Yesterday, Google confirmed plans to replace the Android Lollipop update with an Android M update. Samsung, the nation’s largest Android manufacturer, still isn’t talking about Android M but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have any insight into its update pipeline. Today, with details flying, we take a look at what you need to know right now about the Samsung Android M release.
In the buildup to Google I/O 2015, we heard rumors about an Android M update, a potential successor for Android L (Lollipop). The rumors reached a boil ahead of Google’s I/O keynote and the company made good on those rumors with an Android M announcement on stage yesterday.
Android M is Google’s latest Android update and it’s going to be coming with a number of new features, enhancements and fixes all of which are aimed at improving the company’s mobile operating system.
The update is confirmed for Nexus 9, Nexus 6 and Nexus 5 and we’ve even seen companies like HTC confirm plans to deliver Android M to their top phones. Samsung has remained quiet in the aftermath of the Android M launch leaving owners of its Galaxy smartphones and tablets with a ton of questions.
It’s impossible to answer most of those questions right now but what we want to do today is help to set the stage for Samsung as we tell you what you need to know right now about the Samsung Android M release for Galaxy smartphones and tablets. If you’re at all curious about Android M, here’s what you need to know right now.
Android 5.1 Lollipop Coming First
The first thing Samsung Galaxy users need to know is that Android M isn’t next in line, at least not for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.
The Samsung Galaxy Android 5.1 release date isn’t confirmed but all signs point to an arrival in June. Canadian carrier Rogers claims that it will be updating its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge in June and reports peg next month as the update’s arrival month.
Samsung’s Android 5.1 update for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge is rumored to be coming with several new features including Guest Mode.
Guest Mode is a feature that allows Android users to setup multiple profiles on a phone. It also looks like Samsung will be bringing some new camera features to Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge users.
A new report from SamMobile outlines the company’s plans to bring iPhone-like exposure control to the Galaxy S6’s camera application. The update will reportedly allow users to adjust the exposure in the viewfinder by sliding a finger up or down. It’s a feature that Samsung is borrowing from Apple but at least it’s a useful one.
That’s not all either. The site also believes that Samsung will pack in a few other features including “support for RAW image capture and shutter speed control.”
In other words, this is a big update and one that should land for Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge models in the near future. It’s not clear if it will land for anyone else at this time.
Samsung Android M Release Won’t Happen Soon
Google wasn’t specific about an Android M release date though it did confirm a pretty specific window. Google says that it will release Android M to the public sometime in Q3. Q3 spans from July to September which means that Android M will probably arrive before November. November typically serves as Google’s big Nexus/Android update release month.
A report from Android Police asserts that Google is indeed shooting for an early Android M release date. Their report suggests that the Android M release could come in August. The publication also notes that software release dates are always subject to change. So, while we could see Google get its next update out in August, it’s also possible that we’ll see it arrive later in the year.
Google’s Android roll outs always start with Nexus devices, Google Play Edition devices and select Motorola phones. And while Samsung is known for getting Android updates out a few weeks after the initial release, there’s no reason to believe that it will roll out Android M before Google rolls it out to these other devices.
Android M is in beta and it will be in beta for several months. We should see Samsung Android M release details emerge in the months leading up to the release but just don’t expect a release to happen anytime soon.
What We Know About Samsung’s Android Roll Outs
Even if Samsung does manage to get Android M out in August or September, it doesn’t mean that every single person will get the Android M update in August or September. If you’re unfamiliar with how Samsung roll outs work, here’s what you need to know.
Samsung typically leads with its flagship phones. In 2015, those are the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Samsung’s also rumored to have a Galaxy Note 5 up its sleeve. If it doesn’t run Android M out of the box, it will be one of the first in line.
Older devices typically have to wait a few weeks, sometimes several months, for their roll out to emerge. And then, you must consider the fact that carriers must test the software behind the scenes, something that leads to a staggered roll out.
So, while we might see Android M arrive early this year, a ton of you probably won’t see the Android M release until 2016. Samsung’s roll outs can take more than a year to complete. Just look at KitKat.
Galaxy Android M Release: Count on These Devices
Samsung hasn’t confirmed anything but it’s safe to assume that the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy Note 4, and Galaxy Note Edge will all get Android M at some point down the road.
The company typically keeps devices updated for two years before kicking them to the curb. The 24 month rule is one that’s now practiced by Google as well which means that devices that fall outside of the two year range in August/September may not get the upgrade to Android M.
Phones like the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Alpha should see Android M and tablets like the Galaxy Tab S should also get the bump off Android Lollipop. Other devices like the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S4 are probably out though nothing is set in stone until Samsung makes an announcement.
Android M Brings Popular TouchWiz Feature
Finally, it’s worth noting that Google’s planning to bring Samsung’s popular Multi-Window View feature to Android M. Multi-Window View, for those that don’t know, is a feature that allows users to run multiple apps on screen at the same time. It originally debuted on the Galaxy Note series before making it to other Samsung devices.
It’s not clear what Samsung’s version of Android M will have on board though you can expect a lot stuff from Google, TouchWiz enhancements and bug fixes for lingering problems.