Taste Marshmallow On Your Android Right Now
Some flagship owners can wait forever to get the long-expected update and never get it. Some have already read the announcing, but the real update time can shift because of many factors even astrologists can’t predict.
So what if you wish to use the newest Android but don’t want to switch to Nexus? OK, there are really useful features of Marshmallow you can enjoy with a little help from third-party developers and their apps. And while you are still on Lollipop or even KitKat, you can benefit from these features just like Marshmallow eaters do.
Manage Apps Permissions
If you’re aware of malware epidemics and want to protect your data from leakages, or you’re highly concerned about your privacy, there’s a way to control your apps access without upgrading to Marshmallow with permission management as a native feature. And if you have already given an app too much permission, you can limit them afterward. There are apps for that.
XPrivacy requires root access on your phone, and that’s the only thing you need to be sure of. You can retrospectively manage permissions your apps initially received. The app is claimed to be the best of its kind. It works even on ICS devices with no hopes to get at least KitKat.
Custom Tabs on ChromeThere’s a great thing about the Facebook app: it has a mini browser for opening links from its pages. And it’s a pity other apps can’t boast about that. In Marshmallow, it becomes a system feature not depending on the app you open links in.
The custom tabs are meant for opening pages within different apps - messengers, social media clients, aggregators and others. They are much lighter than a fully functional default browser, so the page loads faster and the system experiences no overload. In Marshmallow it’s a system feature: custom Chrome tabs for opening inner links are lightweight.
And yes, you can get the similar effect on Lollipop. You need to install a feather-weight Link Bubble browser and set it as your default one. It helps to load pages in background while displaying them as small bubbles. Maybe you will like it even better than the original Browser or other heavy ones. And if you don’t, there’s still Chrome.
Smart LinkWhen you tap on a link that can be opened both in your browser and in an appropriate app (like Facebook, Instagram, Google+) you’ll have to select the app manually. Marshmallow uses Smart Link technology that allows appointing the right app automatically. Older Android versions didn’t have such feature but there was TapPath app that assists the system in assigning the right apps for specific links.
Fingerprint authentication for paymentsMobile payments and fingerprint scanner are just made for each other. Marshmallow has native support for this connection; its happy owners can just put their fingertips to sensors to confirm payments. Lollipop and earlier Android versions don’t include this feature.
The following good news is only for Samsung device owners. The Korean vendor has enabled its proprietary Samsung Pay system on its phones. You don’t even have to install extra apps, just go to Settings > Fingerprints > Pay with PayPal and enable fingerprint authentication.
Of course, this only applies to Samsung devices with hardware fingerprint scanner. But most today’s smartphones have front cameras that can be used in a similar way. There is ICE Unlock app that helps you to automatically unlock your phone when its front camera recognizes your face.
Unfortunately, cameras can’t compare to specialized fingerprint modules when it comes to the detailed recognition it requires to detect whether it’s the owner’s finger. So cameras don’t provide the security level required to authorize your payments. Anyway, even this is better than long passwords and PIN codes.
Advanced memory managementAndroid task manager gets more and more powerful as time goes. Marshmallow modification has learned to range the apps by appetite. After you sort the apps by memory consumption you can force the most hungry ones out of your RAM.
It’s rather surprising that Google developers lingered for so long before making it a system feature. It’s been years and years since first third-party task managers became available in Google Play.
We would recommend one of the following apps:
System Monitor, a small and fast app that can free more resources than it consumes
ES Task Manager, a powerful task manager with automation, manual cleaner and integration with popular ES File Explorer
App drawer reordering
An app drawer is what’s hidden under the Apps icon. You can find the complete list of installed apps there. Usually, you can’t reorder or reorganize its view unless you use Marshmallow. The first line contains the four apps you use most, other apps are listed in alphabetical order.
But in fact, it’s not a system feature but an element of the launcher you use. There are probably even more third-party launchers than task managers.
We’d recommend the following ones:
Apex Launcher with great customization abilities
GO Launcher EX, with thousands of themes and a powerful team behind, that also has a great lot of fitting apps like keyboard, dialer, SMS manager and so on.
And make sure to check if your vendor has already applied this feature on your device within its own launcher first.
Longer battery lifeToday’s Android devices don’t have a significantly longer battery life, maybe because of that slim case fashion that makes the phones lose weight. Android 6 Marshmallow brings the winning combination of hardware improvements like USB-C and fast charge support and software optimization.
What can we use to replace that? USB-C-adapters can hardly replace native ports. But there are software solutions for prolonging battery lifetime. And even more, there are tricks like dark themes, smart scheduling and more, that can help your battery last longer just with smart managing.