With the latest Google App update, Moto's mid-ranger is no longer painfully laggy in the launcher.

The addition of Google Now on Tap for Marshmallow preview testers isn't the only new feature in the latest Google App update. Lollipop folks also get a re-vamped app drawer, complete with a selection of predicted apps under the search bar. And there's an even more important change for Moto X Play owners.

The latest Google update underscores the importance of launcher performance in how quick a phone feels.

The new Google App version 5.3 makes the Google Now Launcher — the default launcher on Moto phones — significantly smoother on the Moto X Play. The crippling lag we experienced under the past two versions of the Google App seem to be a thing of the past — the launcher no longer skips frames opening up the app drawer, and the frequent stuttering while swiping to the Google Now pane has been all but eliminated too. It's a "night and day" difference.

These performance improvements go a long way towards making the Moto X Play a more usable phone; as we mentioned in our review, frequent animation lag was one of our pet peeves with that handset. And with these issues mostly eliminated in the launcher, the Moto X Play is a more enjoyable device to use.

The update doesn't affect anything outside of Google Now or its associated launcher — for example we're still seeing occasional stutters when pulling down the notification shade — but there's no denying it's a big improvement. And it underscores the importance of launcher performance in how quick a phone feels.

If you're rocking a Moto X Play, drop by the comments and let us know how you get on after the Google App update.

MORE: Moto X Play review