Samsung is pushing the latest version of Google’s Android operating system to its mobile devices from February 15th. The company said today that Android Marshmallow will be available first on this date for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge (which is also receiving new functionality for the ‘edge’ portion of its screen), while other compatible devices will “soon follow.” Unfortunately, Samsung is being vague about when the update might hit its other smartphones and tablets, noting only that it will make “separate announcements on details of OS updates schedule for each market according to market situation and carriers’ requirements.” Read from that what you will.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow was announced last May, and offers a number of new features including Now on Tap. This essentially puts the power of Google Now everywhere in the OS, letting users search for contextual information about anything from films, to restaurants, to contacts. The app drawer has also been revamped with a new layout and app suggestions feature, and app permissions have been significantly reworked to make it easier for users to know when a program is accessing their information. There are also a handful of battery-saving features that should mean you get more life out of your devices.
As ever, though, the frustration for Android fans is getting the update in the first place. Samsung’s nonexistent upgrade schedule for devices other than the S6 and S6 Edge is just the tip of the iceberg. Although updates from other manufacturers have been trickling out (LG’s G4 has got Marshmallow from most carriers now, and Motorola’s second-generation Moto G seems to be getting it too), it’s a slow, unpredictable business. If you’re a diehard Android fan and can’t wait to get the latest version of the OS, your best bet is probably to wait and buy a new device with it preloaded.