Moto Maker makes ordering a Moto X different from picking up any other smartphone. You get to customize the handset to suit your own peculiar tastes, even if that means picking an appalling color pattern and nonsensical engraving that all but guarantee you won't be able to sell the thing at any point in the future.
Even while the more corporate side of CyanogenMod makes new deals with smartphone makers and OEMs, the original "CM Team" continues to expand the ROM's lineup of officially-supported phones and tablets. Today the original Moto E (from 2014) and the Oppo N3 both get their first nightly software builds, and yes, both of them are CyanogenMod 12 (based on Android 5.0 Lollipop AOSP code). You can download and flash them now.
Budget phones used to be the bane of Android's existence, embarrassments that gave buyers horrible first impressions of the platform and sent them running, tears in their eyes, towards the nearest iPhone they could catch on sale. Things have changed. Low-end phones may not offer the looks or build-quality of their flagship counterparts, but they provide plenty of screen real estate and power for average folks to stay connected.
Motorola ships a mostly stock-looking build of Android on its devices, but it does pack in a few exclusive software tweaks. Exhibit A: Moto devices can load up the camera with a flick-to-launch gesture. Motorola ships its own app to make this possible, which until now came with the stock KitKat icon. Today Motorola has updated the app with a unique look of its own.
The Motorola Camera's new icon is still clearly inspired by Google Camera's, borrowing from its flatter design and multicolored lens.
Motorola apparently intends to expand Moto Maker out to more than just smartphones. According to Wired, the company will start offering the ability to customize your own Moto 360 next month.
Before you get too excited, Motorola isn't rolling out new color options or anything particularly fancy. Instead, it's letting you mix and match the components already available off the shelf. So you can get the watch casing or metal band in silver, black, or champagne gold; or opt for a leather strap instead.
It takes a while to fit the latest version of Android on a device, get it carrier certified, and push it out to users. I get that. But for whatever reason, AT&T's version of the 2014 Moto X got lost in the shuffle. While the pure edition of the flagship phone received Lollipop back in November, with Verizon following shortly thereafter, AT&T's version is apparently only just now going out over the air.
We've already seen how the new Moto E looks, but now Motorola has made things official. The 2nd generation low-cost handset is available now in the US for $149.99 with LTE. A $119.99 3G-only option is coming soon. Note, the version you can get today is the GSM model, not the one coming from Verizon.
Here's what has changed since 2014. This year's handset comes powered by a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, up from last year's Snapdragon 200 (edit: the 3G model will remain with the 200).