The recent leaked Samsung documents setting out the update schedule to put devices up to Android 6.0 Marshmallow pointed to the Galaxy Note 4 receiving the new operating system in February 2016, some three months away. Whilst there was no reason for this, it would seem sensible to expect that Samsung's engineers are concentrating on other devices such as the Galaxy S6 Edge+ or Galaxy Note 5 that that much less effort has been put towards the Note 4. However, this may not be the case as we have received reports that Samsung have at least one working and fully operational build of Android 6.0 Marshmallow for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. One of the editors at Napidroid with an unlocked Galaxy Note 4 has received the update to Android 6.0 with the firmware build version N910FXXU1DOL3X.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow brings a number of features to the Galaxy Note 4 previously seen on the Note 5, such as the screen-off memo function whereby the user can take notes with the S Pen as soon as it is undocked, plus the new Air Command menu from later versions of TouchWiz and refreshed icon images. One of the main weaknesses of the Note 4 – it's lackluster performance and laggy nature – is said to have been improved with the newer version of Android, too, but we've no words on battery life improvements and the multitasking window is still reputed to lag. We are not sure if this is the final version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but even if it's not, it seems that Google's latest version of Android has helped Samsung address some of the criticisms of the Note 4. We've included a gallery of screen images from the updated Note 4, but meanwhile let's explore why this has happened.
Depending on the market, the Note 4 is still receiving the update to Android 5.1.1, although this in itself is no reason why Samsung would not drop support for the older version in favour of the newer release: 5.1.1 would be seen by many to be an interim Android version on the way up to 6.0. Instead, could this release of 6.0 Marshmallow be as simple as a mistake on the part of Samsung? Or instead have they released a version of 6.0 Marshmallow to a few testers (not aware of their entry into a beta test) to test the firmware? Neither story sounds completely plausible, but the software looks legitimate: it may be an early version not designed to be released into the wild, but now the cat is out of the bag, Samsung should pull their socks up and update the other devices in their portfolio.