3 reasons why your Android is better with Marshmallow OS

Android Marshmallow graphic
Source: Flickr/Takahiro Yamagiwa licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Marshmallow operating system (OS) is coming soon to many of our Android devices, and has some delicious new features you’ll want to try. This free software upgrade will become available over the next few months, and you’ll receive a notification on your device to update your software when it’s ready.

Here are some of my favorite features from the upgrade:

1. Time-saving shortcuts with Now on Tap
Of all the new Marshmallow features, the most significant is probably Now on Tap. By tapping and holding the home button in most any app, you can invoke “cards” that intelligently scan the screen for text and keywords, and provide shortcuts for related tasks you would have had to perform manually in earlier versions of Android.

Here are just a few examples of how you can use Now on Tap shortcuts:

  • Create a calendar event from a date mentioned in a chat with a link
  • Google search a keyword or snippet of text without leaving the app you’re using
  • Get a brief restaurant review when you mention the restaurant in a text conversation

These simple, always-available shortcuts are remarkably convenient and save all kinds of time.

See Now on Tap in action in this short video from tech and pop culture website The Verge.

2. Better battery performance
Marshmallow is doing lots of things behind the scenes to make your experience on the new OS better. Two that I find particularly useful have to do with battery life. With Doze and App Standby, your device is smarter about when and how it uses power. Doze kicks in when your phone is idle, and more efficiently saves power, meaning your device will last longer when not in use.  App Standby monitors background apps and makes sure they use as little power as possible. This translates into longer battery life without having to do anything other than upgrade your OS to Marshmallow.

3. More control over app permissions
One other new Marshmallow feature I particularly like is a change in how permissions are handled. When you first download a new app on your phone, you usually allow the app to access personal data through “permissions.” This Marshmallow feature deeply appeals to the security nerd in me, and anyone who is concerned about the feeling of giving apps permissions at installation time, and who wonders what they’re going to do with those permissions when you’re not looking, this change is great. It allows you to control when and where an app employs a permission, such as access to your device’s microphone or camera, instead of forcing you to grant that ability permanently on installation.

So in early 2016, be on the lookout for a prompt to download the new Marshmallow software on your CREDO Android device.