When is Android 6.0 Marshmallow Coming to Your Device?

Learn when you can finally upgrade to the Android Marshmallow OS

marshmallow

Android operating system updates are notoriously slow to roll out. While Android has released the developer preview of Android N, it's likely that you're still running Lollipop (5.0) or earlier. The primary reason for this is that Google doesn't have full control over when the wireless carriers push updates over the air, and it also has to contend with manufacturers who may want to add their own interface on top of the Android operating system.

Tired of waiting? Here's an overview of the Marshmallow rollout, plus some tips for getting Android OS updates faster.

Nexus Devices Get it First

If you have a Nexus device, you probably already have Marshmallow. The OS came installed on the newest 5X and 6P smartphones and rolled out to most others starting in October 2015, soon after Marshmallow was released. Some Nexus devices are being left behind, though, including the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.

Next in line was the unlocked Motorola X Pure Edition, which received Marshmallow starting in late 2015. (I've been enjoying it ever since.) Most other smartphones in the X and G series should have Marshmallow by now too.

HTC, LG, Samsung and Other Manufacturers

  • Many HTC One devices started receiving the update in late 2015.
  • LG is currently rolling out the OS update to its G4 line
  • In February 2016, Samsung started rolling out Marshmallow to its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge devices. This is slow-going, as my S6 has not yet received it. (It's still at 5.1.1.) There no word yet on when other Galaxy devices will receive the update. The delay is due, in part, to Samsung's TouchWiz interface, which must be redesigned for each major Android OS update.  
  • Sony Xperia devices should start getting the updates in mid-to-late March.
  • Asus Zenfone, Huawei, and OnePlus Android devices are due to get the update later this year. 

AndroidPit.com has a comprehensive list of the devices that are eligible for the update and the Marshmallow rollout timeline.

How to Get Marshmallow Now

You don't necessarily have to wait for your carrier to push through the Marshmallow operating system update.

One you've confirmed that your device is new enough to receive the update, go into settings, System updates, and tap "check for new system update." Your device will do just that and either offer up an OS update or a disappointing message that it's up to date.

On this screen you can also see a log of system updates, as well as the description of the most recent update. For example, my Samsung Galaxy S6 was last updated to enable Wi-Fi calling, in February 2016. (I remember getting that an alert and thinking it was Marshmallow, alas.) 

To find out which software version you are running, go into About phone, which is right above System updates in settings. On this page, you'll find a lot of information, including the Android version and a lot of techy details such as battery capacity, configuration version, and more.

Rooting May Be the Only Solution

If you have an older phone or have just run out of patience, the only way to get new software updates like Marshmallow is by rooting your device and flashing a custom ROM, such as CyanogenMod. Rooting frees you from carrier and manufacturer restrictions and lets you do nearly anything you want with your device. The downsides of rooting are minimal, though I highly recommend backing up your smartphone before proceeding.

Plus, rooting is reversible, so it's worth giving it a try, if you really want Marshmallow now, and Android N as soon as it's ready. 

Here's hoping that Android's update process becomes more streamlined in the future. Until all devices get the smooth rollout that Nexus devices enjoy, it'll continue to be a tedious and frustrating process for most. 

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