Google unveils hopefully sweeter new operating system Marshmallow

Google’s new operating system is called Marshmallow. The new name was revealed on Monday not in a press release but in a statue outside Google’s office in Mountain View, California. This will be the 13th official, renamed iteration for the Linux-based operating system, on which the company’s mobile phones and tablets are run.

Eleven of the other names for the mobile system software kept with the dessert theme (the first two were just Alpha and Beta):

Ice Cream Sandwich
Jelly Bean

There are s’more features available in the software development kit, as detailed with minimal fluff on Google’s Android Developers Blog, including native fingerprint support and a power-saving mode called Doze. In-house support for KitKat vanished in a puff of smoke at the beginning of the year and will probably stay puffed.

Google has emphasized security to developers in a bid to compete more seriously with Apple’s more secure iOS. Google badly needs a security win with the Marshmallow – Lollipop, its previous version, contained a bug called Stagefright that allowed users to take control of a device by sending a text (Apple’s most recent OS also contained a texting bug, but that one simply crashed the system). The company has said its incomplete fix for Stagefright won’t be amended until September; that suggests that the fix will roll out either alongside or in Marshmallow.

Marshmallow will also police background battery access by apps more closely than previous versions, often by using Doze. “In this state, Android will exponentially back off background activity, trading off a little bit of app freshness for longer battery life,” Dave Burke, VP of engineering for Android explained at the company’s developer conference, I/O, earlier this year.

— Dave Burke (@davey_burke)
August 17, 2015


Users have been able to play with the developer preview of the operating system, codenamed Android M, for about three months.

comments powered by Disqus