The latest version of Google's Android mobile operating system -- Android 6.0 or, "Marshmallow" -- is coming first to Google's Nexus line of phones. Software images of Android 6.0 Marshmallow were released on Monday for the Nexus 5, 6, 7 (2013), 7 (2013, Mobile), Nexus 9, Nexus 9 (LTE) and Nexus Player.
But before downloading and installing it, keep in mind these files are intended to restore a Nexus smartphone or tablet back to their original software. This involves connecting the device to a computer via USB and generally will involve wiping user data as well. Be sure to create a backup of your data before flashing Android Marshmallow to your respective device.
However, for more experienced Nexus owners, it may be possible to install the update without losing user data, as detailed in a lengthy guide posted on social media site Reddit.
Here are links to the Android 6.0 Marshmallow images for Nexus devices from Google’s website:
Generally, this is the first of many rollouts for Android 6.0 and this release is only intended for those that can handle jumping through the hoops of manually installing the image file. Google is expected to release an easier to install over-the-air update for Nexus owners at a later date.
For owners of other Android devices, you’ll have to wait until your carrier releases the software through an over-the-air update of their own. Those shopping for a new smartphone can also take a look at the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P, which come with Android 6.0 Marshmallow preinstalled. However, both devices aren’t expected to ship for a few weeks.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow comes with a number of additions, such as native support for fingerprint readers, Android Pay mobile payments, fast charging through USB Type-C and battery optimizations, to name a few.