After delays, it appears that Sony is preparing the update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow for its portfolio of devices. Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has updated its support web pages with information about a software update available for the Sony Xperia range of devices, which discusses the improvements Google have made to Android between the version 5.x of Lollipop and 6.0.x Marshmallow. The document goes into some detail about Marshmallow's key features, including Google Now On Tap, Doze, App Permissions and App Standby, but keen eyed readers will see from the gallery below that the interface used on the devices does not follow Sony's concept Marshmallow scheme. Instead, the devices look very similar to those running Android 5.x Lollipop. This might mean that the update takes less time as Sony should hopefully not need to spend so long fine-tuning the user interface, as they will be able to reuse the existing code. However, for those customers looking forward to Sony's new user interface, this could be disappointing news. The gallery of screenshot images below were taken on the Xperia Z5.
All is not lost, of course. It is entirely possible that Sony will either make the new user interface available later as an option, or will update the device to the new arrangements anyway. It is also possible that NTT DoCoMo's support website has the wrong screen shot images, although this would see less likely. We also do not have an expected date when the software updates will arrive, but seeing as the support pages have been updated, it would seem likely that a slew of Sony Xperia devices are only a few weeks at most from receiving the software update.
The accompanying notes explain that activating Google Now On Tap is as simple as holding down the home button whilst something interesting is on the screen, such as an email from a friend discussing a restaurant or cafe bar. NTT DoCoMo also explains that whilst the software update should preserve all customer data on the device, it is possible that something could go wrong and this data might be lost. The carrier recommends customers backup their important data elsewhere before running the software update – the notes also explain that during the update process on the device, this data is not separately backed up and customers will not be able to return to the previous version after upgrading to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The notes also provide the standard warning and caveats including how the device may not be used at all during the software upgrade and how the upgrade may take some time.