The Moto X 2014 is an impressive smartphone. Some would even go as far as declaring the Moto X 2014 the best Android smartphone you can buy this year. A great deal of that comes down to better hardware, the Moto X 2014 is faster, bigger and more impressive than last year’s device.
A lot of what makes the Moto X 2014 the best Android smartphone you can buy comes down to software. Motorola didn’t run a fork lift over Google’s Android operating system. Instead, the company added features where they made sense using the Moto app.
Here are 15 Moto X 2014 tips and tricks possible on the Moto X 2014 because of that well-designed Moto app, its early Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade and the great hardware inside of it.
Add a New Launcher to Get Rid of Google Search
Motorola provides a super clean, super stable version of Android on its smartphones. Essentially, Moto X 2014 buyers are getting the Android the way Google would prefer every Android device maker deliver it. This allows for faster updates and more stability. One of the few negatives is a giant Google search bar at the top of every page of icons and widgets you add to your Moto X 2014.
There’s no way to remove it, but you can add a new launcher to replace the Android 5.0 launcher entirely. The new launcher won’t include a giant Google search bar.
The Moto X 2014’s 13-megapixel camera is a huge improvement over what the original Moto X came with. You’re going to want to take a lot of pictures and record a lot of video with it. Once you’ve recorded enough media, consider creating themed Highlight videos with your favorite music. You can share these videos online.
Having been among the first smartphone makers to introduce always-listening search and more last year, Motorola stepped up their game this year. The Moto X 2014 is the only device on the market that lets users choose a catch phrase to access voice search and control different settings. You can change your catch phrase in the Moto app under Voice.
Inside the Moto Assist settings are the most useful settings you will find on any Android smartphone this year. Bluetooth connectivity makes listening to music from your smartphone easier, Moto Assist makes it absolutely painless by allowing your Moto X 2014 to play music from a specific app the moment you’re in your car.
Apple stunned a lot of people when it added slow motion video recording to the list of things the iPhone 5s could pull off last year. This year, every other smartphone make seems to have picked up the feature.
The Moto X 2014 is no exception. Right now, anyone with the device can record video in high-definition from the built-in camera app by sliding their finger from the left edge to the right edge to bring up the settings wheel. Included in the options are 4K video and SlowMo video.
Out of the box, Chromecast support on the Moto X 2014 is somewhat broken. Users have reported not being able to get it to work for months. AllCast allows you to stream media from your Moto X 2014 to compatible DLNA receivers like the Xbox One and PS4.
Open Your Camera With a Flick of Your Wrist
The Moto X 2014 doesn’t have a physical camera button. That’s a shame as. As many of Microsoft’s Lumia Windows Phones prove, having a physical camera button makes it easier and more convenient to record what’s around you. No one wants to have to turn on their phone, then look for a camera button on a lock screen.
Hold the Moto X 2014 in your hand and twist your wrist to activate the camera app. It’s available regardless of whether the phone is sleep or awake.
Switch to A Black Wallpaper for Better Battery Life
Adding a bigger battery is probably the only thing Motorola didn’t get right with the Moto X 2014. That new display and processor eat up a lot of battery power. One of the smart moves the company did make was including a 5-inch AMOLED display instead of an LCD. Simply put, when something on the screen of the Moto X 2014 is black, the Moto X doesn’t use battery power to light that side of the screen.
Avoid Distractions with Moto Assist
Smartphones have spent years destroying the work-life balance of millions around the world. You can use your Moto X 2014’s Assist app to sort of restore the balance. Turn on options for keeping notifications quiet when you’re in a meeting, home, sleeping or driving.
Take A Selfie With Your Voice
Motorola didn’t just supplement Android with custom catchphrases for Google Now. Moto Voice on the Moto X 2014 allows for contextual commands too. “Take a selfie” is a great example. Say your catch phrase and that command and the Moto X 2014 will unlock, and start a countdown with the front-facing camera.
Reply To Text Messages and Keep Track of Calls with Moto Connect
Besides AirDroid, smartphones running Google Android operating system don’t have a lot of apps that allow users to send text messages and control their device from a far. Motorola makes one of its own. Called Moto Connect, installing the Chrome browser extension lets you send text messages, monitor battery life and get call alerts on your Windows PC.
Watch a Digital Performance with Spotlight
You may have started up your Moto X 2014 and noticed a small red hat floating around the navigation. Maybe there’s an orb floating around? Both of these are examples of the shortcuts Motorola uses to expose its Spotlight app for the Moto X 2014. The Spotlight app is sort of like a digital play house. Every so often Motorola pushes a new experience to Spotlight. These experiences use the Moto X 2014 sensors for story-telling and entertainment.
Charge in Half the Time
Again, Motorola didn’t exactly endow the Moto X 2014 with a lot of native battery power. Instead, it focused on preserving power and making charging less of a pain. The second part of that equation is Turbo Charging. The Moto X 2014, when paired with a Motorola Turbo Charger, can last 8 more hours on a 15 minute charger from the Turbo Charger.