Google's Android 5.1 Lollipop mobile operating system will soon make way for its successor, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The company announced the new name for the new version of its Android operating system in an Aug. 17 post on the Android Developers Blog, along with details about the immediate availability of a new software developers kit (SDK) and a Final M Preview version to support it.
"Today with the final Developer Preview update, we're introducing the official Android 6.0 SDK and opening Google Play for publishing your apps that target the new API level 23 in Android Marshmallow," wrote Jamal Eason, product manager for Android, in the blog post.
The final Android 6.0 SDK can be downloaded via the SDK Manager in Android Studio, giving developers access to the final Android APIs and the latest build tools, according to the post. After downloading the SDK, developers must update their app project's
23 to prepare it for testing with their apps. Developers can also
update their apps to
test out API 23-specific features like auto-backup and app permissions, wrote Eason.
Google has also updated the related Android Support Library to v23 to make it easier to integrate many of the new platform APIs, such as permissions and fingerprint support, in a backward-compatible manner, he wrote. The release contains a number of new support libraries, including customtabs, percent, recommendation, preference-v7, preference-v14 and preference-leanback-v17.
The Android emulator system images and developer preview system images have been updated for supported Nexus devices (Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player) to help with app testing, wrote Eason. "You can download the device system images from the developer preview site. Also, similar to the previous developer update, supported Nexus devices will receive an Over-the-Air (OTA) update over the next couple days."
Google expects to launch Android 6.0 Marshmallow later this fall. The first Android M Developer Preview of the upcoming operating system was featured at Google I/O in May. Previous Android versions before Lollipop included names such as KitKat, Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich and Cupcake.
Android Marshmallow will include updates to the Fingerprint API, which enables better error reporting, better fingerprint enrollment experience and enumeration support for greater reliability, wrote Eason.
Android 5.0 Lollipop was originally released in November 2014 and later updated to Lollipop 5.1. Android Lollipop included some significant improvements for developers with its Material Design language and APIs through which it hopes to spawn new applications based on the OS. Also included were improvements on notification capabilities and battery life.