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Marshmallows might be something you only associated with campfires and mugs of hot chocolate but, in much the same way as Apples and Blackberries will never again be mere fruit, so the humble gelatin-filled marshmallow is giving its name to the latest iteration of the Android operating system – also known as Android 6.0 M. There’s no confirmed date yet for release to the public, but with the Developer Preview doing the rounds we finally know what the Google platform’s latest update has in store for us.
Marshmallow was first announced at the Google I/O conference earlier this year, but it’s taken a while for a version to come through that’s ready for developers to get their hands on. However, that’s now happened, and the first publicly available release of the operating system is expected to be on the new Nexus 5 and 6 mobile devices in the coming weeks. Sadly, the rest of us are unlikely to have a crack at Marshmallow until the end of 2015 at the earliest. But when that time does come around, it’s packed with these developments.
No more dialing voicemail and listening for long-winded prompts – Marshmallow is set to offer visual voicemail functionality from right within the main phone app. That means you can see at a glance who has left you a message, listen to each voicemail, and quickly hit a button to get more information or call or text back – all without needing to wait for a long list of options to play out first. Since this feature requires work at the carrier’s end to enable compatibility, it’s expected to be available only on a handful of networks to begin with – but the list should grow as time goes on.
Here’s something that competitor Apple has offered its users since even the earliest iterations of its devices – the simple ability to rotate the screen and use it in landscape as well as portrait view. It’s a wonder it’s taken Google this long to realize this was a big and frustrating gap in the Android’s functionality, but at least the wait is over. You’ll now be able to rotate the screen whether you’re on the home screen or deep in an app.
Improved app drawer
Previous releases of the Android operating system have switched up Apple’s conventional single-level, horizontal-scrolling app drawer – used for accessing apps that are already open – with a bigger and vertical-scrolling drawer. But until now this has been plagued by bugs and apparently poorly-thought-out design, with out-of-place alphabetical organization and an ineffective use of space. Marshmallow sees these fixed, with space for more icons on screen – meaning faster and simpler scrolling – and floating alphabetical icons that both save space and look cleaner.
When it’s finally released in full, Marshmallow will also pack in a range of other smaller updates. If you want to learn more about how to integrate Android devices into your business and optimize productivity in the process, just give us a call.
Published on 9th September 2015 by Jeanne DeWitt.