Android 6.0 vs Android 5.1 Lollipop: What’s New in Marshmallow

Back in October of 2015 Google officially released Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it’s latest version of Android. Over the past six months multiple users have received updates, and more are coming soon. Users can see all the changes and learn about what’s new in our Android 6.0 vs Android 5.1 walkthrough below.  This is a comparison of Android 5.1 Lollipop vs Android 6.0 Marshmallow on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6. Then, in December a quick update arrived to Android 6.0.1 with even more features.

This Android 6.0 Marshmallow walkthrough will show off many of the new features and changes Google has implemented into Android M in comparison to Android 5.1 Lollipop from 2014. With Android 6.0 the focus was on polishing Lollipop and improving performance and battery life, not changing everything. As a result most of the changes are hidden under the surface, and not very visual, so things may look very similar at first glance. That said, there are tons of exciting new features users will want to know about.

Advertisement

Read: Nexus 6P Review: Google’s Finest Yet

Google released the Android 5.1 Lollipop update in May, which fixed many of the problems and bugs from the first launch of Lollipop. Then with Android 6.0 Marshmallow they added an array of new features, fingerprint support, better control over how our phones can be used, Google Now on Tap, battery saving tools or optimization and much more. This is an all-new operating system, even if it only looks marginally different than Lollipop.

Android6-marshmallow-LJust like with Android L in 2014, Google unveiled Android M in May, and released a developer preview for users to try on select Nexus smartphones and tablets. This was to test it before the final release date in October later that year. Google released three developer previews slowly fixing bugs or adding new features, then released the stable version for all its devices. Over the past 6 months we’ve seen LG, Motorola, HTC, Samsung and many others update their devices from Android 5.1 to Android 6.0, but many users are still waiting for it to arrive. Most notably those with Samsung smartphones or tablets.

Advertisement

Users will notice some visual changes to animations and effects, the lockscreen, homescreen, notification pulldown bar, volume controls, tons of new permission controls, a revamped application launcher and Google Now menu, to name a few. However, it’s behind the scenes where things really took off. Permission and security controls, fingerprint support, Doze for nearly 30% improvements to battery life, automatic app and data backups, and so many things we won’t be able to list them all.

Advertisement

Read: Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 KitKat: What’s New in Lollipop

With Android 5.0 Lollipop Google completely changed how Android looked compared to KitKat. Above is a quick comparison showing users what changed in 2014-15, and below is a big slideshow detailing exactly what to expect from Android 6.0 Marshmallow, as continues to arrive on more and more Android smartphones or tablets.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is a free software update for all eligible Android smartphones and tablets, starting with Google’s own Nexus lineup. In the future we’ll see updates from Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, Huawei and tons of other manufacturers. Many cover stock Android with their own interface, but most of the changes mentioned and compared below will still be included. Not to mention most manufacturers have pushed out Marshmallow already, and more will arrive throughout 2016.

Read: How to Install Android 6.0 Marshmallow Right Now

Advertisement

To begin Android 6.0 Marshmallow rolled out to the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, 2013 Nexus 7, Nexus 9 and the Nexus Player. Then eventually others, LG devices, Motorola, and Samsung’s after the new year. The video below is an early look at Android 6.0 M from May, and many things have changed since, but it still gives users an idea of what to expect once Android 6.0 updates arrive if it hasn’t yet.

Most of what was shown above has now been added to the final release, but things like the Dark Theme settings and more have actually been removed. Many of which are now in the Android N Beta, Google’s next version of Android coming this summer. Below is an extensive slideshow comparing Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Android 5.1 Lollipop, and showing owners what’s new, what to look for, and what to expect.

Keep in mind that the video above and slideshow below don’t have Google’s new “Nexus imprint” fingerprint technology, USB Type-C, and other things as they weren’t available until the Nexus 6P was released. Users will see all the visual changes, permission controls, Google Now on Tap, and everything else, and that’s only some of what’s new.

You can click on any of the images below to instantly jump to that image in the slideshow and see how that part of the OS compares to previous versions. The older Android 5.1 Lollipop is on the left (if applicable), while Android 6.0 Marshmallow is on the right. If you have a Nexus smartphone and tablet, you can try Android N today.

Advertisement

Android 5.1 vs Android 6.0: Lockscreen

1 / 17
Android 5.1 vs Android 6.0: Lockscreen

Again, every slide will have Android 5.1 on the left (if available) and the newer Android 6.0 Marshmallow on the right.

Google changed the lockscreen in Android 5.0 to make things easier and more simple. It's very clean and plain, with some quick swipe icons to instantly launch voice controls, unlock the phone, or launch the camera. In Android 5.1 the far right was a quick launch to the phone app, but not Google wants us using Google Now voice commands instead. It's a small change, and one some might not like considering a swipe would unlock right into making a call, but not it's into Google Now and voice commands.

Advertisement

On the bottom of the lockscreen are three icons. The middle unlocks into the phone, the right side unlocks right to the camera for quick access to instantly take photos, and on the left we have a microphone. This doesn't unlock your phone, and instead fires up Google Now voice controls. This can be used to make a call, ask for directions, "go to gottabemobile.com" and any other voice command. Some of this won't be on devices from Samsung, LG, HTC and others.

You can still use this to make calls, just say, "Call Mom" rather than going into the dialer and finding her.

1 / 17