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.
Samsung has a plethora of phones and tablets in its lineup, and regularly releases firmware updates for various devices. These can include major updates, which bring a newer version of the OS to a particular device, or minor ones that improve performance and stability and fix bugs. Software updates for Samsung devices roll out in various regions every day, and you can find out which firmware updates were pushed out by the company over the last 24 hours through our firmware list.
As usual, you can download each of these firmware from our firmware section (simply enter your device’s model number to view all firmware for that device) in order to update to a new firmware manually, or as a means to return to your phone or tablet’s stock software.
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.
Pre-orders for the Gear VR, the mobile VR headset made in collaboration between Samsung and Oculus, opened up on November 10th. With the headset due to be released on the 20th, it looks like Best Buy has sold out of its initial stock, but other stores remain stocked.
Oculus is listing the Gear VR as ‘Sold Out’ at Best Buy, with a greyed-out ‘Coming Soon’ button on the product page which was previously offering pre-orders.
Fortunately it looks like Amazon and Samsung’s official store are still stocked. Amazon’s offering is eligible for ‘Prime’ members, which means free two-day or cheap one-day shipping for those who just can’t wait to get their hands on the new headset.
Gear VR from Amazon Prime for $99
Gear VR from Samsung for $99
Samsung’s pre-order page notes “Product will ship in 7 – 10 business days” while Amazon’s Gear VR product page is still simply showing a pre-order button with no specific notices of shipping.