Apple’s iOS, despite not deigning to gift its users anything close to the customisation options which have been at the core of the Android OS from day one, still manages to rake in huge sales and rack up mass press coverage of its latest features - no matter how long Android has already been quietly packing them into its software.
Perhaps, then, Marshmallow’s greatest feat would be to blow its own trumpet just a little louder: as Apple is set to unveil split-screen multitasking on its iPad Mini 4 and improved search skills, Google’s baby needs to heckle from the rooftops about Google Now’s supercharged upgrade to take the fight to Siri, and its Pay functionality, which doesn’t tie users in like a first-grade puppeteer.
But beyond marketing speak and techno-babble, what should Android 6.0 Marshmallow be doing substantively to ape Apple’s next iOS release?
Light and slight wins the race
Android’s next iteration will be number 6.0, suggesting the changes to the formerly left-field software offering will be substantial.
With Android 5.0 Lollipop, we were gifted a beautifully fluid and light interface, something previously associated almost exclusively with iOS (despite its lack of home screen adaptability).
Though beauty may indeed be more than skin deep, a continued trend along the same lines would not go amiss: making Marshmallow (despite its confectionary namesake) lighter and slicker than ever would go a long way to keeping Android ahead of the pack in terms of usability.
One of the few things which Windows’ mobile OS really nailed from the outset was its clutter-free running, which enabled it to operate snappily on almost any hardware, and this has been something picked up of late by the mainstream manufacturers.
With news that the dark theme has disappeared, status bar icons will be customisable and a new app drawer unveiled, it seems Android may well have stayed on point with Marshmallow.
Android might not have the same perceived sexiness, for whatever reason, as iOS, but acquiring a similar reputation to Windows as a slick-running mobile machine could well do the trick as users grow ever-more tired of the shackles Apple continues to place on upon them, leaving them widgetless and craving a proper apps list.