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Google starts Android 6.0 update for Nexus phones

The Marshmallow version of Android is being made available as an over-the-air update to a small number of devices.

The Nexus 5 is among the first smartphones to receive an Android 6.0 update. James Martin/CNET

Google began rolling out the Android 6.0 Marshmallow software update on Monday to a number of its Nexus family of phones. Falling in line with last week's announcement, the newest version of Android will come first to the Nexus 5 , Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013) , Nexus 9 and Nexus Player .

As is the case with other updates of the sort, the Marshmallow release is arriving automatically through an over-the-air update. This means that owners of the compatible devices won't have to manually sync the phone with their computer. After the Android 6.0 file shows up on the phone, owners will receive a notification with steps to walk you through the installation process.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow already comes preinstalled the recently introduced Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P as well as the upcoming Google Pixel C tablet. Standout features include better battery life and contextual search suggestions called Google Now On Tap.

Here are the six Marshmallow features that matter most .