Marshmallow is the official Android codename for the upcoming 6.0 update of the open source Android mobile operating system. Marshmallow was first announced at Google I/O in May 2015 as the Android M release, and the mobile OS made its official debut in late 2015 as the successor to the “Lollipop” Android 5.0 release.
Unlike its predecessors, Android Marshmallow initially lacked a dessert-themed moniker when it was first announced, partly to build anticipation around the software. Google did however unveil the Marshmallow name on August 17th, 2015, when it officially released the Android 6.0 SDK and the third software preview of Marshmallow for Nexus devices.
What’s New in Marshmallow
Android Marshmallow refines the enhanced Material Design user interface that first debuted in Lollipop, and it adds support for the new Android Pay system to go along with better app management, improved battery life and built-in support for fingerprint authentication and USB Type-C.
Marshmallow also features enhancements to the Google Now virtual assistant search technology. Google Now in Marshmallow includes contextual abilities and awareness of location, both in terms of geographical location as well as location within the phone itself via the new “Now on Tap” functionality. “Now on Tap” provides developers with the ability to build Google Now access into apps, providing contextual help directly within apps.
The Marshmallow release of the Android mobile OS follows a number of earlier updates for Android, including Cupcake (v1.5), Donut (v1.6), Eclair (v2.0), FroYo (v2.2), Gingerbread (v2.3), Honeycomb (v3.0), Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0), Jelly Bean (v4.1, v4.2 and v4.3), KitKat (v4.4) and Lollipop (v5.0).
Android Nougat (v7.0) arrived as the successor to Marshmallow in September 2016.