Last night was a big night for Motorola. The 360's availability was announced, as was the new Moto G and Moto X, and company's tiny new earbuds, the Moto Hint. That's a lot to take in. With all these new devices and new features, app updates are a necessity, and Touchless Control is one of the first to get the makeover treatment.
First off, it's no longer called Touchless Control – moving forward it's simply Moto Voice.
The marketing campaign for OnePlus's CyanogenMod-powered One phone has been maddeningly piecemeal, so we've been hesitant to post their tiny updates. But the latest one is notable: according to this forum post, the OnePlus One will feature always-on voice commands, in the same manner as the Moto X and 2013 Motorola DROIDs. The administrator says that it's enabled by a combination of Qualcomm technology and custom software from the CyanogenMod team.
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.
A big update is rolling out for Motorola's Touchless Control app that should alleviate some of the frustrations users have had with its functionality. Primarily, voice commands no longer require you to unlock your phone first in order to work. Yet for safety reasons, emails, texts, contacts, and other private information remain protected behind a lock screen. Speaking of which, users can now unlock their Moto X by saying their PIN out loud (behavior, while cool, I would be very hesitant to recommend).
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!
So the Moto X "Lazy Phone" ads are the best smartphone-related ones out right now. They're both funny and memorable, which is basically 90% of what a commercial really needs to be a success. The remaining 10% consists of reasons to choose one product over another. The original Lazy Phone videos showed how competitors' phones could ruin a romantic night, cause you to miss taking a photo of your child's stellar performance, or be the person whose phone won't stop buzzing during a meeting.
HTC paid a pretty penny to sign Robert Downey Jr. for their new ad campaign aimed at completely redefining their brand, but we're still left scratching our heads as to whether it's going to pay off. Their first lengthy commercial was certainly quirky, but it didn't tell us anything about what HTC phones can do, and I'm not quite sure if they remembered to bring the funny. On the other hand, Motorola's new "Lazy Phone" campaign for the Moto X is absolutely comical, and it does everything a series of phone commercials should.
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.