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printed December 18, 2017
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Review: Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Intro Major Features Minor Features Tweaks Wrap-Up Comments  4  

Every year, it's easy to say, "This is the best version of Android yet!" That statement is certainly true of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but not for the reasons you might think.

Marshmallow adds a nice bit of polish to Android and fills in some gaps in the feature list in much the same way iOS 9 improved upon iOS 8. Marshmallow is a more complete operating system that looks good, performs quickly, and has nearly all the capabilities one could ask for.

Now on Tap is revelatory, though not revolutionary. It's no doubt useful and will improve over time, but I'd rather see Google Now gain a personality. The changes to permissions and power usage are welcome and deliver useful improvements. The addition of fingerprint support was long overdue.

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The minor tweaks may not seem like much on their own, but together truly push the platform forward. The improved alert and Do Not Disturb controls, improved keyboard behaviors, and smoothed-over linking between apps and sharing go a long way to boosting the day-to-day experience within Android. Other functions, like the new automatic backups, system tuner, USB, and memory manager add a level of usability and insight that power users will appreciate.

Yes, Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the best rendition of Android Google has produced — but that's what we expect with each new version. Though 6.0 could just as easily be 5.2 or 5.5, it's a more complete platform than 5.1 was, by a mile.

I'd install it as soon as you can.

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