Update, December 23: Good news! Samsung is opening a Marshmallow beta program in the UK as well. You need to sign up for a Samsung account here, download the Galaxy Care app, and complete the Beta registration process.
Original post, December 22: Samsung is offering Galaxy S6 users in South Korea the chance to beta test Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
More Android manufacturers are using beta programs to test and improve their software updates. Google itself has offered developer preview releases since Lollipop, and it’s safe to say that new previews of Android updates will be published every summer going forward. Sony recently extended its Marshmallow Concept program and even Huawei’s up and coming Honor brand will open a Marshmallow beta program in the close future.
Now Samsung, the biggest smartphone maker in the world, is announcing its own beta Marshmallow update program, though at least for now, it’s very limited in scale. Specifically, only users of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge on Korea Telecom and LG U+ are invited to participate, and there is no indication that similar beta programs will be offered in other markets.
To sign up for the Marshmallow preview, users can download the Galaxy Care app from the Play Store or from Samsung’s Galaxy store. Users will receive an OTA notification for the update within 24 hours of signing up.
Like any beta, the goal of the program is to gather useful feedback from a small number of users, before Samsung pushes updates to its tens of millions of users. Given Samsung’s checkered past when it comes to software, this is a highly welcomed initiative. Hopefully, it’s also a sign of better things to come – it’s high time Android OEMs started treating updates as more than afterthoughts.
On a related note, a recent rumor claims that, come the Galaxy S7, Samsung will be paying more attention than ever to the optimization of its software and apps.
Samsung’s Marshmallow beta program will be open through January 18. That means we shouldn’t expect the official OTA for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge before that date. For a high-level view of the updates across manufacturers, check out our Marshmallow updates roundup.