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article imageIt's official: Android M will be known as 'Marshmallow'

By James Walker     Aug 18, 2015 in Technology
Google has announced the informal food-based name for Android M, going with the obvious choice of "Marshmallow." The next version of Android will be released later this year and includes a healthy set of new features and improvements for mobile devices.
Marshmallow will be formally known as Android 6.0. The name was revealed yesterday in a post on the Android Developers Blog by Android Product Manager Jamal Eason, putting an end to the usual rounds of speculation about what Google will choose to name new releases after.
Android versions are always named alphabetically, based around a "tasty treat." Google explains that "since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert." Discounting the very early Alpha and Beta editions, since 2009 the public has known Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop and now Marshmallow.
Google has already replaced its campus Android lawn sculpture with a new model that clutches a giant marshmallow. A video uploaded to YouTube by two Googlers shows how the statue was installed under cover of dark so that the name could be kept secret until the public reveal.
Android Marshmallow increments over Lollipop to improve and refine what Google started last year. The revised launcher is now a vertical list and the Google Now pane accessed by swiping left on the home screen has been dropped in favour of a long-press on the display, giving more space for apps and widgets.
A major upgrade to Google Now's functionality allows it to overlay contextually-aware information on your display at any time by simply holding the home button. In a messaging app, this feature may detect that you are discussing going out for dinner and then display recommended locations online or prompt you to save an event reminder.
Google claims that Marshmallow can nearly double battery life on some devices thanks to much better app power management and a new battery-saving feature called "Doze." It enables phones and tablets to operate as normal, receiving notifications with the display off but still using minimal power.
App permissions have been completely reworked, giving users much more control over what individual pieces of hardware and data each app has access to. There is now built-in support for fingerprint sensors and USB-C.
The Marshmallow announcement was joined by the release of the official Android 6.0 SDK, enabling app developers to begin publishing Android M apps to the Play Store. Marshmallow is now in final preview and should start rolling out within a few months.
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