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What’s New in the Latest Android?

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The ubiquitous Android handheld device has undergone a total metamorphosis since it first appeared in the market in 2007. The latest and hottest version of this mobile OS is the new Android 6.0, nicknamed Marshmallow. Get to know the salient features of Marshmallow in this introductory article.

Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, which targets mobile phones and tablets. If you are familiar with or already use an Android device, you must be aware that Android leverages actions like taps and swipes to work with the device, If you are familiar with or already using an android device you must be aware that android leverage simple actions like tap,swipe to work with. Also this is one the salient features of its UI utilising direct user manipulation.
Upon its arrival in the mobile phone market in 2007, it received a warm welcome and has now risen to be one of the most popular OSs in handheld devices these days.

Different versions of Android
Android has come a long way from its initial versions. Also, being available as open source software has increased the interest levels among developers on customising this OS for their own devices. Currently, there are many mobile phone vendors in the market using this OS.

Figure 1 gives a breakdown of the history of Android versions.
Android 6.0, code named Marshmallow, is the current latest available Android version (Figure 2).

Figure 1 Android versions

Figure 1: Android versions (Source:

New features in Android 6.0

The first thing you will notice is that the Android 6.0 UI is similar to Lollipop. However, there are many new features which are more contextually aware, like Now on Tap, which will assist users to get the information they require. Just holding on to the Home button will activate this feature, and using the words typed on the screen, Google will automatically fetch all relevant data (even if a third party app is involved).

Here is how you can activate Now On Tap:
1. Open Settings
2. Under Personal – Open
Google and Select “Search and Now”
3. You can use “Voice” or “Now

Cards” to enable Now on Tap feature
In addition, Marshmallow will now support Type C USB devices, which can be fitted either way since these come with a reversible connector. These devices also provide better speed.
This Android version now features a brand new layout for the app drawer, which makes it quick and simple to check applications rather than scrolling sideways. Users now have to scroll down vertically, and this also comes with an option to search your favourite apps.

We have summarised the other features below.

  • More contextually aware Android
    • This provides assistance for users using the Now on Tap feature, with which they can get help by holding down the Home button without needing to leave their app or website.
    Improved voice API: More voice based assistance has been added to this release, with which you can direct an app to open specific sites or genres of music, e.g., Tune-in, Raaga, etc.
  • Advanced battery features
    Doze: This new feature puts your device in a sleep state when it’s at rest. This automatically improves battery life.
    App standby feature: This helps ensure that seldom used apps don’t drain the battery.
  • Android security
    • As for any device in the cyber world, security is a paramount feature. Verified boot provides this by ensuring the Android OS is running the right firmware revision without any modification.
    • Apps installed from Google Play Store will ask permission only if needed. Users still have permission to allow/ deny access
    for an app.
  • Android usability and productivity, and system usability
    • This feature has improved app performance and lowered memory overhead, which in turn has made for better multitasking performance.                                                                                                                                                                                • Smartened up text selection makes it simpler to undo/redo.                                                                                                         • It enables easy toggling for the Do Not Disturb mode.
  • Connectivity for work
    • During set-up, you can now add personal and corporate email addresses for setting up an account in your device.
    • There is improved access for VPN connectivity.

Figure 2: Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Apart from an improved UI, contextually aware features and battery saving options, Marshmallow comes with a whole range of other tweaks that has made this Android 6.0 even easier to use than its predecessors.