Android Marshmallow now available for Nexus devices

Google today announced that it has begun deploying Android 6.0 Marshmallow as over the air updates to its range of Nexus device. The Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9 and Nexus Player are all eligible for a free upgrade to Marshmallow.

While updates will go out from today, Google advised that the rollout will occur in stages, and that some telcos will receive and distribute the update later than others.

Impatient Nexus owners have the option of downloading a factory image directly from Google. While these will install the update, they will also wipe the device in question

Marshmallow factory images can be downloaded here. Ars Technica has a comprehensive guide to flashing a Nexus device with a factory image, but CyberShack advises that this process should only be undertaken by advanced users.

When it comes to non-Nexus Android-powered smartphones, HTC has confirmed that both the One M8 and One M9 will receive an update to Marshmallow before the end of the year.

Motorola's Moto X Play, Moto X Style, Moto G (2015), Moto G (2014), and Moto X (2015) will all also receive the upgrade. It has yet to confirm timing.

Other manufacturers have yet to confirm which phones will receive the Marshmallow update.

The new Android operating system introduces native support for fingerprint readers, a new app permissions model, and a deep sleep power saving mode called doze. Marshmallow will also add support for charging via the reversible USB-Type C connector; Google says this could make charging up to four times faster.

Now on Tap is arguably Marshmallow's most impressive feature; a context-sensitive version of Google Now that can be launched from anywhere with a long press of the home button. Now on Tap is able to "read" what is happening in an app and provide relevant information. For example, if a user received an email in regards to Pitch Perfect 2, firing up Now on Tap will display a card with relevant information such as a link to the film's IMDB page.

Now on Tap isn't just limited to things it can "literally" read, such as text. Google provided the following example: if a user was listening to Skrillex, he or she could use Now on Tap to ask the device "what's his real name?". Since Marshmallow knows the user is listening to Skrillex, it will be able to comprehend the query and throw back Sonny John Moore as the answer.

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