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Android 6.0.1 gets official with new emoji, factory images are out

Today Google has made Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow official. As hinted at by the .0.1 increment in the version number, this isn’t a big release or anything like that. But it does come with support for dozens of new emoji, all of which are part of the Unicode 8.0 spec. A few of the new emoji are shown in the screenshot below.

The Android update enables system-wide support for the new emoji, and if you’re using the Google keyboard (that ships preinstalled on the Nexus devices) then you’ll be happy to know that this app is receiving a new version as part of the OS release. However, it looks like you’ll need to wait for an update to arrive through the Play Store for the Google keyboard in order for it to support the new emoji list layout, which consists of 10 tabs (up from seven previously).

Until that rolls out, you will still benefit from the unlocking of a few characters that were in the system before but couldn’t be used via the keyboard (examples include country flags, and dial pad number keys).

Aside from all the emoji action, Android 6.0.1 also comes with two small tweaks. One of them you’ll only see if you’re on a tablet. In this case, the navigation buttons have been moved, with Back and Home now being towards the left edge of the screen, while Recents is to the right. Previously, as you may know, the three software buttons were centered. This change will help with navigating the OS especially on bigger tablets, while holding the device with both hands (and using your thumbs to hit the buttons).

Finally, the Do Not Disturb mode once again has an “until next alarm” option when you enable it. This made its debut in Android 5.1 Lollipop, but for some reason was removed in the first Marshmallow release.

And if you were wondering where December’s security update was, well, it’s part of Android 6.0.1. The new version is already available to download for supported Nexus devices in the form of factory images, and the over-the-air rollout should commence very soon. After that happens, allow around a week or so for all Nexuses out there to receive that coveted update notification.