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Google is taking more control of Android, and that’s great news for users

Published Oct 20th, 2015 5:55PM EDT
Google Android 6.0 Marshmallow Requirements

The best thing about Android is also the worst thing about Android. That is, the power that Android gives users to customize the platform and make it better also gives OEMs and carriers the power to make it worse. However, some new developments with Android 6.0 Marshmallow indicate that Google is taking more control over what manufacturers can and can’t do with Android — and that’s very good news for users.

FROM EARLIER: Galaxy S7 early rumor roundup: Get ready for more Samsung innovations

Android Police has done a nice job of combing through Google’s Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) for manufacturers and has discovered that Google has put some restrictions on what OEMs can do with some of Marshmallow’s most important features.

First of all, OEMs are required to include a completely unmodified version of Doze Mode, a new feature that essentially forces apps to stay asleep when you aren’t using your phone, which not only prevents them from syncing but also prevents them from constantly consuming battery life while they’re running in the background. Google also specifies that “all apps exempted from App Standby and/or Doze mode MUST be made visible to the end user” so they’ll have more knowledge about what apps are draining batteries.

The other key feature that Google is insisting on is full-disk encryption, as the company says that manufacturers must have it enabled on their devices right out of the box.

“For device implementations supporting full-disk encryption and with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) crypto performance above 50MiB/sec, the full-disk encryption MUST be enabled by default at the time the user has completed the out-of-box setup experience,” Google writes.

This is really great news for Android users, who now know no matter what device they buy, they’ll have important battery-saving features and security features enabled right out of the box. While freedom and customization are two of Android’s most appealing traits, it’s nice to see Google working to make the user experience more consistent across all devices.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.