I just received my over the air update to my Nexus 6. If you guys don’t know, my Nexus 6 is running the developer preview of Android M—that being Android Marshmallow as it’s officially called now. Well my Nexus 6 is running the third and the most recent developer preview of Android Marshmallow.
There’s not a ton of new changes to this developer preview but I do want to highlight all of the main new improvements and I do want to give a shout out to Tim Schofield aka QBKing77 for being the first person to really bring these features to light. With that said, we do have a fresh new boot up animation. The animation is very colorful, it’s very complex as there’s just a lot of moving parts. And best of all, it demonstrates Material Design. These animations all morph into the word Android. Overall, I really like it. I think it’s definitely better than the circulating dots that we had before.
Upon booting up the device, the first thing you will notice (at least on my Nexus 6) is of course the new wallpaper. We have several new wallpapers with this build and they all look pretty good so I’m just going to go ahead and cycle through them here. My favorite is definitely the orange, yellow, and black Material Design wallpaper but I am a little bit biased. I do love the orange-black look, if you guys haven’t noticed.
As for the Easter egg—if we go to the About section and tap on the software version which says Android 6.0, we still have the same Android M Easter egg which isn’t a bad thing. It just isn’t all that exciting. It looks pretty good. It has the Material Design animation but it’s definitely not a Marshmallow since Android M was just officially named Android Marshmallow not too long ago. I kind of expected a new Easter egg but nope—not in this build. Google Now on tabs still doesn’t work in this build. But we do have a fresh animation, which is still worth something right?
The animation leaves a light trail around the display so it’s kind of neat-looking. Some less important or noteworthy features for the general public include a new way to access the system UI tuner. You just press and hold on the settings icon on the upper right hand corner until it spins around. And then it will automatically take you to the System UI Tuner setting where you can manage the settings, the status bar, you can toggle to show the embedded battery percentage and enable demo mode—all of which have been present in previous builds I will add.
You can also go into the developer options and select the USB configuration. There is a section in the developer options for inactive apps which can be active or inactive and can ultimately help improve battery life through the new dose feature on Android Marshmallow. I’m sure we’ll find out more about that in the near future.
But this is the Android Marshmallow developer preview 3. The next build will be the final build where I hope to see Google Now on tap. I can’t wait for that feature. As you can see, there’s really not a ton of new visual improvements over Lollipop. But there is a ton of background stuff that will just really help to improve the overall experience. There’s a lot of bug fixes and just overall, the OS is much more fine-tuned than Android Lollipop. The dev previews themselves have been very stable overall. I haven’t noticed too many issues when using my Nexus 6 as a daily driver, which is a very good sign and comes as a surprise to think that I could use my device as a daily driver even though it is running developer software.
Let me know what your thoughts are on this build.