Google has begun the roll out of the latest version of its Android operating system, dubbed Android Marshmallow.

At first the updates will only be available for recent Nexus devices, but manufacturers including HTC, Motorola, and Sony have already announced their plans to push the update to owners of their recent smartphones.

Once the manufacturers have made sure that the release is compatible with their phones and any interface changes they have applied, the release will be sent to mobile phone networks who will push the update to users after they have made some checks and changes themselves. If Android M follows the path of its predecessor, Android L (Lollipop), then it may be a number of months before most people will be able to install the new software.

According to Google’s release announcement, Marshmallow should bring improvements to battery life, app permissions, and improved security support with fingerprint scanning.

When they release major operating system updates, both Google (Android) and Apple (iOS) aim to make sure that all apps run smoothly on the new software, but that job is really left to app developers, who are given access to the latest versions in advance of release to make sure their apps work as they should.

In the days leading up to the release of a major update, developers from big firms like Angry Birds-make Rovio to gaming specialists EuroPalace.com to smaller independent one-man-teams rush to test their apps and mobile websites to make sure that users do not have to deal with any nasty surprises as soon as they install the update.

Android M support has been announced for:

Google

  • Nexus 5
  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 7 (2013)
  • Nexus 9
  • Nexus Player
  • Android One smartphones
HTC

  • HTC One M9
  • HTC One M8
  • HTC One M9+
  • HTC One E9
  • HTC One E9+
  • HTC One ME
  • HTC One E8
  • HTC One M8 EYE
  • HTC Butterfly 3
  • HTC Desire 826
  • HTC Desire 820
  • HTC Desire 816
Motorola

  • 2015 Moto X Pure Edition (third-generation)
  • 2015 Moto X Style (third-generation)
  • 2015 Moto X Play
  • 2015 Moto G (third-generation)
  • 2014 Moto X Pure Edition in the US (second-generation)
  • 2014 Moto X in Latin America, Europe and Asia (second-generation)
  • 2014 Moto G and Moto G with 4G LTE (second-generation)
  • 2014 Moto MAXX
  • 2014 Moto Turbo
  • Droid Turbo
Sony

  • Xperia Z5
  • Xperia Z5 Compact
  • Xperia Z5 Premium
  • Xperia Z4 Tablet
  • Xperia Z3+
  • Xperia Z3
  • Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
  • Xperia Z2
  • Xperia Z2 Tablet
  • Xperia M5
  • Xperia M4 Aqua
  • Xperia C5 Ultra
  • Xperia C4
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