Google has begun releasing the third and final developer preview of its new Android M operating system on August 17. The search giant coincided its release with the announcement that the OS will officially be called Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Keeping true to its previous ways, Google made the Android 6.0 preview and the software development kit (SDK) available to the current-generation Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. Once developers are done testing them out on the co-branded devices, a public roll out to handsets made by various manufacturers will begin.
While the actual dates for those roll-outs are still unknown, it is observed that some device makers tend to be consistent in distributing new firmware to their products early on. Among the first to receive updates are devices made by Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, and Asus-all of these manufacturers have also partnered with Google to produce present and previous Nexus models.
HTC's most recent models, the HTC One M8, One M9, and One M9+ are all predicted to be included in the Android 6.0 wait list. Jeff Gordon, Senior Global Online Communications Manager at HTC Corp., previously posted a tweet confirming the arrival of Android Marshmallow on the new HTC One M9 and M9+.
At first, it was not clear whether last year's HTC One M8 will also be treated with the new OS. Two months ago, however, HTC US chief Mo Versi has replied on a Twitter user who asked him directly if his HTC One M8 will ever receive an Android M upgrade. Versi replied candidly that the new OS will indeed be rolled out to the device.
On the other hand, there is no official word from LG if and when its current flagship model, the LG G4, will be updated. The same is true for their previous LG G3 and G2 handsets. What can be expected for now is that Android 6.0 Marshmallow will arrive as the default OS of the upcoming Nexus 5 2015 edition made by the South Korean device maker.
Having said those, there are reports that LG will upgrade its device to Android 6.0 by skipping some versions of the current Android Lollipop. For instance, a Greek tech site has spotted a comment on LG's official Greek Facebook page mentioning that Android 5.1 will be skipped on the LG G3 and will be updated to Android M directly.
If proven to be true, this will not be the first time that LG will skip Android versions. In the past, the company also passed over Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates.
LG G2 owners may not be pleased to know that their smartphones will probably not receive the latest Android OS. Understandably, the model has been on the market for two years already, which is the maximum duration that most manufacturers allot for software development.
Nevertheless, it is possible that 2013's LG G2 will be updated to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, according to a GSM Arena report. At present, the device is only upgradable to Android 5.0.2.
Google is widely believed to release the consumer version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow on September or October via its new LG Nexus 5 and Huawei Nexus 6. A few weeks or months after that, premium flagship handsets from other companies will follow suit and will most likely include the HTC One M9, One M9+, as well as the LG G4. Being previous-generation models, the HTC One M8 and LG G3 will possibly be updated to Android 6.0 at a later date.