A little while ago I wrote about my experiences with the Nexus 6 six months on from purchase. Since then, my experience has soured somewhat. The device was lagging more and more, rebooting randomly at least once a day and the battery was weaker than a baby lamb. Having my phone charging at work all day and then unplugged around 17.30 – 18.00, it would often be hitting the battery saver by bedtime. Woeful.
I was prepping myself for having to chuck it in; the first time I was going to be changing a phone because I genuinely didn’t like it anymore, rather than just fancied a change. We were falling out big time.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow has changed that.
On 18th October, at 18.37 Greenwich Meridian time, Marshmallow came online. After a seemingly pointless service update, the big daddy arrived and – after 30 minutes of downloading, unpacking and installing – I was upgraded. Since then, it has been like living with a different phone.
There is still a little bit of lag present, but it’s nowhere near as pronounced as it was. Much has been made of features such as Now On Tap in the new release but there’s only one that I really care about. There’s one that’s captured my heart. That feature is Doze.
Doze – my hero, my saviour
Of all the issues I had it was the battery that was most frustrating. When I knew I was due to be going out, I would put the battery saver mode on. I could be on 80% battery and only be out for 3 hours, but I’d put it on anyway. By the time I was stepping through the door, the battery would be predictably low. It made the phone largely redundant as I couldn’t, you know, actually do anything with it when not near a power outlet.
Doze, the Android Marshmallow feature that puts the phone to sleep when not in use, seems to cure this. I’m sure there are other magic at work, the new battery optimisations for one, but it seems to be Doze that has the most significant impact. I now feel I can leave my phone unplugged with confidence and not come back to having 30% of my battery wiped out with no use and no screen-on time. It’s a revelation.
The rest of the update is a polishing of Android, as you might expect, but it’s good to see that there is plenty going on behind the scenes to improve the device from the software side rather than having to rely on newer and – in the case of batteries – bigger hardware all the time.
Image source: GSM Nation