With the Moto X, you get something really special. When Motorola announced the device, CEO Dennis Woodside was careful to explain that it was created entirely by the Motorola team and not really with much input from Google. Surprisingly, the rapid and frequent updates and overall experience is something I usually would have expected from Google, though Motorola seems to be doing it even better.
It started with the whole customization experience from Moto Maker. I loved being able to design the phone to my exact tastes. But Motorola, unlike most companies, didn't stop there. Sure, Samsung, HTC and others are quick to issue software updates so that your device doesn't feel so out of date quickly, but Motorola is continuing to add nice, fun touches to the smartphone.
Not long ago the company issued a fun animated short video/game called Windy Day, which allowed you to use the phone's motion controls to follow around a little mouse chasing a hat. Some people liked it, some hated it, I loved it. It was just a free nicety that Motorola worked on with a co-director from Pixar. Then, Motorola became one of the first smartphone makers to issue Android 4.4 KitKat to its flagship device. The company already has it out weeks, if not months, ahead of other manufacturers, showing its true dedication to the handset as a flagship that it wants to continue taking care of.
Now, today, it added yet another fun little touch. No, it doesn't really improve the experience much (though an Active Display patch does), instead it simply changes the boot logo to a fun holiday theme. Again, it's super minor all things considered, but as a Moto X owner it's clear that Motorola isn't forgetting the phone and moving on to new flagships: it's focusing on the consumer base it already has. And it's hard for me to put aside; I can't think of any other phone maker that would ever consider changing the boot animation to match the holidays just for fun, and I love it.
I'm the first to admit that the HTC One, Galaxy Note 3 or any other flagship device is more powerful, and while I know that Samsung and HTC are hard at work trying to bring Android 4.4 to those devices and to add new features, Motorola is doing it much faster, and it makes the overall experience of owning a Motorola phone more pleasurable.
Before Google snapped it up, I think a lot of people sort of left Motorola to die. Though now with smartphones that are a real treat to use, specifically the Moto X, I can't wait to see what the company does moving forward. It's already doing amazing things in the entry-level space with the Moto G, we know it's working on modular phones through Project Ara, but I also think we're going to see the company continue to push the boundaries with whatever comes to replace the Moto X. And at that point, I'll be happy to buy that new device, because I know Motorola won't just forget about it.