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How to master Android Marshmallow
Oh Android, we’ve been together since you were on a strict cupcake diet. Since then you’ve dallied with donuts, gobbled up gingerbread and licked the odd lollipop – now, you’ve started on the marshmallows.
Still, with each new diet you seem to learn new tricks. So what does this latest version have in store?
5 Android Marshmallow tips and tricks:
1. Search your settings
Android Marshmallow isn’t a huge leap from Lollipop, but bite through it’s fluffy surface and you’ll be rewarded with the gooey middle. In other words, the new features aren’t the kind of thing you’re going to head to the nearest rooftop and shout about, but they will make you life that little bit easier.
For instance, you can now search the settings menu. Making the same move as Apple did with iOS 9, Android users should no longer get lost in the labyrinthian list of options – just tap the magnifying glass at the top of your screen and type in what you want.
2. Tap for Google Now
Something else which is much easier to access on Android Marshmallow is Google Now, which is just a tap away on the new OS. Press and hold the home button to bring it into play.
The context-based app is extra handy when it’s available on tap, and you’ll quickly find plenty of uses for it. Say somebody messages you about a restaurant, for instance – rather than leaving your conversation you can bring up Google Now to scope it out, then minimize and reply in just a few simple thumb movements. It couldn’t be easier.
3. Boost your battery
It’s no secret that battery life is one of the biggest complaints of every smartphone user. New battery solutions can’t be far away, but in the meantime manufacturers are working with what they’ve already got to squeeze every ounce of juice.
You might not think you’d get much extra juice out of a marshmallow, but looks can be deceiving. The biggest difference here is the addition of a power saver feature, working much the same as Apple’s Low Power mode to preserve your smartphone’s energy when it gets down 15% or 5% battery. There’s also a feature called Doze, which automatically saves your battery life when you haven’t picked up your phone for a while.
Finally, there’s now the option to see which apps are sucking up the most juice, so you can decide which you really need to hold on to and which you can delete or at least cut back on.
4. Smarter app launcher
Back to more subtle features, if you’ve got a lot of apps it’s now easier than ever to launch the one you’re looking for. For starters, Android Marshmallow lists all of your apps alphabetically, making it easy to scroll up or down to find the one you need. You can also search for it by typing in its name.
The cleverest part of Google’s new app launcher, though, is that it’ll learn which apps you like to use at certain times of the day – then suggest it when appropriate. If you like to listen to music in the morning, for instance, your Android phone will suggest your favorite music player before you even knew you were looking for it.
5. Step-up your security
As well as being slicker, smarter and generally more useful, Android Marshmallow is also more secure than its predecessors.
The best (and long overdue) change in this department is the overhaul to app permissions. Rather than making you agree to a long list of permissions when you download an app, you’ll now just agree to them as and when they’re used. Now, users might think twice the next time a puzzle app is asking for permission to their camera.
Bonus tip: Play Flappy Android
One last easter egg for Android Marshmallow comes in the form of a hidden game. Like Lollipop, the Flappy Bird-inspired mini game is hidden away in the depths of the settings menu. To find it, just head to the about page and repeatedly tap your OS version until a big marshmallow appears on screen.