The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are very different products for Samsung, from their build quality to their features – or lack thereof – and even the manner in which a major Android OS update has been handled. Unlike in past years, the South Korean OEM ushered in the release of Android Marshmallow 6.0 by offering customers in select markets the ability to participate in a beta testing program.
According to a new report however, as of today both variants are officially updating to Android 6.0.1 for customers in Samsung’s home market of South Korea. As of the time of writing, this story is still development and thus details are limited. Models on SK Telecom are detailed. It is currently unknown as to if either KT or LG U+ hves also begun rolling out the firmware. The build date for both the S6 and the S6 Edge is Fri, 22 Jan 2016 however the time stamps are different.
With South Korea users now formally receiving Marshmallow, it is probably just a matter of days or weeks before the international roll-out begins for unlocked models. In particular the UK was also involved in the beta test program and thus it can be expected that said territory will be among the first to receive the update. Those interested in screen captures obtained from the early preview offering will note the significant visual differences below:
Some users may be upset that Marshmallow has not hit the Galaxy S6 Edge+ or the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung’s pair of flagships released in the second half of last year. Neither of these models were eligible for the Android 6.0 Beta Test program either, which further irritated customers, some of whom felt they were being given the short end of the stick. It is expected that the firmware update for these devices will happen within the next few weeks, however apart from leaks claiming to be internal release targets from Samsung, there is nothing truly concrete at the moment.
Another common complaint raised about the update issue is the speed at which Samsung has approached it. With Android 5.0 Lollipop at the end of 2014, Samsung impressed many when it began rolling out the updates for some Galaxy S5 models before the year even ended. Poland in particular, received Lollipop just weeks after Google released it. This cycle however, it seems that a considerable amount of time has been required in rolling out the new firmware. It is an issue made all the more noticeable and almost paradoxical, given the more streamlined version of TouchWiz that shipped with the 2015 flagships.
Given the existence of public beta testing, it is possible that Samsung felt a stable build was not yet ready to be released to the general public. This might be due to some of Android 6.0’s more significant overhauls, such as the inclusion of granular permissions for Apps, or even the way in which Google’s mobile OS handles native fingerprint sensors. It might also have had to do with priority being placed more prominently on Android Security Patch updates which need to be issued for dozens upon dozens of devices in Samsung’s hardware catalog.
Even so, Samsung’s handling of Marshmallow has definitely been an unusual one to say the least. Frequent reports of random Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Note 4 users suddenly finding themselves eligible for the update have been cropping up around the internet for weeks now, despite no public beta test having been made available. At one point even a Galaxy S5 user was provided the update.
With Marshmallow now officially out for the Korean Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, it is only a matter of time before the world at large will be eligible for access, too. This could not come at a more pressing time given the fact that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are expected to be announced in just 22 days, with a possible release in less than a month and a half.
We want to hear your thoughts! How would you evaluate Samsung’s handling of the Marshmallow update? Has it been relatively timely, or has the company gone back to its old ways? For that matter, are any of you in possession of a Korean variant and have already received the update? Let us know how it is!