Android Marshmallow, the latest version of the operating system, is already running on some devices including Nexus smartphones and tablets as Google updates those directly, but other companies have been testing this software on their handsets and even released it in some regions. Sony’s approach towards updating the OS has been somewhat peculiar, as they released a conceptual build based on Marshmallow to some European owners of the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact a while ago. Those lucky users have been testing the software in order to find bugs and issues and report them back to the company. Apparently, users have liked what’s offered in the new software, including an extended battery life thanks to Doze mode. The concept build started as a pretty stock-looking version of Android and lacked many features. Sony has been adding some features to the software to make it even better, and today, it’s being updated so it is now based on Android 6.0.1, and those on the beta trial should be receiving it OTA.
This version is the most recent one, and it was released about a week ago and the most significant change is the inclusion of new emojis. The new build has the number MMB29M.Z1.3021-somc and the changelog only reads “Google MR1 6.0.1”, which means this is the first Maintenance Release. It has been reported that the only change from the previous build (besides some changes from Android 6.0.1) is that the icons on the app drawer are no longer customizable. One of the latest updates brought the possibility to change their appearance to make them look more uniform or even with a glass effect. Even though the option is still accessible from the Home Settings menu, under Icon Appearance, Sony has now removed the three designs that were included previously.
Today, it was reported that Sony was extending the period to test the concept build a few extra weeks, which led some people to believe that the company could be delaying the final build that would get released to most of their handsets. Sony has not given a specific timeframe to update their phones, but Android 6.0 was expected by January for the Xperia Z5 lineup. This update makes us wonder if the final build will be based on the more recent Android 6.0.1, but hopefully, it won’t take too much longer before Sony users get a significant update for their devices.