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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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  • ONE BIG, BIG difference is that when Im playing my videos with Lollipop, I can magnify the screen and have a close up view of what Im watching up to 4 times bigger. I dont know if that's a feature of my lollipop smartphone but I'm extremely disappointed with my new marshmallow phone, I cant do that or simply IT WONT! Or is there any app to install so my marshmallow phone can do the same? Thanks! I need reactions, please....


  • I have two BLU phones and they both came with marshmallow installed, so I put a 64g sd card in both and SUPER I now have 68g's of internal storage on both phones, so I read somewhere that marshmallow is comming for Samsung Galaxy Tab A, GREAT, I have one, it has 16g's of internal storage and I have a 32g sd card in it. I was able to put about 1/3 of an app and almost all the data on my sd card, so along comes the PUSH from Samsung for marshmallow, with NO big warnings at the very beginning of the push and after all I already have it on two phones and it works great. WHAT NOBODY IS TELLING ANYBODY IS THAT MARSHMALLOW DOES NOT WORK THE SAME ON A TABLET AS IT DOES ON A PHONE, EVEN THOUGH EVERY OTHER PAST "OS" WAS THE SAME ON A TABLET AS IT WAS ON A PHONE. YOU CAN NOT PUT ANYTHING EXCEPT MEDIA ON A SD CARD IN A TABLET AND YOU CAN NOT GO BACK TO LOLLIPOP, SO MY TABLET IS NOW ONLY HALF AS GOOD AS IT WAS WHEN I FIRST BOUGHT IT. i FIND THIS TO BE EXTREMELY SLEAZY ON SAMSUNG'S BEHALF, NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE THEN MICROSOFT PUSHING WINDOWS AND NOT TELLING ANYONE THAT THERE WAS NO LONGER A MEDIA CENTER., AND I JUST GOT'S TO SAY "I'M PISSED"!!!!!!! Ted Doherty (teddoh@hotmail.com)

    Update, you can go back to lollipop, just go to Samsung get the 5.02 lollipop firmware and flash it with Odin. NOBODY at Samsung and NOBODY at best buy (Geek Squad) will tell you this they will just tell you it can't be done. I SAY Fxxx Yxx Samsung and Geek Squad


    • Not really sophisticated on this stuff. On a tablet for my wife looking at a 16 GB cuz it has marshmallow or 32 GB with lollipop. Are you saying on a tablet you like lollipop better? If so why? Thanks.


    • Jules Feb 12, 2017 Link to comment

      Hi Tedder.
      Would you mind clarifying something for me? I have a 16gb samsung TAB A running Marshmellow and have put a 128 sd card into it and am disappointed as I have run out storage even though I have saved what I can to sd card ~ pictures, music and videos, although a copy of these seem do also the remain on the device which avoids the object. If I were to purchase another tablet with lollipo would this be more beneficial when is comes to saving onto sd card and like what? Thank you for you advice in some matter, jules


  • Honestly I like the marshmallow fixes with the KitKat design


  • Solar May 26, 2016 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 Apr 26, 2016 Link to comment

    I think Lollipop works great for me!!


  • 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.


  • 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 Apr 13, 2016 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...


  • @Kike Santamaria
    Why you didn't need to write a 3 point paragraph of drivel on this title that should have been "Why YOU ALONE don't need the Marshmallow update":-

    1. Rather than give up keep being vocal and vote with our wallets. Punish OEMs, buy a Nexus or hell even buy any Chinese brand that's a tad more receptive to the user base at updates. Make the choice. If you prefer flashy specs still then it's no one's fault and certainly not a core Android problem.

    2. Might as well just tell Google, their own devs and the 3rd external devs globally contributing to AOSP right now for Android N to just stop whatever the hell they're doing and declare the funeral tomorrow? Since by your reckoning whatever we're running on right now are more than good enough? Apparently you know better than hundreds if not thousands of people more qualified than you? Stick to horror, science fiction films and your tv series Kike like seriously.

    3. And our phones as small computers can/should be able to grow better with quality software updates, not by surrendering to the idea of having to buy replacements every 2 years.

    I truly hope that this is actually a /s article that I didn't "get" the 1st time because if it isn't well what I've written thus far stands.


  • As said before, I have Marshmallow 6.0.1 on both of my old Galaxy S3's. I have a UK Note4, unlocked, on O2 lines. The OS is Lollipop 5.1.1. To me, there is very little difference between the two versions, so I will not worry if the Note doesn't get MM.
    Both S3's run Resurrection Remix rom, with Nova Launcher.


  • As much as i dislike apple they've got it right when new software comes out it goes straight on the phone and bypass the carriers that's how it should be for all makes of phone. Me on the other hand are still waiting for ee to update my Z5 to marshmallow, nuttella will probably released before then?


    • Apple is able to do that because their OS is closed-source, and they don't allow any modifications to the OS. They all have the same default OS. Whereas Android allows OEMs to modify the OS making it impossible to receive the latest pure stock OS. Yes, it's a double-edge sword, but that's what makes Android great; the options, the choices, the freedom. Your own personal device.


    • Same with my Nexus


  • The writer should be fired immediatly!!!,
    He is useless for this site because he is not aware about the new improvements. I will share with him now:
    Design and visual changes (UI is more smoothly)
    Google integration. (useless)
    Performance and system features (no comment......)
    Battery improvements (Very very usefull comparing with Lollipop)
    Security (very important)
    Usability (minor update)
    and more....


  • Easy for you to say, you already have it!!


  • Paolo Apr 12, 2016 Link to comment

    "Why you don't need the Marshmallow update."

    Remember when tech sites like this said "Why you don't need 2K displays,"" Why you don't need more than four cores on your smartphone,"? What happened next?


  • The new app permissions structure alone is one MASSIVE reason to upgrade to 'M'.


  • Marshmallow update came relatively quickly on the Xperia Z3+, also improved the way you removed applications so you don't need to hunt for the app name in Settings/Application Manager anymore.


  • I don't want it because I can't get it:-(


    • I think a lot of Android users feel the same way. If you can't get Marshmallow, it's easy to simply stop caring about it.


    •   24
      Deactivated Account Apr 12, 2016 Link to comment

      Don't know what make and model device you have but if possible why not install a Rom from another carrier or country for your device then you have Marshmallow on your device or maybe look at custom Roms?


  • You do understand that each version brings stability improvements and bug fixes.


  • do you even know what security breach means?


  • me I'm satisfied with the lollipop update do not care about the marshmallow update like you said it's just a couple of new features that's all


  •   30
    Deactivated Account Apr 12, 2016 Link to comment

    I would agree if it's just a "phone" but my smartphone is used more like a PC and I'm concerned about software stability, reliability and security, so I've chosen Motorola and Nexus etc, I'm not bothered about hardware being up to date but I do care about software...


  • the manufacturers should really change the way of giving updates. Just update everytime theres sometihing new and without crappy UIs.


  • Whoa! I was waiting for an article like this. I've been telling Android users for a while now, not to worry so much if you don't get the latest and greatest, because Android offers so many features and options right out of the box, no matter what version your phone has. (Like the article says.) If it helps, when an iOS user gets an update, they hardly get excited because the update is barely noticeable and everything stays the same. Chill and enjoy your Android device.


  •   24
    Deactivated Account Apr 12, 2016 Link to comment

    I agree in some extent the changes from the one version to the next is not that huge and minor bugs get's fixed, but if you have a problem with your wifi signal or wifi doesn't connect or disconnect you might disagree as you will want the update to fix such issues you might have. Security fixes might be another concern and therefor important. Who knows you might have lollipop in a few months time some wise guy use the exploit and your info, messages/e-mails, photo's and/or banking details get used and/or are distributed on the net. That's what I'm concerned about, the security updates and if not updated the risk of someone using that exploits to gain access to my or anyone's device. I might be wrong in fearing this happening, but I don't want to be the one having to go thru such situation. Like the saying goes: "Rather be safe than sorry".


    • I agree with Jaques that each update usually includes some type of security update. I for one would rather be safe. I'm currently using an iPhone and update every time after reviewing what's new as well as what security patches are included. Looking at Android again and plan to switch sometime soon.

      Deactivated Account


  • yaaaaaa android version does nat matter if use phones other thn nexus.......lets take a eg. those who were using android lolipop on samsung htc and lg did not find much difference after upgrading to amdroid m......there core functionality remains same for all phones other thn nexus phones if use android m or L