Motorola and LG vie to be first with Android 5.0 update

The new version of Google's OS has a new look along with better performance and security

google android lollipop
Credit: Google

The race to upgrade smartphones to Android 5.0 (also known as Lollipop) is on, with LG Electronics and Motorola vying with Google's Nexus devices for bragging rights.

Motorola Mobility posted upgrade details and instructions for second-generation models of the Moto G and Moto X, and on Wednesday at least some unlocked Moto G's were able to download the upgrade. LG earlier said it will start upgrading the G3 this week, starting in Poland and following soon in other countries.

It makes sense for the two companies to start slowly in order to root out any problems before letting a larger audience download the upgrade. Issues with Lollipop battery consumption reportedly postponed the availability of Andoid 5.0 on Google's Nexus devices, which should start getting it any day now.

With the latest version of Google's OS, smartphone manufacturers are showing a greater sense of urgency to get the upgrade to their devices. They want to show they can deliver Android updates at a similar speed to that with which Apple gets the latest versions of iOS to iPhone owners, according to Francisco Jeronimo, research director at IDC. For LG and Motorola, it's also a way to differentiate their smartphones from competing Android-based products.

"At the end, users want have the latest features," Jeronimo said.

Android 5.0 was introduced at Google's I/O conference in June. It has a new look and feel along with other upgrades such as battery saving features, improved notifications and encryption turned on by default. Google has also upped the performance with a new runtime and added support for 64-bit processors.

Last month, Google also announced the Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet, which run the new OS from day one.

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