Google has confirmed it has begun rolling out Android Marshmallow to Nexus smartphones and tablets, a week after it revealed two new devices running the software out of the box.
While the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are not due for release until the end of the month, those using the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9 and Nexus Player can all access the updated platform right now.
The major operating system update brings with it a slew of new features that Google hopes will help it maintain a healthy global lead over Apple’s iOS.
Perhaps chief among them is Now on Tap, a deeply integrated take on Google Now which provides context aware information, such as directions and calendar entries, whenever you get an email or notification.
Marshmallow also introduces Doze, a feature that recognises when your phone isn’t being used and puts it into deep sleep mode to save power. This is being touted as a major boost to battery life, although real-world tests are yet to bear out whether you really will get more power from a single charge.
Fingerprint-scanning smarts also get full support, with Google looking to boost security around mobile payments, especially as its Android Pay service recently launched in the US.
Finally, there are improved app permissions. These allow you to choose specifically when to give an app permission to access your data.
Until now, Google allowed apps to demand this on installation. Now permission will be sought whilst using an app.
HTC has already said it will release its first Marshmallow–powered phone on October 20th. There’s no word yet on when Marshmallow will land on Samsung and LG handsets, or older HTC models.
Take-up is likely to be slow, with partners unlikely to release their versions of the platform for some weeks.