Asus Zenfone Zoom and Selfie gets Marshmallow Updates
Both the Zenfone Zoom and Zenfone Selfie are getting the Marshmallow updates they so deserve. But is it still worth it, considering Android Nougat is just around the corner?
Asus with its rich variety of Android smartphones have one problem to deal with: rolling out updates. The Android 6.0 Marshmallow has been around for a while but the Zenfones that needed such updates are yet to receive them. Asus has a lot of models to stabilize and optimize but the Max and Laser configurations were the first Zenfones to get updated last month.
Finally, the ZenFone Zoom (model number ZX551KL) and ZenFone Selfie (ZD551KL) is next to have the same. The slow and bloatware laden 5.0 Lollipop build is now behind it.
Updated software excludes the bloatware that Asus includes on its stock smartphones: Backup, ZenFlash, Remote Link, PC Link, MyFrame, and Data Transfer.
As the names suggest, the ZenFone Zoom stands out thanks to an unusually proficient rear-facing camera with 3x optical zoom, while the ZenFone Selfie sports a 13-megapixel front shooter in addition to a 13MP “main” photography taker. These are still mid-range smartphones and the premium ZenFone 2 leader (ZE551ML) remains stuck on Android L. That’s really bad, given Nougat is waiting to take over Marshmallow.
After months of waiting and trying OxygenOS on the now soon to be replaced flagship, OnePlus 2, is getting a software update. It’s Android Marshmallow.
Thanks to the beta testers and their reliable feedback for it brought the OxygenOS 3.0.2 to the OnePlus 2 today. This custom OS for all OnePlus devices was built on top of Android 6.0.1 and the high quality update is expected to saturate the population by a couple of days.
Since it\’s built especially for OnePlus 2, the update brought along additional enhancements alongside the typical tweaks over the base OS. These unique enhancements include:
refreshed camera app user interface
camera autofocus optimization
Dirac HD Sound codecs (this replaced MaxxAudio and Tuner)
locking apps in multitasking pile
clear all processes
assign a sim specifically for data, sms and voice
Although today was the 7th month since Google released the last Android Marshmallow images, OnePlus X is yet to receive Marshmallow packages and updates.
The Galaxy A9 has become the first Galaxy A device to make the jump to Android 6.0. Marshmallow is rolling out to the unlocked variant of the 6-inch phone in China, the only market where the Galaxy A9 has been available since launch. In fact, two Android 6.0.1 updates seem to have rolled out to the device in the last week, with a period of almost two weeks between their build dates and the latest version featuring build number A9000ZCU1BPE2.
The A9 should be on almost an equal footing with Samsung’s flagship smartphones after the Marshmallow update, with the exception of features like Always On Display. Regular Marshmallow goodies like Google Now on Tap and Doze should also be part of the package. Many owners of the A9 have probably gotten the initial update already; if not, they can download it by going into the Settings » About device » Software update menu on the phone. We also have the firmware available in our database.
The Galaxy A5 (2016) and Galaxy A7 (2016) are likely to be next in line for the major upgrade, and we can only hope Samsung won’t be making folks wait too long.
Now that the long-awaited Android Marshmallow update is rolling out to Galaxy Note 4 devices all over the world, it’s time to take a look at the one feature that makes this update worth the wait: Screen off memo.
Previously, Screen off memo was only available to Galaxy Note 5 users, or to Note 4 users by means of an unofficial port. Now, Android Marshmallow brings it to the device in an entirely official manner. However, after performing the update it is not switched on by default.
To get Screen-off memo up and running, head into your Note 4′s Settings, and select the S Pen option. Scroll down to the Pen detachment section of the menu, and check the Screen off memo item. It’s that easy, yes.
Now, with the screen of your Galaxy Note 4 turned off, take out the S Pen and behold, you can write or draw directly onto the display. When done, hit Save, but you can also simply p
ut your S Pen back into the phone. The display will turn off, and your note will automatically be saved, as a notification will tell you when you turn your Note 4 back on again.
It is always nice to see OEMs bring completely new features to devices that did not originally have them. Samsung has done this many times in the past, like when the Galaxy S3 received multi-window support long after its initial release. Particularly for European Note 4 users, Screen off memo is a welcome feature, bringing at least the most important S Pen feature of the Galaxy Note 5 to the continent that never saw the release of that phone.
Of course, if you’ve got a Galaxy Note Edge Screen-off memo will be available on your device too, once it gets in line for the Marshmallow update.
Following a successful rollout for the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 4 last month, Sprint has today started distributing the long-awaited Marshmallow update to all its carrier-branded variants of the Galaxy S5 Sport and Galaxy Note Edge located in the United States.
As you’d expect, the upgrade transports the latest build of Android 6.0.1 to the handsets, together with the contents of this month’s security patch, which is great news for those who’ve been complaining that their devices have been left out of Samsung’s monthly maintenance releases.
It’s important to bear in mind, however, that due to the sheer size of the update, Sprint is unable to push the OTA to all units at once — so it has no other option than to roll it out in stages. The operator hopes to have the firmware available to download on all its models of the Galaxy Note Edge by May 2 and Galaxy S5 Sport by May 11.
To see if the upgrade is ready for your phone, simply head into Settings, followed by About Device, locate and select Software Update, then hit the Update Now button.
Though we have always assumed Samsung will provide Android Marshmallow updates for all Galaxy A (2016) devices, there was no concrete evidence pointing in that direction. Now, certifications provide just that. Over at the Wi-Fi Alliance, Samsung had several regional versions of the Galaxy A5 (2016) and Galaxy A7 (2016) certified running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, giving us a first glimpse of the existence of the upcoming update.
Other than the certification for the 2016 generation of the A5 and A7, no other Galaxy A devices have been spotted running Android Marshmallow so far. However, we do expect to see the A3 (2016) and A9 in the waiting line soon as well. As far as predictions about the actual rollout of the Marshmallow update for the Galaxy A (2016) devices are concerned, we can’t provide you with any concrete date. Sometimes, updates start weeks after renewed Wi-Fi certifications are published, but knowing Samsung it could easily take longer than that. Still, at least we now have concrete proof that the update coming.
Samsung has made us all wait quite a bit for the Marshmallow update and now it has finally released Android 6.0.1 for the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge in South Korea. The release follows a brief beta test program in which users were allowed to sign up to test beta Marshmallow firmware. We’ve already posted a lot of images of all the interface changes and new features that are included in the Marshmallow update.
It has only released Marshmallow for the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge today but it shouldn’t take too long for the update to arrive for the Galaxy S6 edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5 at least in South Korea. It’s unclear when Samsung is going to roll out the update for other markets. Given that it has started the rollout users in other markets may not have to wait for too long now.
Samsung recently conducted a beta test in which it allowed people with unlocked variants of the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge to test a beta build of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. This beta program was not open to any other Samsung device but that didn’t stop the Marshmallow beta from being sent out by mistake first to a Galaxy Note 4 and then to a Galaxy S5. It appears that this has happened yet again, a lucky user in France has received the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update by mistake on the Galaxy S5.
The security patch date
The security patch date in this release is listed as “1 January 2016,” which indicates that this isn’t a build that’s meant for public release and it possibly may not even be final yet. No other device has received an update as yet with the January security patch. The user received this build on the Galaxy S5 (SM-G900F) over-the-air and we can see from the screenshots that the firmware does look legitimate, it doesn’t appear to be a port of the firmware previously released in the beta test. Samsung has not yet revealed when it’s going to start releasing Android 6.0 Marshmallow for its handsets but many expect that it shouldn’t take more than a couple of months from now.
We’ve noted the changes Samsung would make with Android Marshmallow, such as the further flattening of TouchWiz, and Hungary users are now getting to experience Google’s sweet treat on their Galaxy Note 4. A new YouTube video provided by ardaiaron gives us a sneak peek into what Android Marshmallow is like for fortunate users who get the download.
The smartphone in the video is indeed a Galaxy Note 4,
as can be seen by the aluminum frame around the phone. The aluminum frame added to Samsung’s design was a change from the ribbed faux aluminum design of the Galaxy Note 3 in 2013. Also, as to quell any doubt about the device in question, it features the heart rate monitor that was first implemented on the Galaxy S5; the Galaxy Note 4 was the first Note device to showcase the feature. Ardaiaron has the wallpaper that was first showcased on the Galaxy Note 4 present, and the model number “SM-N910F” for the device proves its identity without question. As you’ll note (pun intended), the Android version says “6.0,” which is the number of the Android Marshmallow update.
Some of the update changes are evident
The square icons have been “rounded,” matching the new icon layout in the Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, and the Galaxy Note 5. The S Health and Smart Manager icons seem smaller than in previous update versions. There is a new S Pen menu that matches that found on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, and Samsung also brought along the popular Off Screen Memo feature that gives you the ability to take notes when your screen is black.
Of course, with the build being Android Marshmallow, new changes from Google make their way to the Galaxy Note 4: Google Now On Tap, Doze, customizable app permissions, per app battery stats, and even the beginning of the Easter egg. The problem with the Android 6.0 build lies in the fact that, once you press the “M” to go into the Easter Egg, you end up with the “shrugging arms” expression. If you’ll remember, this was found in the early Developer Preview of Marshmallow; the actual build includes a “harshmallows” feature where the “bugdroid” must jump to avoid killer marshmallows. This doesn’t seem to find its way into the build, leading us to wonder whether this sneak peek is either 1) a Developer Preview or 2) the result of a root of some kind.
In addition to the shrugging arms expression,
Ardaiaron notes that there is lag on his device, apps don’t load in the task manager as they should, and Samsung Cloud stopped operating during the course of the video. With the problems behind the build, it’s more likely that this is a Developer Preview. Time will tell, however, whether or not this is the real deal. At any rate, the Android Marshmallow update for the Galaxy Note 4 isn’t too far off now. If it is legitimate, then the latest leak of Marshmallow for the Galaxy Note 4 was all too genuine.
Impossible is the word many will scream out when they hear this, but it seems Samsung already has Android 6.0 builds ready for the Galaxy Note 4, the company’s most badly treated flagship smartphone ever. The folks over at Napidroid say one of their editors has received the Android 6.0 update on the Galaxy Note 4, and based on our information we can say the firmware build (version N910FXXU1DOL3X) is certainly the real deal.
But we’re inclined to lean towards the possibility that the update was pushed out by mistake, unless Samsung is looking to make up for the poor software support Note 4 owners have seen until now by pushing Marshmallow to the device even before the 2015 lineup of Galaxy flagships. Heck, some regions are still getting Android 5.1.1, so it would be very odd for Samsung to start rolling out Android 6.0 already.
final or not – does seem to bring new features to the Note 4, including the Note 5′s screen-off memo function that lets you start taking notes with the S Pen as soon as you take it out of its slot (though this was already possible through a simple hack.)
Performance is said to have improved as well (though with the multitasking menu lagging now and then), and we also see the new app icons and Air Command menu from the newer version of TouchWiz that debuted on the Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. There don’t seem to be any other visual changes, and Napidroid doesn’t offer any details on what else is included in the Marshmallow build.
Again, someone at Samsung likely goofed up and made the Android 6.0 build available long ahead of schedule, so don’t start looking at your Galaxy Note 4 all day long in the hopes of getting Marshmallow. It’s not that Samsung isn’t welcome to surprise us, but this just seems too good to be true, especially after the treatment the company’s laggy flagship has gotten since it launched last year.