Android Marshmallow 6.0 update brings a lot of new improvements and new features. And most Android devices released in 2014 and 2015 will get it for free.
Currently, only Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are pre-installed with Android Marshmallow 6.0. All other released Android devices have to get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update through firmware update (aka system update).
This guide explains to you how to get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device.
Why should you get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device?
Software always can be improved. So does Android.
There is no perfect software, although some software is good enough for certain usages
You should get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device because of:
- new features. In this guide, I listed top 12 new features in Android Marshmallow. For example, Now on Tap is really a futuristic feature and makes the phone serve you better. Auto app data backup makes it easier when you want to restore an app. Any of these new features can justify the update.
- security. Google or your vendor usually support security update for last 2-3 releases. If you get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device now, you are very likely get security update in next 2-3 years.
- more apps. More and more apps will abandon the support for older versions of Android. For some apps, some new features are only available in newer versions of Android. Keeping your Android device up-to-date surely will let you benefit from all apps and all features.
- better performance and longer battery life. Unlike Windows update, new Android versions actually does not require latest hardware. Android Marshmallow 6.0 can run on most phones released in last 2-5 years. On the same hardware, the new version of Android (if supported) usually runs better than with the older versions. Noticeably, Android Marshmallow 6.0 update brings doze and app standby feature. These two features, together with other optimizations, can significantly increase the standby time of your device. For WiFi only tablets, it can double the standby time easily.
- last update for your 2+ year old devices. Most vendors only update their devices released in last 1-2 years. There is no incentive for them to update devices that are more than 3 years old. They always want to sell more “latest” devices. So, if your device is more than 1.5 years old, very likely, Android Marshmallow 6.0 update is the last official update you can get from the vendor. Nexus devices may get update longer.
Some “experienced” Android users may tell you not to update because of “new” bugs.
This is nonsense. Don’t confuse Android update with Windows update.
Unless you need the specific version of Android for some of your apps, or some configurations, you should update your device to Android Marshmallow 6.0 update.
Software always has bugs. This is how software works.
Android Lollipop 6.0 surely has lots of bugs. But the new features and improvements will outweigh the new problems. Remember Android Lollipop 6.0 update also fixes a lot of bugs that are present in your current devices.
Of course, in the history, some vendors may mess up the update because of some stupid customization. But this happens less and less frequently in KitKat and Lollipop update.
Of course, it is your device; you rule. Nobody force you to update.
Please, there is no official way to roll back in Android devices. In other words, if you apply the Android Marshmallow 6.0 update update for your device, you cannot easily roll back to Lollipop. If you really need roll back to Lollipop, you have to manually flash the firmware in service centers.
Factory data reset does NOT roll back to Lollipop.
Get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device through Over-The-Air (OTA) udpate
The most common and simple way to get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update is through firmware OTA (Over-The-Air) update.
OTA update will keep all your data, settings and apps. So this is also the safest way to get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device.
By default, in most Android devices, you will get an notification on the update if you connect to WiFi. The Android Marshmallow 6.0 update package has a size of about 1GB (depending on vendors and phone models). You probably should download the update package only when your phone is connected to WiFi.
Of course, you can manually check whether the Android Marshmallow 6.0 update is available in Settings—About Phone—Software update (it may differ from your device) as shown below.
You can tap Download as shown below to download the Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device.
Some Android vendors may offer more options on firmware update than Nexus devices or stock Android.
For example, as shown below, in Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung allows you to:
- Manually check the update.
- Turn on/off auto update. If this option is turned on, it will download automatically. And it then remind you whether you want to apply the Android Marshmallow 6.0 update once the firmware is fully downloaded.
- Only use WiFi to download system update. This is important because the file size of Android Marshmallow 6.0 update usually is close to 1 GB. Unless you have unlimited mobile data in your plan, you should turn this on (it is on by default) to avoid the depletion of your mobile data quota by system update.
Other vendors may have similar settings for your to manage system update.
Get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device from a PC with your vendor’s software
Most Android vendors offer desktop software which allows you to check and update the firmware. Such software also usually includes the USB driver for your phone.
So, if your device manufacturer offers such software, you can get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device from a PC.
Here is the list of PC software from various Android vendors. You can use them to Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device from a PC.
- Kies 3 (or SmartSwitch) for Samsung Android devices. Windows and Mac are supported. Please do not confuse SmartSwitch PC software with SmartSwitch app on Android devices.
- LG Bridge for LG Android devices. Windows and Mac are supported.
- Motorola Device Manager for Motorola Android phones. Windows and Mac OS are supported.
- HiSuite for Huaiwei Android devices. Only Windows is supported.
- PC Companion for Sony Android devices. Only Windows is supported.
Please note, you need connect your device to PC with the software installed through a USB cable. Then you can check the update. Some software checks update automatically, for example, SmartSwitch.
The Android Marshmallow 6.0 update you get through PC software usually is identical to that through OTA. So, all your settings, data and apps are kept.
Please note, all these software tools are proprietary and work on their own devices only. For example, SamrtSwitch PC software only works for Samsung devices, not on LG devices.
Get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device by flashing official factory image?
For some experienced users, or some users with good background on computing, you can also flash the official factory image or official ROM to get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device.
The process depends on individual Android vendor.
If you are not sure, do NOT use this method.
Please note, when flashing the factory image, you will remove all your data, settings and apps. So, you must backup your device before flashing the phone.
It is very important to get the binary compatible with your device. Applying wrong factory image may render your device useless.
We do not discuss this method in this community, due to its high risk.
Why I haven’t got Android Marshmallow 6.0 update, and when will I get the Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for my device?
Android Marshmallow 6.0 update are to be rolled out by individual vendors. Google has done its job by releasing the code and update all supported Nexus device.
For any carrier specific models, the updated firmware must be approved by individual carrier. They may do some tests to make sure the firmware works with their network. So, even if the vendor (e.g., Samsung) pushed out Android Marshmallow update to the carrier for testing, you still need wait from 1 month to 6 months (yes, some carriers are really slow in approving update) to get the Android Marshmallow update.
It is not uncommon that in the same country, some carriers release the Android Marshmallow update earlier than others.
Android vendors may release the update to different regions at different stages.
So, it is hard to know when “you” will get the Android Marshmallow 6.0 update.
Only Nexus devices had a definite date to get the Android Marshmallow update.
Here is the list of devices that have received the Android Marshmallow 6.0 update at least in one region:
- Nexus 5
- Nexus 6
- Nexus 9
- Nexus 7 (2013)
- Android One devices
- LG G4
- Moto X 2014(Moto X 2nd Gen)
- Moto X Style (Moto X 2015)
- HTC One M8 Google Play Edition
I will update this list regularly to reflect the progress.
Again, even if your device is listed, it does not mean the Android Marshmallow update is available for the specific model of your phone, or for your region.
Why you recommend us to back up the phone before getting Android Marshmallow 6.0 update?
If you use OTA or PC software to update your device to Android Marshmallow, all settings, data, and apps will be kept.
But we are talking about software. Something unexpected always happens sometimes, unexpectedly.
So, be prepared. Backup all your important data before applying the update. For Samsung devices, you may refer to this guide on how to backup your devices.
Can you get Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for your device?
If you have any questions or encounter any problems on Android Marshmallow 6.0 update, please let us know in the comment box below.
The community will help you.
For any questions or problems with Android Marshmallow, please check our Android Marshmallow Guide page.
If your question is about Android Lollipop, please check out Android Lollipop Guide page.