Android Lollipop is more than an Android update for many. There are those who see the upgrade as Android’s chance to blend the best of every operating system. The pending Android Lollipop Moto X 2014 update was one of the reasons I upgraded to a Moto X 2014 when my contract with T-Mobile finally ended and now it’s available.
Earlier today Motorola released the Moto X 2014 update for is Moto X 2014 and the Moto G 2014. Here’s what some first impressions of the operating system based on my use of it thus far.
Upgrading & Performance
When I made the decision to switch from Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system to Android earlier this year, I went it knowing that this upgrade was going to happen. I also went into it knowing that most Android device maker’s track record for upgrading devices was pretty checkered. I wanted a device that I could count on updates for and that’s exactly how I ended up with a Moto X 2014 Pure Edition.
Upgrading to Android Lollipop on the Moto X 2014 was a pretty straight forward affair. Motorola announced the upgrade and I went into the Settings app and downloaded it over a wireless internet connection. Upgrade time was roughly 20 minutes, I’d say. The upgrade process could be more of a pain for users who have a Moto X 2014 from a carrier. Certainly they’ll be waiting days or weeks for the upgrade.
Since the Moto X 2014 rebooted from its Android Lollipop upgrade I haven’t noticed any sluggishness. At least, nothing that I’m willing to say is a big issue at this point. Every instrument and connection on my Moto X 2014 worked just as well as it did before.
Let’s talk about new features. Android Lollipop on the Moto X 2014 is stuffed with them and they all seem to make a lot of sense.
Android Lollipop on the Moto X 2014 includes a lot of the things that I liked about Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. That starts, of course, with the Material Design Language Google showed off earlier this year and began rolling out in app updates. Everything is stark and minimalist. There’s a big focus on content and I love it. When I’m looking through a contact I want to see that contact’s photo and information. I don’t want extras competing with that.
Lock Screen & Notifications
The new lock screen and notifications in Android Lollipop are the first thing that hit you. This release gives users more granular notification control. Immediately, the Moto X 2014 asked if I wanted to hide notification information from apps when it is locked. I did, and while I was still able to figure out pretty easily what apps and services had info for me, none of my info was publically available. I quickly turned it off because my Xbox Music controls won’t work though. I suspect that’s something that Microsoft and other app developers will need to investigate but we’re still early days.
The lock screen notifications themselves look a bit different and I have to say I’m not in love with the look them. That being said, Being able to access and clear all notifications without jumping into the Moto X 2014 is awesome and I’m sure i’ll be using that a lot.
Again, almost every app has been upgraded with the new design language in mind. That includes Play Now and a few extras. About the only thing that has changed on the Google Launcher is the navigation buttons. They are just shapes now. The app drawer is now pearl white, making it easier to see different apps if you’re searching in a hurry.
The notification shade for Android Lollipop is the star of the show here. Google has gone and integrated quick action settings, notification access and user account switching into one single area. It looks great, but it also feels like you have more power at your fingertips. I haven’t found any settings to customize these though, which is pretty ridiculous considering I have an empty space being wasted on Screen Casting.
There’s a new multitasking menu that treats everything as cards. I’m not seeing why everyone made such a big deal out of this other than the web app uses for things opened in Chrome. There are other changes too. Android Lollipop is littered with changes and most are them are for the better.
Google clearly took a lot of what software designers at Motorola added to Android and included it for everyone. For Moto X 2014 owners this means that there are some fundamentally different things happening.
Moto X 2014 users have Moto Display. Wave your hand across the screen and you see what notifications you have waiting. In addition to this the device lights up part of the screen when new notifications come in. The Moto X 2014 with Android Lollipop adds a new option to turn this off so that you can enable Google’s version. It’s called Ambient Display and it doesn’t have access to the infrared sensors so that hand waving thing isn’t possible for those that switch over. I’d rather keep Moto Display.
Downtime is Google co-opting some of the options found in Moto Assist. Now users can choose which things happening on their Moto X 2014 are priority interruptions and which aren’t. Certain days can be configured for Downtime. For example, you can hide email notifications from your work account on the weekend. I absolutely love this option and I’ll be playing with it a lot.
With a good visual design and easy installation, I’d say Android Lollipop on the Moto X 2014 is pretty great. If you have a Pure Edition Moto X 2014, download when you can.