Why you’re still waiting for Marshmallow

Why you’re still waiting for Marshmallow

Wouldn’t it be great if Android updates could be released a little faster? Better yet, if it could be much faster. It seems that some of us will be upgrading to new devices before we even get Marshmallow. And do you know what? I think that's exactly what phone manufacturers want.

android 6 marshmallow 4
If only Android had a little more Marshmallow... / © NextPit

New smartphone releases

With HTC's Mo Versi announcing on Twitter yesterday that the Marshmallow update was finally coming to the One M8 and M9 – but only for AT&T customers – I began to wonder about the timing of this release. Yes, it does take time to skin Android to run on these devices. And HTC had to collaborate with AT&T, which would slow down the process. It's not like HTC took this long just for fun. But let's remember when the factory images for Nexus devices were released: October 5 of last year. That's more than seven months ago. 

I wonder if this has anything to do with the release of the newer HTC 10, which was announced and made available for pre-order one month ago. The timing strikes me as a little too coincidental. It's clear that a new smartphone running the latest version of Android is a strong selling point.

htc one m9 4
HTC One M8 and M9 owners on AT&T are finally getting Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Galaxy S6 that never stood a chance

My colleague Chris Marshall was excited to learn that Samsung would be releasing Marshmallow for his Galaxy S6. The announcement came back in mid-February. I remember asking on several occasions, in the weeks following the news, whether the global rollout had finally made its way to him. Chris's answer was invariably, "no". After a while, I wondered if it would ever arrive.

Then the Galaxy S7 was released with Marshmallow in March. The S6 update, which may have just been slow for some owners, had still not arrived. The question of timing, with the release of new Marshmallow-packed phones preceding the updating of older devices, crossed my mind then as well. The seemingly haphazard release of updates is a source of frustration for many of us. But it didn't matter in the end for Chris; an iPhone killed his Galaxy S6 before it ever received the update. Yes, it's a tragic story.

AndroidPIT dead galaxy s6 3076
This S6 will never receive Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT


Marshmallow was officially announced as a developer preview on May 28 of last year. We didn’t see the official rollout until October 5, though, when factory images for a host of Nexus devices were released. It’s now almost mid-May 2016 and there are still devices slowly receiving Marshmallow.

However, for some of us, I think the wait is so long and the hype of the release so far behind us, that it doesn’t even matter anymore. Honestly, part of me has given up on expecting to see Marshmallow appearing on many of the Android devices I use. I'm looking toward Android N now. But kudos to companies like Motorola, though. The Moto X is known for receiving updates relatively fast and my 2nd gen Moto X has had it for months already. 

Fragmentation is the result of the lop-sided rollout of updates. This isn’t directly the fault of one party, company or person. The Android ecosystem is a complex web of companies building products that connect and enable us. We’ve written extensively about how, even when Google releases a big update for Android, manufacturers will skin it and telcos will modify it before sending out updates. But, for now, fragmentation remains a massive problem for Android. 

Are you still waiting for Marshmallow? Let me know in the comments. 

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  • Hi Omar,
    I bought my Samsung Galaxy S6 from Oman. After 2 months i came back to India and there was an update for the device on OTA. I updated it but soon my device started to malfunction. The touch used to freeze and become unresponsive occasionally. I went to the Samsung Service centre and they provided the solution that the software is for Oman region and we need to get in the software that is for India and the problem will be sorted out. But after that also the problem persists. Seriously cant make out what is happening as i have already soft reset and hard reset my device. But still no use. I guess that updating it to Marshmallow will solve the problem but the thing is still haven't received my update OTA. When contacted the service centre they said that the version of Marshmallow in India wont work for my device. I am confused as i have already been to a service centre in India and they never said anything like that. What should I do??? Help please.

  • Hi i av a LG G4. H815 on 3network in the uk and still not had the marshmallow update can someone help plz thanks

  • Hello all i'm havinig samsung s3 but i was not able to update my version. please help me out.

  • Samsung S5 Plus (SM-G901F)
    To my supreme I can announce 100% certain Samsung began rolling out MM 6.01 for my phone. See Sammobile website. 10th May started with Germany and 13th may for Nordic countries
    For the Dutch readers: you already can download the Rom there and flash it, Nordic Rom has Dutch language and will be same as official rom for Netherlands..
    (Be very careful, rom for SM901F is not for the standard S5!!! Check Settings-about phone-modelnumber uf uncertain. If you do NOT have the exact model I started this post with than DO NOT FLASH that rom, you will end up with broken hardware.)
    If you flash your MM rom this will not trip the KNOX because it is Official Rom from Samsung.
    And I. ..? What will I do? I think I just sit back and relax and wait a few weeks for the rom for Netherlands. :-)

  • I do t think it's the carriers. I have a fully paid for note 4 unlocked. Like millions of other people non contracted phones in the rest of the world I'm still waiting for update marshmallow. If I was Apple I would go to town about android pathetic update policy. But I also agree than Google should insist when they issue licenses to phone companies part of the deal should be guaranteed promt updates for three years.

  • And here is the second funny part they have some more new software called Android n and they can't even update the rest of their phones to get the Marshollow what's going on Google post to be the big G you you ain't handle your software UPDATE SOFTWARE distributor problem and you control the internet?!!!

  • Likebthank God somebody said something about this why I thought I was the only one that felt this way help I'm still on KitKat and it's been over 3 years three years Google since an update the ZTE Max but what they want you to do about a new phone well guess what I'm not buying nothing I'm tired of buying phones what next you wanted to buy software to come on Google you all be fools and keep on buying them $700 phones I am buying nothing I'm through forget a software update sometimes I feel like I want to just say forget Google... like come on man only 7.5% a people have marshmallow and then lollipop maybe about 32 to 35% and the rest on KitKat which is about 30% and it's been over two or three years Bush I want to keep on phone to have the same problems and a couple years forget about it man word......

  • I'm pretty much done with Android phones. I love my Motorola phone hardware but the poor software upgrade history has been unacceptable. So when it comes time to upgrade this Fall I will only be looking at the Apple iPhone and Google Nexus line. They are the only ones that seem to get updates on a reasonable basis. All the cool new designs from the other players don't really matter to me if they aren't going be supported after the sale.

  • I'm glad you got the Marshmallow update for your 2nd generation Motorola Moto X phone. But unlike you, and I guess many others, or maybe it was just my phone that didn't get the Android Marshmallow 6.0 update. Regardless of the fact, I'm still waiting for the update to hit my 2014 Moto X that I bought from U.S.Cellular. After all the broken promises Motorola had made to U.S.Cellular consumers about speedy updates that never happened, leaves me feeling like I got ripped off. I for one after being lied to by Motorola makes me not ever want to buy, and more than likely will not buy another Motorola product again, no matter how good the next generation phone may, or may not be. As far as smartphones go, a phone without the latest software leaves the person using the phone vulnerable, due to the always never ending evolving sophisticated online threats that never cease to target outdated smartphone software. It is also in my opinion that Motorola is putting it customers at great risk for a measly buck or two. As someone who has bought only Motorola phones since the first generation Moto X came out, I can tell you with great certainty that since they released the 2014 second generation Moto X, is that Motorola only values is customers when the next generation phone is due to be released for sale, or when a big holliday like Christmas is just around the corner. (Unless they just like sticking it to U.S.Cellular customers) Then they want you to buy their latest, and greatest new over priced, and outdated phone to stick it to you, the consumer later on in that year, to yet to be lied to again, and again.

  • ..

  • uk on vodafone note 4, still waiting for MM, wifey has z3 compact has MM, Samsung not being very responsive. Maybe a Nexus or Motorola for me next time.
    16/05/16..updating to MM now..yay!

  • James May 14, 2016 Link to comment

    I just upgraded my UK carrier unlocked note 4 N910F to MM. Search for Samfirm software it's on XDA developers. Run the programming on PC. Put SM-910F in the Model box and DBT in Region check the box marked auto and press check update button. Download th
    e firmware. once downloaded press decrypt button. now you have a firm ware that will flash using Odin. Search for Odin and use the instructions you find for installing the update. obviously all at your own risk but it does not root your phone or wipe it. mines working great. on 6.0.1

    • Peter Dec 13, 2017 Link to comment

      Just fyi, SamFirm was deprecated. The original devs teamed up with Updato.com and released a new tool for firmware downloads, here's the link for anyone interested: fw.updato.com

  • Agree.

  • Trent May 14, 2016 Link to comment

    Very timely article. EE in the UK style themselves as the fastest carrier yet have not released Marshmallow. This means we have been without the security updates since last year. Look at #ee #marshmallow on Twitter for all the confusion EE are causing on this - promises of rollouts, then denials. Then blaming it on Samsung! I won't change to Apple bit I will go to a new carrier when my contract ends. Rant over :)

  • Att note 4 no update yet. Really sucks. Updated need to be like iOS. Only thing I envy about iPhone.

    • There are few iPhones, all of them of the same manufacturer (Apple), so updates are rolling out quickly.
      Samsung, for example, has a bunch of devices, they release updates first for global, no-carrier-dependent models, then the carriers may adapt a ROM according to its needs (bloatware), then they roll out the updates a ... few... few... months later.

      In conclusion, not only manufacturers are culprit of update delays, but also carriers (in a laaaaaaaaarge degree).

    • Nick May 14, 2016 Link to comment

      agree 100%. I own both Iphone and note 4 and no comparison IOS can be updated in no time

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