Not just for s’mores: Marshmallow is Android M’s official name
Google today revealed that the sixth major version of Android, Android M, will officially be called Marshmallow. First announced at Google I/O earlier this year, the Marshmallow update places less emphasis on new features, instead focusing on polish and quality.
The new 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.
Google is rumoured to be releasing a new Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 to coincide with the launch of Marshmallow. Both devices are expected to feature USB-Type C ports and fingerprint readers.
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.
Marshmallow is the latest in a long-line of Google's sweet-based operating system names, a tradition that began with Android 1.5 – also known as Cupcake.
"Whether you like them straight out of the bag, roasted to a golden brown exterior with a molten centre, or in fluff form, who doesn’t like marshmallows," asked Android product manager Jamal Eason on the operating system's developer blog.
Again, following tradition, the company unveiled a new Android statue for the lawn of its Mountain View, California office. The below video goes behind the scenes of what goes into building a giant robot statue.
Google has yet to announce a release date for Marshmallow, but developers are able to access a preview build for Nexus devices. Precedence suggests users should expect the final version of Marshmallow between October and November.