One of the Moto X's defining features is Active Display, which lights up the phones screen to display notifications such as messages, missed calls, and the like. That functionality is now the latest Motorola feature to enter the Play Store, where it's easier for the Google-owned company to distribute timely updates and fixes. Speaking of which, the version to land in the Play Store should remove the 1 - 2 second delay some users started encountering when swiping to unlock following the KitKat update.

Display1 Display2

Active Display is just the latest in a series of apps Motorola has dropped into the Play Store, all of which still remain exclusive to the devices they shipped on. Earlier apps include Touchless Control, the Moto X's camera app, the Moto G's FM radio, Motorola Assist, And Motorola Connect.

Though Active Display is available for the Moto X and Verizon's DROIDs, this version requires Android 4.4 to run. So for the time being, that means only Moto X owners have access to the update below.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Larry Bublitz

    Good lord, I want this app for all Android someday. Just how "bound" to the hardware is it, do you suppose? Is there functionality with the lock/unlock button that it needs to work properly?

    • http://seapip.com/ Thomas Gladdines

      Omnirom has it built in ;)

      • Clint P

        It's flaky at best though.

      • fELLAbUSTA

        Carbon ROM has it as well

        • Larry Bublitz

          Does it work ok in Carbon ROM? (Nexus 4 here)

          • Firmino

            Works in Omnirom, N4 here.

          • unsivilaudio

            Works awesome, I switched to Carbon on my N4 just for this feature. :)

    • schloppyloppy

      It would need a motion sensor, and to be battery efficient an AMOLED screen is needed because it has the ability to use only the pixels it needs. An LED, on the other hand, would light up the whole screen during each 'breath.' So, yeah, I doubt Active Display will work on any other phone regardless of how much hacking is done.

  • the true samosa

    I love you Android Police! :)

  • Andrew Thompson

    It's funny how it shows Google Talk when even the earliest version of the phone came with Hangouts!

    • Alex Henry

      My thoughts exactly. I found just last week that older phones that still use Talk actually work though.

      • Stacey Liu

        Of course. Talk still works inside Gmail as well. You can still use 3rd party XMPP clients like Apple's Messages on OSX for now.

  • anzensepp1987

    Is there an APK available for testing it on other devices?

    • schloppyloppy

      Most of the X's features are HARDWARE based, so they aren't going to work on any other phone. Idk why people think this is a smart question to ask, or think that some random dev can just hack it to work.

      • NinoBr0wn

        So for someone who doesn't know how these things work, they just shouldn't ask questions then? Not even "smart" ones? Jeezus

  • John Smith

    probably not good for LCD displays (Neuxs 5) anyway due to battery considerations?

    • usamaisawake

      You're correct. But if that's not going to stop you, you can try a third party alternative, Dynamic Notifications.

  • alberson

    I have the brazilian version of Moto X and the app is not compatible with my phone, :(

    • Matthew Merrick

      Needs Kitkat

      • alberson

        Oh, should have guessed. Thank you.

  • Ben Leonard

    im on 4.4.1 on my s4 but it wont download, anyone got an APK

    • Alberto

      Read the article. It said only moto X & Verizon DROID

      • veRdiKt

        LET the man go. LEt him do what HE wants.

  • Cobalt

    I've been using Dynamic Notifications on my Galaxy S3 and it works pretty well.

  • http://benignthoughts.com/ Louis C.

    This seems to fix a bug introduced in Kit Kat where the display would take a second longer to unlock when woken up from active display sometimes.

    Gotta love Motorola, putting out these bugfixes asap.

  • John Smith

    >No dice man. Its probably missing the motorola framework.

    >this is correct if you look at the manifest file, it uses com.motorla.permissions that dont exist on other devices.. hell doesn't exist on my stock blur ROM either. these permissions probably require moto framework which is a bitch and a half to work with.


  • Asphyx

    I don't know but the fact this is MOTOX only says to me Google went against their own wishes for how Manufacturers should use and implement Android.
    It was always their intention that Manufacturers should not Customize Android to add features but to add them via Launcher and as Apps that would be available via the play store to help stop the fragmentation.

    Yet here we are with Apps that only work under a Moto Flavor of Android which makes the MotoX implementation just a lighter/cleaner shade of Blur if you ask me! Android should be android and any app on the play store should work with android.
    Odd to see Google continue the further fragmentation of it's own OS!

    • richie97

      What? Are you on drugs?

    • MeCampbell30

      Apparently "fragmentation" has become a buzz word for anything you don't like.

      • Asphyx

        Does this work with any phone other than Motorola?

        NO! WHY? Because the Moto version of android has something the other Hit Hat Units does not?

        That's fragmentation my friend!

    • squiddy20

      Sources? Or are you pulling all of this stuff out of your ass?

    • GKN

      You need Android 4.4, and because of battery issues with lcds, you need an amoled-screen. The only phone to date, combining these 2 is the moto x. No evil fragmentatistic (^^) intensions here, buddy.

  • Pan Szym