As promised, Google has started rolling out over-the-air updates for Android 6.0 Marshmallow for supported Nexus devices, letting phones and tablets from the last couple years experience the latest big enhancements.
Google had to cut the line somewhere, however, so Nexus devices from 2012 and earlier aren't on the list. Marshmallow is rolling out to the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 smartphones, Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 9 tablets, and the Nexus Player. And when the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P (shown) release in the coming weeks, they'll have Marshmallow preinstalled, of course. Sadly, the Nexus 4, original Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 aren't getting the update.
Over-the-air updates are starting to reach owners of those compatible devices today, although it could take days or weeks before everyone has the update available. Luckily, if you don't mind doing a bit of manual work, Google has released the factory images for all of those devices to its developer portal. Flash at your own risk, of course, and be sure to have a backup.
We're excited to see Marshmallow hit our devices in the coming days. Android 6.0 brings a bevy of new features, including Now on Tap, which greatly enhances the functionality of Google Now, along with smarter app permissions, official fingerprint scanner support, and serious battery life upgrades via the new Doze and App Standby features.
Now that Nexus devices are getting Marshmallow, it'll only be a matter of time before third-party phones and tablets get their own manufacturer-skinned updates. Although in some cases, semi-recent phone owners might be disappointed with their manufacturers' decisions.
Before the weekend, Motorola shared its own list of which devices will be upgraded - and it didn't sit well with a lot of people, namely because carrier versions of last year's Moto X won't be updated. Motorola says "things may change," but that leaves a lot of flagship buyers without the latest version of Android after just a year or less. Hopefully other makers don't abandon loyal users of phones that shipped within a reasonable timeframe.