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Motorola sheds light on its Android 6.0 Marshmallow plans

Find out which Moto phones will get Android 6.0 software updates and which will be left out in the cold. Also, get educated about Motorola's changes to its custom software.

The Moto X Pure Edition should soon receive an Android 6.0 update. Josh Miller/CNET

Motorola confirmed its intention on Friday to issue Android 6.0 software updates for a number of its smartphones. Additionally, the handset maker says it's making some changes to the apps that come pre-loaded with the Marshmallow update.

Whereas most phone manufacturers typically take months to release major Android software updates, Motorola is usually able to do so in a fraction of the time. How? Motorola strips its pre-installed software down to nearly stock Android and doesn't have to worry about compatibility issues with custom skins or one-off features. Moreover, because many of its phones are sold direct-to-consumer, there are no hoops to jump through with getting additional certification from wireless carriers.

Motorola will continue to trim down its pre-loaded software enhancements as part of its focus on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The newest version of Android introduces features that closely mimic those previously found in Motorola phones.

Android 6.0 includes a "Do not disturb" setting in the sound and notification submenu, which is similar to Motorola's Moto Assist. Additionally, Marshmallow makes it easier to back up user data, a detail that replicates Motorola's Migrate app. As such, Moto Assist and Moto Migrate will be excised when devices update to Marshmallow.

As to which models Motorola plans to release Android 6.0 updates to, the list is comprised of devices released in 2014 and 2015. This isn't to suggest other, or older, products won't make the cut, but they are not a priority at this point.

According to Motorola, the following phones should see Marshmallow updates:

Motorola stopped short of naming the date when it will release updates for the various models; it plans to offer up more news in the coming weeks.