The race is over: Motorola is the first company to roll out an Android 5.0 software update for an existing phone.
Update: Motorola is also rolling out Android 5.0 to owners of the Moto X (2nd gen) Pure Edition phone starting today.
This is the first time since Google launched the Nexus program that a third-party device maker rolled out an over-the-air Android update before Google released an update for its own devices.
There are probably a few factors that made this possible. First, Moto G (and Moto X) smartphones run software that’s pretty close to the stock Android experience, so Motorola didn’t have to spend a lot of time customizing Android 5.0. Second, Google released a developer preview months ago, giving device makers plenty of time to start working on software updates.
According to the release notes for the Moto G, the update brings all the expected Android 5.0 features including Material Design, updated notifications, interruption and downtime settings, and support for Ambient Display notifications.
There are also some Motorola-specific features including a new version of Moto Assist which works with Downtime to let you control your do-not-disturb settings. Motorola also points out that you can use Android’s new Smart Lock feature to pair your device with a Moto 360 (or other Android Wear smartwatch) to keep your phone unlocked when your watch (or other Bluetooth device) is near.