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Google finally dropped the bomb on users today with the unveiling of the name for the next version of the Android software. Android M is now officially Android Marshmallow after a few months of speculation on what tasty treat Google would choose to represent their next OS version. The developer preview of the (the final build that will head to users before the final software release) is also now available to download and install on supported devices, which will give some users an early look at the latest fresh changes coming to the operating system. As with all other dev previews though, there is a small chance that some things may not end up staying in the final consumer-ready release of the software.
Now that Marshmallow is out in the open, it’s already being touted as allowing Google to catch up to Apple with iOS. Once Google launches Android Marshmallow and devices start receiving the software, they’ll gain some very slight visual tweaks but the OS design will remain largely the same as Google isn’t planning to overhaul the UI having already done so with Android Lollipop from last year. Instead this release will focus more on bringing in some new functional changes to the mobile OS, like support for various different things including USB Type-C, native support for fingerprint sensors, and of course, support for mobile payments using the Android Pay technology that Google has been working on.
With iOS, native fingerprint sensor support has already been present in the latest versions of Apple’s devices like the latest iPads and the latest iPhones. The iOS software is also already equipped to handle Apple Pay, Google’s main competitor for Android Pay, so these are immediately two things which Android users will get natively once Marshmallow begins to hit devices this Fall. While there’s disputing that Android has been ahead of iOS with some functionality, these are some areas where Android has been lacking a little bit. The good news is that all that is about to change once Google rolls out their latest version of the OS. Google’s two rumored upcoming Nexus devices are said to have fingerprint sensors embedded in them alongside coming with USB Type-C ports and come Android Pay ready.