Motorola Moto X 2014-4

Just one week after kicking off its Android 5.0.2 soak test for the original Moto X, Motorola has begun testing Android 5.1 for the 2014 model. Currently available to a select few Pure Edition handsets, the update brings a surprisingly long list of changes and improvements.

Motorola has been one of the fastest to react to new Android updates in recent years — thanks mostly to its near stock firmware that requires very few alterations — so it's no surprise to see the company testing Google's latest Lollipop software already.

According to a change log on the company's website, here is everything 2014 Moto X users will get when Android 5.1 reaches their device:

  • Notifications & Interruptions
    • Block interruptions until your next alarm. This choice will show only when you have an alarm set within the next 12 hours. It will prevent you from missing an alarm when you choose 'No interruptions'.
    • You can choose to enter a scheduled downtime early. For example, if you are going to bed early and change your notification settings, you can choose "Until your downtime ends". This option will be visible when within 4 hours of the scheduled start of your downtime.
    • Adds icons to the volume settings panel that match those that will show in the status bar (None, Priority).
      You can now alter notification volume controls while media is playing. With the volume controls showing, a tap on the bell icon will bring up notification volume controls.
  • Heads-up Notifications
    • In addition to dismissing a heads-up notification, you can now swipe it up to remove it from your screen. It will remain in your notifications tray and you can dismiss it later.
  • Quick Settings
    • You can quickly select different Wi-Fi access points or different paired Bluetooth devices with a new pull-down menu on each tile. Conditional settings tiles that only show if you use the feature – like "Invert Colors" or "Hotspot" – can now be hidden via a long-press on the tile.
  • Camera
    • Reduces noise in low-light shots and improves responsiveness of the viewfinder with the front-facing camera (selfie).
  • Device Protection
    • Lost or stolen devices will remain locked until you sign in with your Google account, even if reset to factory settings. Note that you must have a Google account on the device to automatically enable this feature and set a PIN, password or pattern screen lock.
  • Performance
    • Improvements in the Android Runtime (ART) lead to faster application launch times..
  • Lockscreen
    • If you have enabled Ambient Display, the minimum swipe distance has increased to reduce accidental interactions.
  • Bug Fixes
    • Clock in the status bar isn't updating and alarms are not going off
    • Can't delete SMS messages when the SIM card is full
    • No ringer audio while making an outgoing call
    • Calculator floating point calculations
    • Chrome crashes on launch
    • Frequent restarts while watching Netflix
    • Wi-Fi will not automatically reconnect to your home Wi-Fi
    • Wi-Fi not connecting after being idle all night
    • Wi-Fi connection issues with multiple routers in one location
    • Bluetooth discovery is not triggered when you refresh settings
    • CPU wakelocks that contribute to heavier battery drain
    • Connection and synchronization issues with MS Exchange servers
    • Incorrect default APN
    • Can't unlock the SIM with a PIN/PUK code
    • Can't play 'pinned' content
    • General stability improvements

That's a huge list of changes, and the bug fixes alone will make a big difference to performance and stability for Moto X users. The ability to dismiss heads-up notifications, and the greater control over alerts will also be welcomed by the vast majority.

Android 5.1 is currently available as a soak test for users with Pure Edition Moto X handsets, Android Police reports. But providing the update is stable, it should be making its way to more users within the coming weeks.