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Android 6.0 Marshmallow will be available next week

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Following its first announcement and a roughly four-month beta test period, Google today announced that Android 6.0 Marshmallow will be widely available starting next week. Unsurprisingly, it will roll out to Google's line of Nexus smartphones and tablets first, with other devices receiving it at a yet to be determined time.

Android 6 does not have the huge visual makeover that last year's 5.0 Lollipop brought, but instead is focused around a lot of under-the-hood improvements for better stability and user experience. One of the new features is a power-saving mode called Doze, which lets the system shut down processes when it detects the device hasn't been moving or used for a period of time.

Under-the-hood improvements are the focus this time around

Another headline feature is a revised app permissions system, which will give users more control over what data of theirs apps have access to. Marshmallow will let you approve or deny access to things such as camera or location on a case by case basis, much like how iOS has handled permissions.

Perhaps the biggest user-facing change is the new Now on Tap feature, which lets Google's search engine look deep within apps and scan content that is displayed on the screen to provide more information about what you're looking at. You'll also be able to ask Google Now for more information in more contextual ways, depending on what you're looking at on your screen.

Now on Tap could change how you use your phone

It's not yet clear how many of these features will make it to the broader Android ecosystem, but Nexus owners can expect to be able to enjoy all of them. We'll be putting Android 6.0 Marshmallow to the test in the very near future, so stay tuned for more thoughts on it.

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