The Android 6.0.1 update was officially confirmed by the Google early December and soon after the announcement the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, and Nexus 9 begun spreading out to users. Of course, the latest Android version was also provided for the owners of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P which are the latest members of the family. However, there are still a lot of user who haven’t received the update yet.
In an attempt to help OEMs release software updates at a higher pace, last year Google changed the way major software updates are delivered. In the pre-Lollipop era, Google released two incremental Android updates per year, one early summer and the other one mid-fall. Now, a major update is announced at I/O in the summer, tested for a few months, then released in the fall. Both Lollipop and Marshmallow had followed the same pattern.
Since the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, and Nexus 9 is just a minor update you shouldn’t get your expectations to high, as major changes aren’t included in the build. As usual, the Android 6.0.1 factory images have been uploaded to the Google Developers website here.
As it happens with all software updates, Android 6.0.1 is being released gradually, meaning it will take a while until it spreads to all users. It’s also worth adding that only the Nexus terminals running a unaltered official Android build are eligible to get the new firmware over-the-air. When the update is pushed to your device a system update message should appear in the notifications panel. Tap on it and follow the prompts on the screen to install the update. In case you can’t seen the system update notification you should try a manual check under Settings > About device > System updates > Check for update. With a size varying with device model, the new update could weigh in at around 100 MB, so download it using a WiFi network for unwanted data charges.
Those of you who haven’t received the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, and Nexus 9 can get it right away by either sideloading an OTA ZIP or flashing a factory images. While the former method is more straightforward and doesn’t wipe your device, the latter option is recommended if you want to do a clean install.
If you have a history of flashing factory images, then you should find the process of install Android 6.0.1 quite familiar. First you need to download the Android 6.0.1 factory image for your device from here, then install the latest Android SDK version and check whether the Google USB drivers are working fine. Extract the factory image .tgz file into the ‘platform tools’ folder, boor your phone or tablet in Fastboot Mode, connect it to the PC via USB, and run the ‘flash-all.bat’ script. If you don’t want data on your device to be wiped you might be able to avoid that by removing the ‘-w’ flags from the ‘flash-all.bat’ script.
If you need help flashing the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, and Nexus 9 factory images feel free to take a look at our guides. Those who own a Nexus 5 or Nexus 6 should check out the tutorials here or here, while those who own the latest Nexus phones, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, should take a look here and here. Owners of Nexus 9 WiFi or Nexus 9 WiFi+LTE you can find help here and here, while the tutorials on how to flash Android 6.0.1 factory images on Nexus 7 2013 WiFi and Nexus 7 2013 WiFi + LTE can be found here and here, respectively.
The ADB sideload is a bit less complicated, but it has some limitations. Besides finding the OTA ZIP compatible with your device, you must also run the latest official Android 6.0 version on your smartphone or tablet. To manually install the Android 6.0.1 update you need to download the OTA ZIP, rename it to ‘update.zip’, then move it to the ‘platform tools’ folder. Next up boot your device in Recovery Mode, go to ‘apply update from adb’, connect it to the PC via USB, open a cmd window, then type in ‘adb sideload update.zip’.
As I was telling you earlier, the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, and Nexus 9 adds minor changes along with improved system stability and performance. There should be quite a few bug fixes included, and enhanced security, too. The update comes with new and updated emoji, a new navigation bar for tablets, and also marking the return of the ‘until next alarm’ option in Do Not Disturb Mode.
It’s a common fact that the Marshmallow update wasn’t as big as the jump from KitKat to Lollipop or from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich. Still, the update introduced some highly-anticipated changes. It arrives with improved security courtesy of the new app permissions system which makes apps ask for permissions only when they need access to them. For example, when you want to send a photo in Whatsapp for the first time, the app will ask for your permission to use the Camera module. It will remember your choice and it will do the same with other modules such as the microphone, location, contacts, and more.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow has debuted Google Now On Tap. The new functionality allows Google’s personal assistant to give you relevant information about what’s on the screen. How does it work? I’m glad you’ve asked. Let’s say you received an email from your friend who wants to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie with you. If you launch Google Now On Tap it scans the content on your screen and shows information about the movie such wiki page, imdb rating, cast, release date, or the ability to watch its trailer.
Android 6.0 also arrives with battery life improvements while in standby. The new Doze Mode is responsible for this aspect. What it basically does is put apps in a deep sleep state with limited sync and network access to reduce wakelocks, in the same time letting notifications get through.
The Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, and Nexus 9 brings Deep Linking. This new feature allows your device to learn what apps to use for opening links from specific sources. For example, each time you try to open a link from imdb.com, your phone will now to use the IMDB app.
One of the most anticipated features brought by Marshmallow is the automatic app data backup. App data, settings, and game saves can be backed up to Google Drive once a day, with a limit of 25 MB per app.
Marshmallow also brought the ability to customize the Quick Settings tiles. You can drag them around to change their position, you can add new tiles to Quick Settings, or remove the default tiles. You can also choose which icons appear in the status bar, to show battery percentage, or to put your device in Demo mode. All these can be accessed from the hidden System UI Tuner which can be enabled by long pressing the Settings button in Quick Settings until a little wrench appears next to it.
Android 6.0 has support for using SD cards as default storage. However, this feature is not useful for Nexus owners, as the Nexus devices don’t have microSD slots. In Android 6.0 Marshmallow you will be able to enjoy an updated Storage Manager which has a built-in file explorer and the new RAM Manager that it’s capable of showing the maximum and average RAM usage for each app. The heads up notifications were introduced in Lollipop. In Marshmallow you can turn them off system wide on a per-app basis.
The update came with a slightly tweaked interface for the Phone Dialer app along with improved functionality for the Contacts app. You can now select multiple contacts and link, share, or delete them. It also added new functions to Do Not Disturb Mode such as custom rules.
Android 6.0 also arrived with improvements to the UI of the Share Menu and adds Direct Share feature. While Direct Share puts your frequently used contacts at the top of the share list, the Share Menu has an improved interface which now shows more sharing options at once.
Have you received the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, and Nexus 9? How’s the new update treating you? Share your views in the comments section below.