Android Marshmallow is here! Well, sort of.
You see, Android updates are a tricky affair. Unless you have a Nexus device, where you get the updates directly from Google, it’s a bit of a slog before you can actually get the latest Android operating system on your phone.
That’s because there’s a process. It’s quickest with unlocked phones, as the manufacturers test the software on their devices, and then will zip it your way when it’s ready. It’s even longer if you have a phone purchased through a carrier. After the manufacturer prepares the software, they have to run it through Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or whomever you have service with to incorporate carrier-specific features (and bloatware) and test the new software thoroughly on the network. After some collaboration, the carrier will then approve the update and push it out to your device.
Here’s what we know at this point about when your phone or tablet will get Android Marshmallow. We’ll update our list as the carriers or handset makers detail their plans.
Factory images are here for these Google-branded devices. You can wait for an over-the-air update, or follow our guide to install Marshmallow yourself. However, notice what didn’t make the cut: the Nexus 4, 10, and 2012 version of the Nexus 7. Hey, nothing lasts forever. Here’s the full list:
Also, the OTA updates are on their way. You’ll get a push notification on your Nexus device when it’s ready for you to download. Typically Google sends these out in stages to ensure they don’t wreak any havoc, so it could be several days or even a few weeks before Marshmallow arrives for you.
Updates with Samsung are a little harder to nail down because the company sells so many versions of the same phone. So an AT&T Galaxy Note 5 will be on a different update timeframe than a Verizon model. However, it’s a safe bet that the following devices should see Marshmallow at some point. Samsung rolled out Android Lollipop to most editions of the Galaxy S4, so that bodes well for some older devices in terms of eventually getting Marshmallow. However, when you get it will vary widely based on your carrier:
With previous releases, it’s usually taken a few months for Samsung to push out major OS updates—so prepare to be patient. The good news is that all its flagships and many mid-range devices eventually got Lollipop, so even if you don’t have the latest Galaxy smartphone, there’s a great chance you’ll see Marshmallow at some point, even though only high-end devices have been confirmed so far.
First, the bad news: As we learned recently, the 2015 Moto E (yes, 2015) won’t get Marshmallow. Nor will the 2014 AT&T and Verizon editions of the Moto X. On the plus side, here are the devices that Motorola confirmed will get Lollipop.
Despite lofty promises, Motorola has been rather hit-and-miss. The Moto X Pure Edition and Moto G should get Marshmallow rather quickly, perhaps in a few weeks (hey, that’s quick in Android World). Motorola is dropping a lot of its custom software, so that could help speed things along.
Since the Nexus 6 is an older device, it may take longer, though you’ll get it faster than if you bought it through a carrier. The DROID-branded phones might take months, because they have to go through Verizon’s typically slow update process.
We know the least about LG’s update plans, as the company hasn’t really put anything out there. So we think the following are a safe bet, and we’ll update you as we get more information:
The G4 and V10 should see Marshmallow first, given that they’re among the company’s newest phones. Just as with Samsung, a lot of these devices are sold through carriers, so if you see Marshmallow before the end of the year consider yourself lucky.
Sony makes a lot of different models of phones and tablets. Fortunately, the company just pushed out a list of 14 different models that are on the Marshmallow update track:
If past updates are any indication, a handful of these devices will get updated in the first couple months, but the rest could take awhile. And of course, it’s not just in Sony’s hands—you’ll have to wait for your carrier’s build to be created and tested.
Sony has announced that it will let 10,000 users in its Concept for Android program test drive its Android 6.0 Marshmallow release. However, there’s a catch: It’s only for users with a Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact in the European countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany.
HTC is actually rather transparent about its updates, as the company recently tweeted its own list of devices that will get Marshmallow.
From the list, it’s clear the One M9 and M8 are getting top priority, with a promise to get Marshmallow by the end of this year. That means the other devices may have to wait until 2016. A lot of these phones are carrier-branded also, so that could hold things up even further.
Also, you should also follow HTC’s Mo Versi, who regularly tweets about when the company’s phones are getting updates.
There are a lot of great things about T-Mobile, but one of the best is that the “uncarrier” has a dedicated device update site.
Each phone or tablet is categorized as either in Manufacturer Development, T-Mobile Testing, or Completed. Here’s the current list of devices that T-Mo says will see Marshmallow at some point:
Carrier-branded phones take longer, so expect it to take at least a couple of months - potentially longer for older devices like the Galaxy S5. So check back with T-Mobile every couple of weeks to see if the needle has moved for your phone.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on October 14, 2015 at 10:15a.m. Pacific. We added new information about more Samsung and LG phones that should get their taste of Marshmallow.