Huawei are going from strength to strength these days. The company is one of the largest Chinese Android manufacturers, trading blows with Xiaomi to be the most popular manufacturer in China. Huawei have recently launched the Google Nexus 6P as the flagship 2015 Nexus smartphone whilst their chipset manufacturing unit, HiSilicon, are rumors to be announcing the launch of a new ARM Cortex-A72 based System-on-Chip later this week, the Kirin 950. Today's story, however, concerns some of the existing portfolio of Huawei devices: those wearing the Honor branding, and the latest version of Android, 6.0 Marshmallow.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is currently being rolled out to a number of Nexus devices across the world and we have seen the first non-Nexus device released running the new version of Android, the HTC One A9. Marshmallow offers a long list of detail improvements over and above version 5.0 and 5.1 Lollipop, including application permissions being polished to give users much finer control over what hardware and software functions a particular application is able to use. Another change is Google Now on Tap, which scans what's on the screen and attempts to second-guess what you might need from a Google Search. Google have also included a new power saving mode, called Doze, designed to minimize battery usage when the device is idle by shutting down non-essential hardware and software. Google are also insisting that manufacturers leave certain Android Marshmallow features alone when building the software for their devices, which may simplify the process of rolling out the update to customer devices.
We are starting to see manufacturers announce their Marshmallow roll out plans, or device software upgrades appearing going through testing around the world such as the HTC One M8 Marshmallow build going through the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). We are also seeing some manufacturers announce beta tests, or rumors of such tests, including Huawei where according to a report, some Huawei Honor 7 customers may be invited into the Android 6.0 Marshmallow beta test. Other news includes the Huawei Honor Indian subsidiary teasing that the Marshmallow update is "coming soon" for the Honor 7, Honor 4C, Honor 4X, Honor 6 and Honor 6 Plus. However, the "coming soon" here means February 2016, so customers are still at least three months away from receiving the new software. We still don't have any Marshmallow news for Huawei's non-Honor branded devices. Hopefully, the company's experience with the Google Nexus 6P will help them release software updates in a timely fashion going forwards.