Samsung finally starts upgrading Galaxy S6 to Marshmallow

Samsung has kicked off an update program that will bring Android Marshmallow to the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. The announcement comes over four months after Android Marshmallow was first released to the general public, and a clear deployment schedule has yet to be confirmed.

While Samsung says it will start releasing the update from this week, it will presumably be only available to customers with international, unlocked Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge variants. The Android update deployment process typically requires manufacturers to create operating system variants on a region-by-region basis. In Australia, the version of Android running on the Galaxy S6 would vary to the version of Android running on a Galaxy S6 bought in South Korea.

Once an Australian version of the update is ready, customers who purchased their Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge through a telco will have to wait a little longer while the update is customised for and tested by their provider. Telstra, for example, typically puts major Android updates through at least two rounds of testing, each usually taking two weeks, with a gap of two weeks between rounds.

Following the 2014 launch of Android Lollipop, Samsung started deploying updates just a month after the operating system became available. Despite the shorter lead time, Australian Galaxy S5 owners didn't see the update until June last year.

Samsung has yet to confirm which other Galaxy devices will receive an update to Marshmallow. The company's other 2015 flagship devices – S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, and Tab S2 – should hopefully be at the top the company's priority list.

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.

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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