The name and number of Google’s newest Android update have finally been confirmed: Android Marshmallow 6.0. At the same time we’ve seen the third and final developer preview build of the upcoming release go live, which you can grab here if you have a compatible device.
What’s new in Android M?
We already covered the initial Android M announcements back in May, but there have been a few more developments since then.
Rotating Home Screen
Finally, Android phones will reportedly have home screens that rotate to landscape mode. This has been a gripe of Android users for a long while now. It appears it took Apple demonstrating how simple and useful it would be with the iPhone 6 Plus (but not iPhone 6) for Google to finally pay attention, but whatever the impetus we’ll at least (probably) see more sideways use of our phones in future.
This feature is not guaranteed to be available for all phone sizes; it might just be for the big kahunas like the Note 5, but anything is better than the current portrait-locked setup.
Keep a clean status bar
You can now toggle what icons do and don’t appear in your status bar. I know I’ll personally get a lot of use out of this. I like having lots of live notifications come through, but I like to have them in the pull-down tray and get no benefit from their cluttering up the top of my device.
Furthermore, if you’re the kind of person who always has Bluetooth activated then you probably don’t need your phone maintaining a persistent Bluetooth icon in the bar. Now you don’t have to have one.
This one is entirely dependent on your carrier; Android Marshmallow will support leaving videos as voicemails. This probably won’t see too much daily use (when was the last time you made a voice call, rather than using Skype or another video app?), but it seems like a logical progression of the telco market.