Earlier in the month, Samsung began soak testing its Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for its Galaxy S6 series in Europe, which followed earlier reports of a preliminary software release in South Korea. Today, Samsung has officially announced the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update for its Galaxy S6 edge and edge+ handsets in South Korea and has detailed the key new features and improvements.

As well as the general Android improvements, the major software changes are focused around the handsets’ unique edge apps. First up, the pixel panel size has been increased from 260 to 550 pixels, allowing for additional content to be displayed and new features implemented. The people edge app has been changed up a little too. Additional contact names have been added in below the picture and there’s a shortcut to the settings menu thrown in as well. A similar change has been made to the Apps edge feature, users can now add up to 10 apps, rather than just 5, and entire folders to the menu.

Apps edge, before and after (left, middle) and the new Tasks edge (right)

Apps edge, before and after (left, middle) and the new Tasks edge (right)

Samsung has also introduced a new Tasks edge panel with its Marshmallow update, which allows users to quickly start up common tasks, such as setting an alarm or composing a text message, with just a single tap. This can also be used to access tools such as the compass or flash light.

The Marshmallow update begins rolling out to S6 edge and edge+ handsets in South Korea from today, February 15th. Samsung says that Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates for other Galaxy devices will be following shortly. The company also states that other regions will be receiving separate announcements regarding the OS update and that carrier branded handsets will be working on their own timetables, as usual.

A closer look:

Marshmallow on the Galaxy S6 is a welcome improvement

January 27, 2016
Robert Triggs
Lead Technical Writer at Android Authority, covering the latest trends in consumer electronics and hardware. In his spare moments, you'll probably find him tinkering with audio electronics and programming.
  • Pubudu Tippalagama

    i’m pretty sure they will take some more weeks to get it seeded globally,
    if you want to be like apple, push updates ASAP, not this wannabe tease

  • Nallaikumaran

    Why Android Updates Are So Slow?

    When Google releases a new version of the Android software, there are, essentially, three steps that must happen before the update will show up on your phone. First, the chip-makers must provide new “hooks,” or code that allows the operating system to communicate with (and thus control) the hardware components. Because there are many different chipmakers within the Android ecosystem of devices, and each company has different chips that it makes, each one takes a different amount of time to develop. Typically, though, the chipmakers are able to deliver the new hooks within a month or two.

    Then the software stack moves on to the manufacturers. Because each device is built with slightly different components, the new software must be custom-tailored for each phone or tablet. In other words, Samsung can’t just apply its TouchWiz UI to Android OS and then push it to all of its devices. Plus, each wireless carrier has its own unique set of software requirements. That may include base-level functionality, and it may include carrier-specific apps. That’s in addition to whatever customization the handset manufacturers are doing in terms of their third-party user interfaces. According to Samsung’s Nick DiCarlo, it takes about six to eight weeks, on average, from when the company gets the OS update from Google to when it can deliver the finished version to the carrier. Small bug-fix updates will be much shorter. Bigger updates could be way longer.

    The manufacturers’ third-party UIs (“skins”) get blamed more than anything for upgrade slowness, and it’s easy to see why. After all, they are visually prominent and seem to be the only tangible difference from a Google Nexus phone, which typically launches with the latest Android version. But most of the work is actually fitting Google’s new software to the hardware components. “It’s not as simple as, if we didn’t do customization, just downloading a ROM from Google. That wouldn’t work,” says HTC’s Drew Bamford. “So, even if we did no customization, I’m not sure that the process would be much faster, to be honest.”

    So if not skins, what’s the major delay? Don’t look at the manufacturers.

    The Big Hold-Up

    Welcome to the wonderful world of carrier testing. The wireless carriers have to test not only every single new phone they plan to offer, but also every software update to every phone that they are already carrying. Simply put, they have to be certain that the phone will work on their network as advertized. How hard is that? Try mind-bogglingly.

    “They’ve got limited resources, people, time, equipment,” says Samsung’s DiCarlo. “The test scopes for these, as the networks get more complex with CDMA, GSM, LTE, multiple bands, now getting into VoLTE next year, different regions of the network are made with different network providers, so they have to test in all the regions. So the network testing complexity is extraordinary.”

    Each carrier has a validation team. They do everything from drop tests for the hardware to benchmark tests against usability metrics. They take software through automated experiences to see if there is a slowdown somewhere. When they finally give TA (Technical Acceptance) they want to be sure that they’re maintaining their standards. “We try to do capacity planning,” says T-Mobile’s Jason Young. “We look ahead to the year and we are setting projected TA (or Technical Acceptance) dates for devices 6-12 months in advance. Then we work backward from there.” When they anticipate many device updates coming near each other they ask, “What device is more important for us to bring to market?” This prioritization is a sticky subject. According to DiCarlo:

    “If you are a carrier and you’re running a lab and you’re supporting 30 or 40 phones at a time—and from their view, they’re supporting hundreds of phones. Two years of contracts over many years, right?— Do they want to spend time testing the new hotness that’s coming out at the beginning of Q4, or an OS update for a phone from two years ago?”

    The carriers, after all, are in the business of selling you new devices to keep you hooked into their services. For the devices already sold, it makes sense to focus on the most popular devices first in order to keep the most people happy with the least amount of effort. It’s simple economics: they get more bang for their buck that way. So how long does this take?

    “I can tell you that when we release a new product to carriers, we can have it running in our labs for six months before it’s released by the carrier,” says HTC’s Bamford. “It can take a long time.” T-Mobile’s Young confirmed that it is typically three to six months from the time they get the new software until it goes live. Simple addition, then, will tell you that it may be as much as nine months for that new software to make it to your device, and that’s only if the manufacturers and carriers agree that it’s worth devoting the time and resources to update it at all.

    The Boogeyman

    A lot of Android conspiracy theorists have come to the conclusion that manufacturers and/or carriers deliberately delay software upgrades to older devices in order to sell new ones. Of course, not a single person we spoke to would admit to that, despite our prodding. But what’s actually happening isn’t quite so cut and dried.

    Why Android Updates Are So Slow

    Again, it’s all about prioritizing resources. Manufacturers have only so many employees, and they have to decide how best to use them. If setting them to work on applying a new update to older hardware makes them look good, they’ll do it, but of course priority is given to new devices—the devices which are just about to launch, or which have recently launched and on which advertizing dollars are still being spent. And because network testing is so exhaustive, of course the carriers must prioritize, too, but different carriers will prioritize in different ways, depending on their current device lineup and what they have coming down the pipe.

    According to Motorola’s Punit Soni: “Some carriers say, ‘This update is really important to us, so as soon as you get it to us we’re going to put it into the lab and devote all our resources to it’. Other say, ‘This is actually third or fourth in our queue, so we’re going to have to wait a little bit until we can put it through our labs.'”

    Via – gizmodo(2013)

  • Abd

    The update is available worldwide.
    This is from GsmArena:

    “Today Samsung officially announced the worldwide availability of both Marshmallow updates for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Users on both devices should be getting the notification very soon, if not already.
    Of course, the upgrades will become available gradually, and it will depend on the market and carrier.”

    As a root user, i dont care much about android updates. I can achieve far more with root than any android update can. When you root you can’t use OTA. Must unroot first. I used my Note 3 for over 2 years with jellybean. Now got Note 5 lp5.1.1 and rooted it and not planing any android update soon. I have maximum stability and compatibility.

    The problems with early versions is 1.Bugs 2.much less software compatibility. So i might only get Marshmallow with Note 6 if still available.

  • Taleim

    whilst these are good points, I always boy the unlocked international version, hoping for faster updates without carrier testing. yet they can’t seem to do a global same day release for unlocked international handsets?