For the first time, Google has released the stock Android launcher for anyone who wants it. The new Google Now Launcher is exactly what Marshmallow ships with, and it supports some cool new features such as:
Marshmallow brings a much-wanted feature, the ability to backup an app with all its data and then restore it to a device, without rooting your phone. Well, you might be surprised to know you can already do that.
Helium backs up most apps, and it will notify you of which ones it can’t. I suggest you also backup the APK, since it makes restoring easier for some apps that break compatibility with new versions.
When you’re ready to install all this to a new phone again, connect it to your PC, download the app, and restore all your apps. It’s seamless and just works.
Helium Premium will also let you backup to cloud devices and external storage, and it supports apps that the free one doesn’t. Cloud backup makes it easier to sync an Android phone or tablet over WiFi. It’s well worth $4.99, if you ask me, but try out the free app first.
Helium isn’t a perfect solution though. For a full and complete backup of Android, you’ll need a rooted device and Titanium Backup Pro.
Android Marshmallow finally, finally brings the ability to control app permissions on an individual basis. What this means is that if an app asks for permission to read your text messages and your GPS data, you can choose to grant access to location but not your messages.
Controlling individual app permissions helps avoid the seven deadly security risks from apps. If you are using Android 5.x Lollipop or Android 4.3/4.4 KitKat, you can control individual app permissions with App Ops. On Android versions 4.2 and older, you’ll need to root your phone to control permissions.
App Ops is super simple and you’ll be able to toggle the permissions any app uses with a simple switch. That’s exactly how it works in Marshmallow too. So if you’re on Android 4.3 or higher, you’re in luck!
One thing to note: Uninstalling App Ops isn’t as easy as just deleting the app from your phone, you need to download a special App Ops Uninstaller.
Mimicking the iOS look, the new Android 6.0 makes it easier to cut, copy, and paste anything by giving you clear options when you select any text or image. However, there’s actually a better way than Marshmallow’s options.
Native Clipboard is probably the best way to improve copy-paste on Android. The app requires deep access to your Android device, but once you grant it those rights, it will copy anything in any text box, and paste any of your recent clipboard copied items to any other box. Double tap an empty box, and it just works.
Even after trying out Marshmallow, I found myself wanting to get this app back, so in this one case, the current systems actually outdo what you’ll get on Android 6.0.
Marshmallow has two cool features to lengthen your battery life. First, it automatically puts unused apps to sleep. Second, it detects when you aren’t using your phone and stops using data at that time.
But what do you know? You already have a couple apps that will do the same things! You need to download Greenify and JuiceDefender.
Greenify’s auto-hibernation mode (available on Android 4.1 or newer phones) will stop updating apps you aren’t using and prevent them from slowing down your phone. JuiceDefender, on the other hand, is an all-in-one solution for almost any battery-saving tip on Android.
One of the cooler features in Android Marshmallow is Google Chrome’s new Custom Tabs. With this, apps can open an optimized browser tab with saved passwords and other Chrome data intact. Plus, the pages will preload in the background so they seem faster.
Even if you aren’t using Android 6.0, you can get all of this goodness with the new Google Chrome for Android, which includes this feature.
Now, Chrome is the fastest Android browser, so this is great news. But Chrome isn’t necessarily the best browser. Personally, I’d recommend going with the new Firefox 42 Beta for Android.
Firefox 42 has a new awesome “Tab Queuing” feature, which is reason alone to get it. With this, when you are using any app, you can continue using it. When you see a link, tap it and it’s added to a queue, without moving you away from the app. Go to your notifications to find your Tab Queue, and with one tap, open them all in Firefox. It’s fantastic!