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Opinion 329 Shares 49 comments

Why you don't need the Marshmallow update

A new Android version? Whatever. Times have changed. Our smartphones no longer need the operating system’s latest version. Here are some reasons why it's not absolutely necessary to use the newest version of Android.

AndroidPIT marshmallow 0385
Will I ever get Marshmallow? / © ANDROIDPIT

In March 2016, according to Google, only 2.3 percent of all Android smartphones were running Marshmallow, the latest version. However, more than 34 percent of devices ran KitKat and up to 35 percent ran Android 5.0 a.k.a. Lollipop. That's more than 97 percent of devices running older versions. What are the consequences of this? Absolutely none. There, I said it.

At the same time every year a new version of Android appears, and seems to be installed on fewer devices each time. I can still remember the way it was back in 2013. I could not wait to finally install Android KitKat on my Galaxy S4. I almost squealed with excitement. I also remember the discussions between AndroidPIT readers on who had received KitKat and who were still waiting.

Those still waiting looked online for instructions on how they could update their phones with KitKat custom ROMs. Expectations of network operators to push out the update as soon as possible was incredibly high.

Back to the year 2016. I own a Sony Z3+ running Android 5.0 Lollipop. My expectations that Marshmallow will come to my device? Zero. If it doesn’t come, it won’t mean the end of the world for me. But I know others feel the same way. Why? Here are the reasons:

1. Resignation

We have learned our lesson. The manufacturers of our smartphones created the device we bought, yet perhaps they will decide to not upgrade us to the latest version of Android. Marshmallow will not simply drop from the sky.

androidpit Kitkat vs Marshmallow
Who cares about Marshmallow? / © ANDROIDPIT

We know that only a selection of Android users - such as owners of Motorola devices - will regularly receive new versions. Or we buy a new smartphone to get upgraded, which will probably not happen. That’s because our devices work. Why should we bother about something we can’t get anyway?

2. Differences between Android versions are minimal

The latest versions of Android often bring small, incremental changes. Both the design and the usability KitKat peaked. Following versions brought only minor performance improvements or design changes. Our devices work quite well without them.

My expectations that I'll received Marshmallow? Zero

Although Marshmallow brings improved power-saving features, and with the exception of Nexus devices, changes to other devices are not so noticeable.

3. Our phones already do everything

Let’s assume you bought your last smartphone in 2014, or perhaps 2015. It’s probably running KitKat or Lollipop along with 1.5 GB or 2 GB of RAM. And the OS runs on it perfectly. An update is actually not so necessary.

motorola moto g 2015 lollipop
Lollipop is the most widely-used version of Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

The quality standards of smartphone manufacturers work means our devices have fewer issues than ever before. If there’s a slight shortcoming, such as with the software, you could just install a different launcher. It’s not like iOS, where users who install each new version run into more problems than solutions.

What is your opinion on getting Marshmallow? Can you wait to get a new Android version or do you not care? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Honestly I like the marshmallow fixes with the KitKat design

  • Solar 4 months ago Link to comment

    After a groundwork, if I think the new OS will be really helpful and it will run without any flaw on my target hardware and existing software, then I will do. Otherwise nope.

  • Marshmellow is a horrible update. It will make Android Auto useless, spell check while texting is all screwed up, and many people get their contacts scrambled and unusable. I want to go back to lollipop!!!!

  • Alex R. 5 months ago Link to comment

    I think Lollipop works great for me!!

  • CJ Brown 5 months ago Link to comment

    I have accepted the fact a stable version of Android OS Lollipop 5.2 is what I will have unless ZTE decides to upgrade the OS to Marshmallow 6.01 - which is available on their latest devices (mine is barely a year old, if ZTE offered a trade in? I would take it)

    I have no idea if Android OS N(o name yet) will be this giant leap from OS Lollipop ... I just like everyone else it's a wait-and-see ;-)

  • Don't downplay the biggest weakness on Android systems.

    I agree, feature wise, most updates are probably not necessary, but bug fixes and security are important. There honestly is no reason why every Android shouldn't all be updated.

    I think it is wrong to tell Android consumers that it is OK to buy a new phone and NOT expect any updates for it. The "disposable" mentality that this creates in consumers is the wrong message to throw out there, and Android OEMs bank on it. We should be pushing OEMs to put more focus on creating exceptional products that will be supported for at least 2-3 years.

  • rob blac 6 months ago Link to comment

    Totally unnecessary to update. They were designed for the OS version it came with, so often times more problems are introduced than solved. Many apps will malfunction. We get too captivated by newness and the greener-grass syndrome. As we get maturer and more experience as a culture these hypes will eventually fade. I actually regret updating my LG V10 to MM. I wish i be a way to permanently reject such updates. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    • "We get too captivated by newness and the greener-grass syndrome."

      And that is what OEMs are counting on. By slapping together a half-baked upgrade that they know will cause issues, they have garaunteed that their newest phone with a proper working updated OS will sell.

    • Mostly likely your opinion stems from a bad experience with your LG V10, but you do have an interesting point. A lot of updates are rushed and/or not well optimized, therefore wreaking havoc on devices.

  • It works well on my Nexus.....

  • Ever since (inadvertently) installing Marshmallow on Galaxy S6 Edge, I cannot make voice calls on WhatsApp: shortly after connecting, the message "Reconnecting" appears - permanently. Subsequent WA calls to the same number don't even appear on the recipient's phone and on mine shows "Calling".
    Voice calls via Skype display the message "No internet connection", while every other app (e.g. Facebook, email) connects to the internet without problems.
    Am currently using an old Galaxy S3 running Android 4.3 and WhatsApp 2.16.13 to make voice calls - works perfectly.

  • Rich D 6 months ago Link to comment

    I have the galaxy s7 but I still couldn't agree more with this article. I've never owned a device that ran better after an update. In fact battery life and snappyness usually takes a small hit. With the exception of small bug fix upgrades the one that came on your phone is the one usually best for it.

  • This article is the reason I buy Nexus devices and root it immediately. That way I'm not beholden to the cell monoliths that could care less about me keeping my phone because it gets better every time its updated (usually). Wouldn't the carriers have a vested interest in NOT updating? You want the next version, well you can certainly wait and wait and wait or you can buy the new xyz and give us your money.
    I've been on M since the day the factory images came out and may even try the N beta.

  • Something to think about:(

  • I have started with Kitekat, and than upgradet on Lolipop and since october last year i'm on Marchmallow. with every upgrated there were some bugs, buth my opinion is, that every upgrated is worth.

  • Did the fix the horrible BlueTooh audio stream problems on Lollipop? I had to buy a KitKat tablet to stream audio to my car.

  • My Droid Turbo has Android 5.1 and I want 6.0 because it has the new battery saver feature.
    We need the updates for the security and bug fixes.
    I am the type of person who likes to use the latest software when it comes out

  • But it's new... I want it.

  • I have all Nexus devices (and a Pixel C), so...

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