Hidden Android Marshmallow features

October 19, 2015

Android M still isn’t available on most devices except Nexus devices, so this would be a good time to decide whether you’d want to get the update when it finally comes. There really isn’t much of an aesthetic difference between Android M and Lollipop, so what’s really under the hood that makes this version different? Let’s look at some of these hidden features:


One of the biggest additions would be the ability of your device to take a nap, so to speak. Basically, when your phone is laid flat, like on a table perhaps, and isn’t in any motion for an extended period, it shuts down most of the non-essential features.

This obviously translates to better standby times, and maintains your battery level when you’re not using the device. However, you have to keep the device absolutely still for it to work because even the slightest activity on your accelerometer or gyroscope will wake it up.

Only high priority apps will wake up your phone and alert you, the rest will be suspended until you wake your device yourself. To avoid apps which list themselves as high priority when they actually aren’t, all notifications will go through Google apps for filtering thereby eliminating any malicious developers.

Google Now on Tap

This, for me, is the best addition in the new OS; whenever you open Google Now, it offers suggestions based on the context. For example, you’re reading a text message where your friend invited you to a specific restaurant and opened Google Now, instead of the latest football match results, Google Now will instead start with reviews of the restaurant. The same happens with music and many other apps to optimize search results.

App permissions

Most of us tend not to pay much attention to the permissions message box that pops up when you install a new app; we simply accept everything and move on to the actual app. You had to do this because you either accepted all the requirements or didn’t use the app, all or nothing. With Android M, however, you can select specific permissions for every app. This might not be very crucial, but it’s a step in the right direction for those worried about privacy.

Should you get the update?

I think the better question would be when you get the update. There’s nothing we’ve seen wrong with Android M so far, only awesome additions. So, as soon as your device prompts you for an update, don’t hesitate to download it.

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