We take a look at the new features available to Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge owners now that Android Marshmallow has been released for the flagship handsets.
Perhaps most intriguing are the new Edge screen features for the Galaxy S6 Edge. Promising to let users ‘get things done faster’, the newly enhanced features could make a big difference for long-time Edge owners.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at exactly what’s changed now that Samsung has finally started to make the big switch to Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
What’s new in Android 6.0 Marshmallow on the Samsung Galaxy S6?
Galaxy S6 owners will benefit from all the updated and new functionality that comes with Marshmallow.
Google Now on Tap makes the company’s digital assistant much more useful, allowing users to search from anywhere within the OS by long-pressing the home button and getting context specific suggestions based on what they’re doing.
There’s also the ability to lock down certain app permissions, allowing you to decide what apps can and can’t access rather than having to accept the entire list of permissions that appears when you download the app.
Elsewhere, S6 owners should see a redesigned app drawer, featuring a scroll bar and search bar rather than horizontally scrolling pages. There’s also a new memory manager that allows users to see the memory usage of all installed apps to identify any memory hogs and deal with them accordingly.
On top of all that there’s the new battery optimisation feature which now works on an app by app basis and a redesigned volume menu.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Samsung has one of the most heavily skinned versions of Android. It’s TouchWiz skin essentially redesigns entire sections of the Android OS, most notably the notifications shade, and as such certain Marshmallow features may appear differently.
What’s new in Android 6.0 on the Galaxy S6 Edge?
The biggest overhaul will come to the Galaxy S6 Edge, which not only receives all the features that come with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but also new and enhanced Edge features for it’s curved screen.
Samsung is promising that the new features will make small tasks easier to carry out. But what exactly has changed?
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Wider edge panel
First of all, you now have the option of widening the edge panel itself. Originally the panel was 260 pixels wide, limiting the amount of content that could be displayed. Now, you can widen the panel to a much larger 550 pixels, allowing for more content to be displayed and new features to be introduced.
Enhanced edge panels
The Galaxy S6 Edge previously allowed you to use edge panels as quick-access shortcut bars. With the enhanced edge panel that comes with Marshmallow, you essentially get improved shortcut bars.
That extends to all nine of the customisable edge panels. For example, whereas before the update the contacts panel included a line of images representing your contacts, the panel now includes the contact names and a settings shortcut. This should make customisation quicker as well as making it easier to distinguish between contacts.
The Apps edge panel which contains your most used apps, has been improved to include 10 apps instead of five as well as app folders containing multiple apps. Apps will now appear in two rows of five instead of one row of five.
What’s more, Samsung has added a new Tasks edge panel which includes shortcuts to your most used features and tasks. You’ll be able to add certain tasks to the panel, such as setting an alarm or writing a text, for quick-access.
And finally, the update comes with a new Quick Tools panel which includes a ruler, compass, and torch. The panel features three icons at the bottom that allow you to switch between the three tools, which then appear in the panel itself.
Edge Handle customisation
With the new update comes the ability to customise the little tab that opens the edge panel itself. You can now adjust the place, size, and transparency of the Edge Handle from the Settings menu.
New third-party Edge content
Along with the newly widened Edge panel comes a host of specially configured extra content. Samsung has announced that other companies and developers have created content for the new panels, including Yahoo! which has developed new Finance, Sports, and News features.
Aside from a new shopping feature from Naver Shoping, and an app which will only available in certain Asian nations, there has been no other indication of what else we can expect in the way of third party apps for the new improved edge panel.
No doubt there’ll be more news on this in the near future, but you can check out what’s on offer to download through the settings menu.
Related: Galaxy S7
More to follow
Samsung has announced that further devices will receive the Android 6.0 update soon, but has not provided an exact timetable. For now, the Marshmallow update is only coming to S6 and S6 Edge handsets.
Still, the new features, especially those made specifically for the S6 Edge, will be welcomed by Galaxy owners, following months of uncertainty as to when the update would be rolled out.
If you happen to have another Samsung handset, hold tight. More information will be available soon.