerprint is faster than on any other device and the accuracy and speed of the scanner is second to none. All you need to do to set up fingerprint authentication in the Play Store for purchases is check a box in the settings.
Voice API and Assist API – Marshmallow also introduces a new Voice API to Android. As mentioned earlier, voice search and voice commands are central to Marshmallow – even more so than they have been in previous iterations of Google’s operating system – thanks to the new Voice Interaction API.
This allows third-party apps to access Google’s voice command functionality in ways they couldn’t previously. Before, you could tell Google to open other apps, but other apps couldn’t talk back. Now they can. At least, the can in theory. The feature isn’t exactly working yet, but it has been successfully demoed by Google using TuneIn Radio.
Google backup – Google is more than willing to help keep all your apps and data safe. If you go into your phone’s settings, you’ll find a section called Backup & Reset. In here you’ll find an option for backing up your data, including Wi-Fi passwords, preferences and app data. All of this will be tied to your Google account, which you can set to automatically restore when you re-install an app.
More Info on Android 6.0 from Google.