The Touchless Control feature on the Moto X and Verizon's 2013 DROIDs (Ultra, Maxx, and Mini) is already one of the coolest Android manufacturer add-ons around. Today it gets just a little cooler: the Touchless Control app was updated to add a "What's up" command. This voice command will make your phone read out the unread notifications in your status bar. This should be great for hands-free updates while driving. Or bathing.
Motorola has been taking advantage of the Play Store to distribute updates to a number of stock apps including the camera, Assist, and Touchless Control. Now the newest addition to the Play Store has popped up, and it's the stock Gallery app with a new coat of paint. The old one looked just like the stock Android/Nexus app, but now it has a light KitKat vibe.
Motorola first released the Droid Zap app back in August, and while it consisted largely of blacks and reds, it still provided a relatively integrated experience. But already, things were changing, and they haven't slowed since - Android apps these days are filled with image-heavy cards and convenient sidebars. Now the latest version of Droid Zap has both of these elements.
This app allows DROID users to share files with people within 300 feet of them.
After being the first carrier to deliver KitKat on the Moto X, Verizon is now following up with OTA updates for its own line of exclusive Motorola devices. Starting today, DROID MAXX, Mini, and Ultra owners will start to see the latest version of Android arrive on their devices. According to a tweet sent out just now, this update will be going out in waves.
— Verizon Wireless (@VZWnews) December 19, 2013
Verizon has already posted support documentation of what to expect.
Maybe the black slabs of glass and Kevlar that are Verizon's 2013 DROID lineup aren't doing it for you. If that's the case (and you haven't already bought a customized Moto X), you can now pick up either the svelte DROID Ultra or the pint-sized DROID Mini in shades of white. The capacious DROID Maxx, surprisingly, is still only offered in black.
Unlike some of the early leaks of the white Ultra model, this one seems to be white all over, as opposed to white on the glass panel with a black body.
They've done it with the camera. They've done it with Touchless Control and Migrate. They've even done it with the FM Radio from the brand new Moto G. Now Motorola is moving even more of its proprietary phone apps into Google Play Land, presumably to allow for more frequent and reliable updates. Today Motorola Assist and Motorola Connect, both exclusive to the Moto X and Verizon's new Motorola DROID phones, are available on the Play Store.
Some Moto X owners weren't particularly happy to learn that a recent OTA with improvements to the camera also had the undesirable consequence of breaking root acquired through PwnMyMoto. Fortunately, the creator of PwnMyMoto, Justin Case, is back with an updated root method that works on the latest Moto X update and should be compatible with all recent Motorola firmwares.
Update: RockMyMoto is confirmed to also work on the latest firmwares for the Droid Maxx, Ultra, and Mini.
There's a lot to like about Motorola's Verizon-specific DROID line. They don't have the most groundbreaking specs, but they're covered in Kevlar and they feature Motorola's excellent radios and battery life. If you're looking to get your Active Notifications on for not much cash. Amazon has some massive discounts on the three new models. New Verizon customers can pick up the long-lived DROID MAXX for $69.99, and svelte DROID Ultra or the compact DROID Mini for just a penny.
So you've lost your Motorola phone - whether it's the Moto X or the latest DROID handset - and you need to find it in a hurry. You could fire up the Android Device Manager on a computer and get a precise, GPS-pinpointed picture of where your phone is on a map, but if you already know the phone is still at home, this is overkill. Instead, you could now just shout Ok, Google Now, find my phone!
Motorola hasn't been shy with the apps as of late. They've published a handful of new ones in the last few weeks, most of which are exclusive to the multi-carrier Moto X and the new family of DROIDs for Verizon. The Skip app went live just a few hours ago, but the latest is possibly the phones' most visible feature, Touchless Control. It lets the new Motos react to voice while the phone screen is off with the command "OK Google Now."
Don't get excited: the app is absolutely and emphatically only for the Moto X, DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX.