Samsung's Rolling Out Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Galaxy S6, Touting New Features for S6 Edge
Samsung started its rollout of the latest Google Android operating system, Android M or Android 6.0 Marshmallow, on Monday Feb. 15. Only Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices are slated for the current update, and Samsung is touting new functionality upgrades to its Edge software included with the Android M update.
Here's a rundown of what's new for Galaxy S6 Edge users, according to Samsung.
Of course the physical size of the sloping touchscreens on the dual-edge Galaxy S6 Edge hasn't changed, but Samsung realized that the 260-pixel software limitation on the edges restricted the amount of information users could get from the feature.
So Samsung has created an option for Galaxy S6 Edge users to make their edge panels more than double the original width, to 550 pixels. Along with the wider virtual edges, comes more content that can be displayed.
Samsung pointed to full Yahoo sports matchups on the new wider edges, along with news stories with a brief description and easier-to-read stock tickers.
When the Samsung "Edge" was first introduced as a concept, its usability was limited to quickly calling contacts, launching apps, or reading the time in low-light conditions while the device was sitting face down. That's changing, as Samsung is exploring new interactions for users included with the new Android M update.
For example, beyond just putting a handful of contact photos on the edge panel with People Edge, Samsung has included contact names, options popups for each contact, and a shortcut to the settings menu in the edge's navigation UI.
For the Apps edge panel along with the wider edge option, you can now add up to ten apps instead of five, and Samsung allows multiple-app folders in the edge panel now, as well.
New "Tasks" Edge Panel
Only having contacts and apps for edge menus was always a rather limited set, given the possibilities, but with the coming Android 6.0 Marshmallow update, Samsung has made good on expanding functionality with a new edge panel called "Tasks edge."
It's an interesting concept, mixing real-world functionality with options you'd find just as easily in the standard Android quick-settings panel. For example, "Tasks edge" includes quick tools like the flashlight, but with customizable light levels that are just as accessible as the on-off toggle.
Other possibly useful tools include a life-sized ruler (10 centimeters maximum), a compass that includes live GPS location, and an option to create events in Samsung's S Planner app.
To make the Edge more accessible but less obtrusive, Samsung has opened the Edge handle (the tab you pull to open the Edges) for customization: transparency and size can be adjusted in the Settings menu now.
Open to Third-Parties
Samsung also touted the software development kit (SDK) it recently released for the Galaxy S6 Edge screen, opening the hardware feature for third-party developers to experiment with their own widgets and apps.
For now, Yahoo Edge apps like Finance, Sports, and News are now pre-installed with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update, but expect more developers to start finding clever ways to make the Edge a more integral, and useful part of your Galaxy S6 Edge experiment.
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