29 September 2015

Android 6.0 Marshmallow coming to devices soon

Posted by, Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, Android

Starting next week, Android 6.0 Marshmallow will begin rolling out to supported Nexus devices around the world, including Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and Android One. At the same time, we’ll be pushing the Android 6.0 source to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which marks the official beginning of public availability.

Today we also introduced two great new Nexus devices that will be among the first to run the Android 6.0 Marshmallow platform. These devices let your apps use the latest platform features and take advantage of the latest hardware optimizations from our partners. Let’s take a look at how to make sure your apps look great on these new devices.

Introducing Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P

Nexus 5X
Nexus 6P

The Nexus 5X is built in partnership with LG. It’s equipped with a 5.2-inch FHD LCD 1080p display, a Snapdragon™ 808 processor (1.8 GHz hexa-core, 64-bit), and a 12.3 MP rear camera. Offering top-line performance in a compact, lightweight device.

The Nexus 6P, built in partnership with Huawei, has a 5.7-inch WQHD AMOLED display, Snapdragon™ 810 v2.1 processor (2.0 GHz octa-core 64-bit), front-facing stereo speakers, and a 12.3 MP rear camera, all housed in a diamond-cut aluminum body.

Both devices have USB Type-C ports and fingerprint sensors, and include the latest hardware features for Android, such as: Android Sensor Hub, low-power Wi-Fi scanning with channel selection, batching, and BSSID hotlists, Bluetooth 4.2 with ultra low-power BLE notifications, and more.

Get your apps ready

Take some time to make sure your apps and games are ready to give your users the best mobile experience on these devices.

Check your assets

Resolution Screen size Density
Nexus 5X 1920 x 1080 px (730 x 410 dp) normal 420 dpi
Nexus 6P 2560 x 1440 px (730 x 410 dp) normal 560 dpi

Nexus 5X has a quantized density of 420 dpi, which falls in between the xhdpi and xxhdpi primary density buckets. Nexus 6P has a density of 560 dpi, which falls in between the xxhdpi and xxxhdpi buckets. The platform will scale down any assets from a higher resolution bucket, but if those aren’t available, then it will scale up the assets from a lower-density bucket.

For best appearance in the launcher, we recommend that you provide at least an xxxhdpi app icon because devices can display large app icons on the launcher.

For the rest of your assets, you can consider using vector assets or optionally add versions for the next-higher density bucket. This provides a sharper visual experience, but does increase apk size, so you should make an appropriate decision for your app.

Make sure you are not filtered on Google Play

If you are using the <compatible-screens>: element in your AndroidManifest.xml file, you should stop using it because it’s not scalable to re-compile and publish your app each time new devices come out. If you must use it, make sure to update your manifest to add a new configuration for Nexus 5X, since it uses a new density bucket (420). Otherwise, your app may be filtered from Google Play on these devices.

Wrapping up M Developer Preview

After three preview releases, and with the final OTA coming soon, it’s time to wrap up the Android M Developer Preview. The feedback you’ve provided has helped make Android 6.0 a great platform for apps and games. Developers in more than 200 countries have been using the Developer Preview to get their apps ready for Android 6.0 Marshmallow users everywhere.

More developer resources

If you haven’t taken a look at Android 6.0 Marshmallow yet, visit developer.android.com/mm for complete information about about what’s new for developers and important changes to plan for in your apps — runtime permissions, Doze and App Standby idle modes, Auto Backup for Apps, fingerprint support, and others.

We’ve also produced a playlist of developer videos to help you get the most out of all the new features in Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Check it out below.

Final testing and updates

Now is the time to finish up testing and prepare for publishing. You can use the Developer Preview 3 system images for final testing until early October. After the Android 6.0 public release, you’ll be able to download final images from the Nexus factory images page, and final emulator images from Android Studio.

Reminder: Devices flashed with an M Developer Preview build won’t receive the Android 6.0 update automatically. You’ll need to manually flash those devices to a public released image first.

Upload your apps to Google Play

When your apps are ready, you can update them to Google Play via the Developer Console on all release channels (Alpha, Beta & Production). For apps that target API level 23, Google Play will provide the new optimized download and autoupdate flow based on the runtime permissions model in Android 6.0. Give it a try!

To make sure that your updated app runs well on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and older versions, we recommend that you use the newly improved beta testing feature on Google Play to get early feedback. You can then do a staged rollout as you release the new version to all users.

What’s next?

In mid-October, we’ll be turning down the M Developer Preview community and the M Developer Preview issue tracker. If you've filed bugs against the preview, and you'd like to keep these open against the Android 6.0 final builds, you can file a new issue in the AOSP issue tracker.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Android M Developer Preview. Let us know how this year’s preview met your needs by taking a short survey. Your feedback helps shape our future releases.