In case you feel like you’ve read this story before, this isn’t the same Xperia Marshmallow beta program we first heard about back in October 2015. That was for an experimental Marshmallow concept rather than pre-release software. So while beta testers in that program might be the only ones to ever see that particular version of Marshmallow on their Xperia phones, this new beta is the early stages of the software that will soon roll out to everyone.
The beta firmware going out right now is Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow for the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact and Xperia Z2. Once the bugs have been ironed out and everything is stabilized satisfactorily, the same version will roll out to all Xperia owners, starting with the newer devices and trickling down slowly to older phones and mid-rangers.
The program was announced a month ago for Xperia owners in Spain, The Netherlands and Italy, but this is the first beta firmware to be shipped out under the new testing program. Sony has already rolled out Android 6.0 to the Xperia Z5 series and Z3+, so this beta firmware – 23.5.A.0.486 – offers an incremental upgrade over the latest publicly available update.
Changes in the new firmware include the new launcher complete with search in the app drawer, the new Camera 2.0.0 UI which you would have seen in the Xperia Z5 models, and the removal of STAMINA mode. There is no option for adoptable storage and the app setting for doing away with the app drawer and putting all apps on the home screen has now been removed.
What do you think of Marshmallow on the Xperia range? Or did you like the Marshmallow Concept better?