Samsung are one of a small group of handset manufacturers that announced they would be supporting and replicating Google's summer announcement of regular (monthly) security patch updates released for devices. For the most part, Samsung have been quiet on this front, although we have seen some evidence that the business is working on software updates. Recently, Samsung asked British owners of the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S6 family to step forward to beta test Android 6.0 Marshmallow for their device. We don't have any additional information about how long the beta test will last for. However, we've news today that at least one Samsung Galaxy S5 owner received an update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Yes; that's right, the Galaxy S5, or 2014's flagship Samsung device.
The gallery at the bottom of this story shows screenshots from the Galaxy S5 and as you can see, the security patch update shows the 1 January, 2016. On the face of it, this might not seem legitimate but we understand that Google release security update patches to manufacturers before the official release date. This is one reason why BlackBerry were able to release the December security patch for the Priv device before Google released it for the Nexus family. Nevertheless, this must be a very new build of the operating system for the Galaxy S5. Under Google's conditions, Samsung are not allowed to change a number of Marshmallow's features, including how the new advanced power management feature, Doze, works. Doze automatically puts the handset into a deeper sleep when it is not being moved, which suspends most data and Wi-Fi activity and can significantly reduce power consumption. Other improvements include a bolstering of application permissions management, which allows customers to approve or deny particular features on an application by application basis, when the application wants to use the feature. Android 6.0 and later also includes Google Now on Tap, whereby the device takes a screenshot of what's on the screen, which is fed into Google Now to make the system somewhat smarter.
Unfortunately, this does not mean that Samsung are close to releasing Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow for your unlocked Galaxy S5. With just one report of a device receiving the update, this could be an error on the part of Samsung, or a carefully engineered way of reminding the world that they are still working on software updates. Samsung's leaked Marshmallow update schedule shows that the Galaxy S6 and newer Galaxy Note models will be receiving the update first, but we likely still have to wait a time before the software update arrives. Nevertheless, for a preview of the updated software on the Galaxy S6, check out the gallery and YouTube clip below.