Android 6.0.1 is here! What’s New?

Google released an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow this week and while it doesn’t pack a ton of new features, it does add some significant upgrades that Android users will be happy to see. The trouble, of course, is that it will likely take most Android phones a long time to get Android 6.0.1, especially since most Android phones haven’t even updated to Android 6.0 yet. That said, there are some very cool features users can look forward to trying out whenever they do get the new software.

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For those with any of the new Nexus smartphones and tablets getting the update to Android 6.0.1, and all owners that will eventually see the update, below is a detailed breakdown of almost everything that’s new and what to expect from the update.

The update to Android 6.0.1 is a small 0.0.1 increase to the version of Android, which means there isn’t too much going on here. That said, there are still changes or fixes users will want to know about, new features, and addition things that will be helpful for all Android smartphone and tablet owners. Lets get started.

New Emoji

The biggest thing being talked about are the new emoji in Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Google’s VP of Android confirmed it back in November and again in early December, and now more than 200 new emoji are built right into stock Android. No more third party downloads, keyboards, add-ons or anything.

After Apple added around 150 in iOS 9.1 Google went ahead and took the extra step adding more than 200 to Android, giving users a vast selection to choose from. These are right in the stock Google Keyboard app, but it requires Android 6.0.1 and a system level update to get them, as they’re built into the font.

 Quick Launch Camera

A popular feature on almost all Android smartphones in 2015 was being able to quickly launch the camera. From double tapping home on the Galaxy S6, flicking a wrist with the Moto X, and other things.

The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P both have a new feature where users can quickly double tap the power button, and instantly launch the Android camera. This works while the phone is off, even locked, or while in use. Launching the camera in under one second and being able to snap photos.

Well, not this is built right into stock Android and works for all devices on Android 6.0.1 and that includes the older Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and tablets like the Nexus 9 and Pixel C. Now with Android, snapping photos is easier and faster than ever.

Do Not Disturb & Volume Controls

Google unified system and Bluetooth volume. Meaning now when you’re connected to a Bluetooth accessory like a speaker, wireless headphones, or a vehicle, users no longer have to turn up the volume on both devices. As in the phone, and your headphones. One volume slider or control works across both devices. This has been a long time coming, but we’re hearing a few select accessories aren’t working right with the new change.

Then, with Android 5.0 Lollipop Google introduced a new “do not disturb” option to the volume controls. Allowing users to set parameters where no notifications can come through, at all. There was an option to select priority contacts that could still alert the user in this new silent mode, and even an option to set do not disturb “until the next alarm”. As in no sounds come from the device, until the next alarm. Because no one wants to be late for work being they set their phone to do not disturb and the alarm didn’t go off.

This was removed in Android 6.0, but returned in Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. There’s now a new option in the do not disturb volume controls to set it to turn off at a certain point, or at the next alarm.

Tablet UI

Another small change that doesn’t appear to be for all tablets, but some, can also be seen in the image above. The tablet UI was slightly tweaked in Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow to move the back, home, and recent apps buttons to the sides, making them easier to tap with thumbs while holding a tablet. Rather than in the middle where it’s hard to reach. This is on the new Pixel C tablet made by Google, but wasn’t added to the Nexus 7 or Nexus 9. Maybe this is only for the Pixel C, or for bigger 10-inch tablets only. We’re not sure, but will be keeping an eye on this change for the future.

Failed MMS (Picture Message) Bug

In Android 6.0 Marshmallow a lot of users (mainly the older Nexus 5 and Nexus 6) were experiencing problems sending picture messages, or MMS. For whatever reason they’d fail, or received messages couldn’t be downloaded. Google fixed this in Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, although select few are still experiencing problems. Expect improvements in this front on Android 6.0.1 moving forward.

Lag in Copy & Paste Selection

Android 6.0 delivered a much needed change to how users select, copy, and even paste words or sentences in Android. Before it was a sliding bar that was clumsy and difficult. Now it jumps words by words while going forward, and by letter going backwards for precision.

However, once you double tap or long press to start doing a copy and paste, the floating toolbar above the words (to select copy, etc) lagged and often took over a second to popup. Leaving users waiting before they could copy some text. That small lag has been fixed, as well as the laggy popup in the share menu in general. These are some of the performance improvements mentioned in the on-screen popup for the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update on devices.

Security Patches

With the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow Google made a promise to issue an update once a month, roughly ever 4-5 weeks, to all Nexus smartphones and tablets to improve security. This patches the latest exploits, fixes problems, and makes all devices more secure. Many manufacturers like Samsung have joined in, promising to do the same thing to keep users devices safe.

The update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow also has the latest December security patches in place, so users won’t have to wait and accept another small update later during the month.

Should You Update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow?

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the update, but the quick answer is yes, yes you should accept the over the air update. It’s a small bug fixing, performance enhancing, security improving update that all owners should accept if they haven’t received it already.

There are a few little bugs here and there we’ve been hearing about, but nothing that would make us recommend users stick to Android 6.0 and pass on the update. It started hitting Nexus 6 users yesterday, and almost all new Nexus smartphones and tablets should be on the latest version of Android by now. There could be other small changes here and there, and once we find more we’ll be sure to update with additional details.

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