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Marshmallow vs Lollipop comparison: is newer better?
Google Android 5.0 – Lollipop 5 min read 67 comments

Marshmallow vs Lollipop comparison: is newer better?

Android Marshmallow is here. The successor to Android Lollipop has begun rolling out to Nexus devices, with more to follow in the coming months. In this Marshmallow vs Lollipop comparison, we show you what the new version does better than its predecessor.

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Android Marshmallow has arrived. / © ANDROIDPIT

Android Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop: App permissions

With Android Marshmallow, there is finally an integrated way to manage app permissions. In Lollipop you had to allow all app permissions before you downloaded the app from the Play Store. In Android Marshmallow, this is no longer the case. Instead, you can allow or deny app permissions individually, as and when you want a specific function to work (e.g. access to the microphone). In addition, you now have the option to revoke individual app permissions after you've granted them.

Android Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop: Battery life

With Lollipop's Project Volta, Google laid the foundations for longer battery life. Android Marshmallow goes one step further, with a battery saving function known as Doze. Doze uses the device's motion sensors to detect if a smartphone is being used or not, and sends the handset will be sent into a deeper standby state. We don't have any long-term Doze data yet, but initial tests have found that battery life has reportedly been doubled compared with Lollipop.

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Android Marshmallow features some new battery saving tricks. / © ANDROIDPIT

Android Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop: Google Now on Tap

Google Now has undergone a minor revolution on Android Marshmallow. Now, by simply long-pressing the Home button, Google Now scans whatever is on the screen, be it from a webpage, third-party app, anything, and offers contextual information on what it determines the key words to be.

So, for example, if someone sends you a message mentioning a restaurant, Google Now on Tap will offer a map, or Yelp reviews. It is not without flaws, but it could well evolve into the kind of feature that you eventually you wonder how you managed without.

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Google Now is available from any screen and provides contextually useful information. / © ANDROIDPIT

Android Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop: Fingerprint sensors

With Android Marshmallow, Google has finally created a uniform standard for fingerprint sensors. That's good, because before Android Marshmallow, each manufacturer had its own software solution implemented into the system: uniform access to fingerprint sensors was therefore not possible. This is a big step forward.

Android Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop: Android Pay

Here is Google's solution for secure mobile payment. With Android Pay, Android does not store your real payment data, such as credit card numbers, but creates a virtual number for each payment method, meaning your data is always protected. Android Pay functions even with Android 4.4 KitKat, and when you combine it with Android Marshmallow's fingerprint scanning features, it looks as though this new mobile payment process is going to be more than capable of taking on Apple Pay.

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Android Pay is going to compete with Apple Pay. / © Google

Android Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop: USB Type-C

This feature is more related to hardware than software, but in Android Marshmallow, Google has paved the way for the new USB standard: USB Type-C. With USB Type-C, you can use the USB connector in either direction inside the unit (it flips both ways), and use your smartphone to charge other, compatible devices. Expect to see this on a plethora of new smartphones and tablets in the future.

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With USB Type-C, there is no downside. / © Google

Android Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop: minor improvements

Those are the major improvements, but there are other, smaller changes that are equally useful. Here is a brief overview:

App drawer: The Android Marshmallow app drawer makes it easier to find apps. There is a bar along the top containing your four most recently accessed applications, and an alphabetized scroll on the left-hand margin. You will also find a search function in the top-right corner.

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The Google Now launcher in Android Marshmallow has a new ABC register. / © ANDROIDPIT

RAM manager: Android Lollipop gives detailed information about the amount of RAM each app uses. Android Marshmallow now provides two new fields that inform you on the average and maximum RAM usage of an app.

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Android Marshmallow's RAM consumption sees improvements over Lollipop. / © ANDROIDPIT

Use an SD card as internal memory: MicroSD card fans rejoice! In Android Marshmallow your microSD card can be formatted so that it is treated as internal memory. Apps can be installed directly on the microSD card too.

Android Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop: Conclusion

This Android Marshmallow vs Android Lollipop comparison has quickly made it clear that the changes are significantly smaller than they were between the Lollipop update and KitKat. But that is not surprising; Google can't be expected to release a huge update every year. The improvements that have been made with Android Marshmallow are sorely needed, because Lollipop still feels like a prematurely released product and still poses problems for many users.

Android Marshmallow acts as a more mature OS, and we're looking forward to what's to come.

What are your thoughts on Android Marshmallow so far? Let us know in the comments below.

67 comments

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  • I cant find palm swipe screen shot on my new marshmallow update anyone know if it's available


  • My Samsung Galaxy 10.1 camera with the new mash isn't working right. Isn't full Compare to the former


  • Todd Jul 26, 2016 Link to comment

    I think many features are a step backward. Like the fact that I used to get prompted about what app I wanted to use each time and have the OPTION to make it "permanent". That OPTION was removed in Marshmallow and I hate when I lose my choice. Moving a App to a SD card, has many steps instead of one click. There a few others so far that I noticed that just seem like dumb changes. Under the hood, I have had good luck with my Note4 - no crashes. Some Apps were updated even though I had it set to manual updates. I hate the fact the you can't roll back App versions easily (or even OS versions).


  • I did manage to cure it, Google play services was eating battery.


  • Andrew Jul 18, 2016 Link to comment

    My Note 4 updated to Marshmallow a couple of weeks ago, ever since then apps will randomly crash. Some apps I can't turn off the sounds/alerts anymore. Worst of all - my text messaging barely works now.... when texting my phone continually freezes and the text messaging force closes. It takes about two to three minutes for a message to send. How do I go back to Lollipop????? HELP


  • What a mess, bought my Sony Z3 for it's battery life amongst other things, Marshmallow has just destroyed this, not lasting much more than 6 hours on standby, takes longer than this to charge the the thing, seriously not impressed!


  • steve Apr 10, 2016 Link to comment

    I was glad to see the back of my nexus 4 lollipop. Marshmallow have given a me hope after that load of rubbish, must say it didn't start off bad. Hope this doesn't go the same way.


  • Does marshmallow occupy more storage then lollipop?
    N marshmallow is good?


  • What an improvement that i want from Android is to decrease the memory storage that is used by Lollipop. What i am talking about is that at the moment my Lollipop phone uses 4.03 GB internal storage !!! just the OS !!! i am using a 8GB internal storaged phone so i just think to change the phone just for this storage issue... Apple made this when they are IOS8 to IOS9. from 4.5 GB to 1.5 GB. I hope Android makes this too bec i dont want to use 4gb storage just for IOS. If not i will buy an iphone


  • Well I like both lollipop and Marshmallow and hope the two merge together effortlessly.


  • This really depends on how manufacturers will implement this update in their phones. It's a real difference between nexus phones and other alternative android altered by manufacturer. So far on LG G4 all is good accept ram manager. I don't understand that thing at all.


  • I got Moto X Play and updated to Marshmallow. I prefer lollipop than marshmallow. I am a gamer and I use large file games and after update to 6.0, Fifa 15 stopped working and also few other apps. Moreover your SD card will get encrypted if used as internal storage and you will not be able to use it again!


  • But how many people are using marshmallow, isnt it still experimental? How long before it becomes mainstream?


  • I really like Marshmallow and the new features in it


  • But I also rather like Marshmallow and the cool new features on it. Wish they had a way to transfer those features to Lolly. How many people are using Marshm. now as opposed to no. of people using Lolly? And by when will Marsh. become all prevalent- is it still at a developmental/debugging stage ? At the moment there is only Lolly available easily- its just been introduced and is still very new, most people are still on far older versions. Marsh. is more difficult to find and buy. Isnt it?


    • Marchmallow is a great update, on one way it's successor of Lolipot. After Lolipop upgrades on Nexus 5 on 5.01,5.1 and 5.1.1 comes upgrade on Marchmallov and there is a lot usefuly news. It's really worth to upgrade.


    • Can You tell what was the size of the update package.


  • I rather like Lollipop


  • Just installed chroma marshmallow custom ROM on my old nexus 4 love it. So much faster than the stock lollipop


  • I miss ice cream sandwich. Just got a phone with Lollipop - yikes. It's hard to use.


    • No, Lolipop is nice upgrade and it is really worth upgrade; perhaps yoyu'll take some mirror upgrade on lolipop 5.1 and 5.1.1 depend's of device of device you are using.


    • Hey Jane, so you think Lollipop is harder to use? Personally, I think it's roughly the same for complexity (or simplicity). Would you prefer to downgrade to ICS?


  • I am now looking into reverting to Lollipop as file transfers to my iMac are effectively disabled. Yes I do know you now have to manually switch to MTP everytime (terrible) and I eventually figured out to click on the notification and its not in settings (also terrible) but having done this I find the android file transfer app is even more buggy than ever and doesn't see most of the files in some folders. I'm using DroidOverWifi at home but this is not an option at work. Lots of small improvements, one huge deal-breaking problem!


  • I have read that less than 1% of Android users have Marshmallow available, much less installed. Why is everyone spending so much time discussing something they can or won't ever get?


  • When will samsung galaxy s6 get this firmware?


  • Doze work fine, on my Nexus 5 have almust twice time on battery in stend by time.


  • Doze works very well on my Nexus 6. On Friday, I managed to get 21.5 hours stand by and 3 hours of screen time. I charged it the night before. Very impressive! Doze is by far the best new feature for me.


    • I just got the Nexus 6P and with doze, I've had my phone unplugged since 5:00 a.m. It's now 9:10 a.m. and I still have 83% battery. It's not like it's just been sitting on my desk either. I've actually been using it a lot. I've used it for a 20 minute call, installed several apps, texting back and forth with friends, checking emails, and showing all my co-workers all the neat stuff in Marshmallow. I'm convinced I won't have any worry about running out of battery anytime during the day. Awesome phone and awesome OS. I also like that it's a pure OS, no bloat-ware. Good going Google!


  • I sincerely hope that Motorola issues the Moto G 1st generation the marshmallow update because this phone is still up to date why not update the system to.


  • Android M sounds amazing. But my main concern is that phone in your article using USB Type C. It looks like a Samsung phone. I don't know any phone with the physical home button that looks like, except Samsung. What device is that?


  • Everything working very smoothly on my Moto G3


  • ryan Nov 7, 2015 Link to comment

    still waiting for marshmallow on my nexus 6 from att&t. been over a month now


  • Will reserve judgmenr for when I see / experience Android OS M (Moto X 1st gen hasn't received an upgrade from OS KitKat to OS Lollipop


  • Hey Nico, What's with the "Deactivated Account" ?????


  • Lollipop is in no way better than KitKat...


  • It seems to me rather wait for Android M and don't upgrade to Android L. Only 5.0.2 available in our country (Sony Z3 compact)


  • Android is still growing, and version M is just a point on it's way...


  • i am having nexus 5. How can i update my mobile to android M...? Waiting to enjoy it.


  • I hope that they do a better job with M than with L. My wife's Nexus 7 runs like a dog now..

    Deactivated AccountGT Ohh


  • I use it two days now and it is feel smooth and without problems. On the other side I really don't like what they did with photos app end they striped all editing hdr options.


  • Will reserve judgmenr for when I see / experience Android OS M (Moto X 1st gen hasn't received an upgrade from OS KitKat to OS Lollipop, I doubt it will be upgraded to OS M, I wouldn't mind some of OS M's abilities implemented into Android Smartphones running OS KitKat / OS Lollipop).


  • Ethan May 30, 2015 Link to comment

    "Doze" sounds like it could potentially be a big battery drainer. If it's continuously using motion detection it could potentially wear down the battery further if the user never stopped using his phone... as far as finger print scanners, does this mean the Software has been rewritten for my, say a Galaxy Note 4 and now it is more accurate and can be pressed instead of swiping without changing any hardware specs?


  • I've been running it (M preview) for 24 hours and all seems well. Battery drain overnight was 0.2% per hour, during normal use it's better than 5.1.1. All good so far.


  • Dilip May 30, 2015 Link to comment

    no comments till the time i enjoy and feel it


  • It's going to be a long wait, for sure. Bring on M!


  • It is not the time to give the opinion, because this version is not yet complete. But the new version always be the best. thanks