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Motorola’s Touchless Control App Arrives on Google Play, Should Make Adding New Features a Breeze

touchless control

Motorola’s Touchless Control app, which is one of the leading features of the Moto X and new DROID line, was pushed to Google Play today. For those not familiar, Touchless Control allows each of these new Moto phones to partner with their natural language processors, so that they are always listening for your commands. After training them to only activate to your voice with a command of “OK, Google Now,” you can perform all sorts of Google voice actions from setting reminders to finding directions home. 

We’ve put together an entire tutorial of Touchless Control that you can find here.

With its release to Google Play, we can only expect this to mean that Motorola has additional feature plans for it in the future. Rather than leaving it as a baked-in system app that can only be updated with system updates, this should allow Motorola to update it regularly. In fact, both our Moto X and DROID ULTRA devices received the newest build of 3.06.1.0.

We’re only seeing one noticeable difference so far, and that’s the addition of a “User speakerphone” option for when placing calls using Touchless Control.

As you would expect, the app is only installable on the ULTRA, MAXX, Mini, and Moto X.

Update:  Here is the .apk file if anyone feels like playing with it.

Play Link

Cheers Droid Ronin!

  • Cliff Keene

    Someone Please help me out. I am using touchless control on my moto x and cant seem to transition from, asking about Obama and then asking “who is his wife” it just will google search ‘who is his wife’. I already updated the app on the play store and still nothing.

  • Youssef CHEHADE

    hi guys i ve installed this apk and cannot open it , no crashes but theres no option to open it

  • Wellington Costa Alves
  • master94

    So how long till devs find a way to get this working on other devices? Thats the real questions. Love the Android dev community. They can do anything

  • JRomeo

    A phone which always has the micriphone turned on……… how much further will this drain the battery ?

    • CoreRooted

      That’s the whole point of the MotoX. Dedicated hardware platform to allow these features without additional battery drain.

  • iamme

    apk not working

  • jordan

    the must be the NSA phone

  • Eric Bright

    Let’s cross fingers it’ll make its way to Android KLP.

  • Eric Bright

    Let’s hope it’ll make its way to Android Key Lime Pie.

  • Edward Smith

    I sorry Kellen, I’m afraid I can’t do that.

  • Sean Bello

    it won’t work unless you train it with your voice, which you can’t do without the “touchless control” setting in the settings menu of the above phones. that setting menu also has active display and smart settings too, so I doubt it’d be worth having it on your phone or if it’d even work correctly

  • Derek L.

    Let’s get this working on other phones! :D

  • iamnotfan

    Please change the title

  • Nick

    I downloaded the apk and installed it fine, but there isn’t anything to launch it. It’s installed but not there basically lol. I keep my phone charger wherever I go so this wouldn’t bother me about battery life, but it doesn’t work unless someone hacks it to work for all phones. I’ve got a Galaxy S3 so its a no-go on this phone……for now

  • sk3litor

    Has anyone tried this on a non rooted, non specified device yet?

  • hackthis02

    We have the system dump from the Moto X hasn’t someone tried pulling the apk from there?

  • Parker
    • Michael McGrade

      I pulled it from a system dump but it doesn’t seem to have a UI and I’m not sure what to do with it…phone doesn’t do anything from saying “OK Google Now” so I’m wondering if it relies on more or something…idk…I’m sure someone who develops can tear it apart and figure something out and maybe get a zip we can flash in recovery.

      • Parker

        exactly. I got it from the system dump as well, i installed it on my CM Galaxy s4 to install, and i cant get anything to work. I dropped it in the system app folder and that did nothing, then I installed it as a normal app, and nothing happened. I guess we need another component it seems.

        • Sam

          Need the Motorola settings app to set it up

          • Parker

            Alright, im gonna try to get that apk, ill keep you posted.

          • Parker

            Here is the Moto Settings apk, can you just install it normally?

            https://mega.co.nz/#!Ow4WzbRT!aPpRszg_TecaTBuXdhJShWol7plirGjMPv-o62psoHM

          • Sam

            You need root to replace your Google Settings app. Use something like ES File Manager in Root Mode. No guarantee it will work.

            Thanks for the apk, i’ll try that now.

          • Parker

            I still cant get the Moto Settings app to get instsalled, even after deleting the stock settings app. Any ideas?

          • Matthew DiGiacomo

            I’m going to try it now. HTC One.

          • Sam

            Nor can I

        • Michael McGrade

          Wonder if anyone has gotten this to work…

  • Michael McGrade

    http://db.tt/hS4ZOqEb From the system dump from another blog that I pulled from. Installs but then disappears. I can’t seem to find what to do with it. Good luck and hopefully someone can let me know.

  • Parker

    Anyone got a name of the apk? I have the system dump so i have all the apk, but there is no obvious names that I am seeing.

    • Michael McGrade

      it’s AudioMonitor.apk

      • Parker

        thanks…uploaded

  • Bryan

    I like this approach to making apps like this updateable without a need for an OTA OS update.
    I am less inclined to worry about new versions of the OS (i.e. Key Lime Pie) if the actual apps I use are being updated. The biggest reason I wanted Jelly Bean was for Google Now. As long as they can keep updating the apps without need for an OTA from Verizon, then I would be OK with delays in getting OS updates. I mean, it would still suck, but at least it would be tolerable.

  • Alain Lafond

    Don’t be sad… Sure this’ll be in the next version on Android… Not much to wait…

    • guest

      the has sort firmware files that it is downloading, Im sure the firmware is for the NLP processor. This wont make it in to any other current phones or phones planned to be released till the end of this year, This needs hw to work.

  • Knlegend1

    How soon before someone cracks this and we’re all playing with it. Of course our phones would die fast. Still that’s the beauty of android. Freedom to explore.

  • Michael McGrade

    Would love to give this a go on my S4 if I could get that apk and mess around with it. Hoping to find a flashable zip on XDA soon…I know the awesome developers out there can do it.

    • jamdev12

      blah

      • Michael McGrade

        blah what? I don’t compute.

  • Matthew Wu

    So, Moto follows Google’s way to put “system app” into Play Store?!
    And that’s how Moto’s phone would get faster Android update?!
    Would this be related to GPE (unlocked) Moto X that was confirmed by Guy Kawasaki, It won’t loss any software feature…?

    • Charlie R.

      A GPE Moto X would almost assuredly NOT have these features, as it would be a totally stock phone.

      • Josh Brown

        If it’s an “app” then yes it will be able to have these features assuming the GPE or Nexus device has an X8 chip.

      • Steve B

        Actually no. It’s been confirmed by multiple reports that the GPE Moto X will be unmodified from the carrier versions (i.e. it will not be 100% stock Android, but will in fact have all the extra junk Moto baked in).

        • Matthew Wu

          That’s exactly what I meant…
          If Moto is taking this route to have the extra junk live in play store,
          Then the GPE Moto X, could indeed be a pure stock android and still have all the lovables

  • Matthew

    Will work on Nexus 7 2013 or Xperia S?Can someone upload APK?

  • mgamerz

    Doubt this would work on other devices without some hackery, likely uses some native code specifically for the hardware setup that will crash when the hardware isn’t found.

  • Mike S.

    So, what if this is the next Nexus 4 like the rumors suggest? Doesn’t that mean this feature would work on a Moto X running vanilla Android?

    • Josh Brown

      The moto x with the “google play version” will come with the X8 chip and should be able to download this app. Also one would think that the next Nexus device which is rumored to be by Moto would come with the x8 chip as well and therefor be in the same boat.

  • vs8

    It’s only available for the new Motos. For now.

  • sk3litor

    So then what’s the point? Just so you can update it without having to get an ota?

    • CoreRooted

      You say that like it’s a bad thing?

      • sk3litor

        Ha ha no it was a real question (no sarcasm) but then I thought about it for two minutes and realized what a good idea it is

  • fauxshizzl

    So does this do anything that launching Google Now through a button doesn’t do? It just seems like a lazier version of something that is already dead simple. But if it does something I am unaware of then I guess that might be different.

    • CoreRooted

      Not exactly. BUT, the uses are much better. Voice control of your device while driving (and not having to hit a button)… controlling your device while your hands are preoccupied or from across the room.

    • Droid Ronin

      In the early stages of development, it used to have a feature where if you said “OK, Google Now…What’s up?”, it would read you your notifications. VERY useful, but it was pulled since it caused problems with the app waking up on its own. Maybe this will be included in the next release after they iron out the bugs.

  • jnt

    This is great, as that app needs some refining and additional features for sure… It’s nice, but it renders itself a bit useless when you have to pickup the phone and enter something at the end of a command anyway (i.e. texting someone… gotta read text then press send).

  • BOB Dudek

    ok googlenow was the first sounds that my neighbor’s 18 yr old uttered that made sense.

  • NickA

    Typical Android: Want a new feature? Buy a new phone. In this case, the “F” in Feature stands for Fragmentation. And this coming from an Android user (most of the time).

    But hey, I’ll take any excuse to buy a new phone.

    • GoBlue

      Isn’t that true for any phone? Want retina display (feature), buy a new phone…

    • d-rock

      Want Siri? Buy a new phone! Crapple does this too…it’s not an android thing. It’s a manufacturer thing. In fact, I’d say the core of android does it least of all.

  • Weber

    Why would they make this available ONLY for the phones that ALREADY come with it?

    • mustbepbs

      So they can update it on a regular basis instead of it being a system app that can only be updated with actual OTAs. Since it was explained in the article, I decided to give you a tl;dr:

      tl;dr it’s easier this way

      • Weber

        Yeah, I read all that, too. I had tunnel vision on the fact that it isn’t an app that could be downloaded on any amoled phone. But I get it all now that I’ve calmed down a bit.

    • Ian Smith

      so they can release updates for it to google play directly.

    • Josh Brown

      Also there’s the fact that they’re going to be releasing google play versions of the Moto X as well as the rumored Nexus phone that’ll be be stock android. Users of stock android with the x8 chip will be able to download this app.

  • blackjaguar25

    That was the quickest I’ve gone from overly-excited to depressed in quite some time.

    Thanks a lot, Kellex.

    • Dee

      Hes doing his best impersonation of Geller of BolloxGeniusReport

      • blackjaguar25

        Ew.

    • Brandon Haines

      Let cool get it, I’m sure it’ll be in the next cyanogen mod tweaked to our liking.

  • RoadsterHD1

    I can’t wait to get my Droid MAXX on Saturday.

  • iNomNomAwesome

    Ditching my Galaxy Nexus for a Moto X when it comes to Verizon.

  • RoadsterHD1

    you probable need the language or contextual processor to make it work. Otherwise you will kill your battery. Right?

    • cancerous_it

      if it doesn’t, moto’s got some splaining to do. and i don’t imagine that it’ll kill it any worse than what Google Services is doing. f Google Services.

  • Open1Your1Eyes0

    Anyone with a new DROID or Moto X willing to download and pull the apk for us to test on other devices? Most likely won’t work but worth a try.

    • christophermcconkey

      Give me an idea on where it might be and I will see about pulling it.

      • MichaelFranz

        com.motorola.auditomonitor.apk might be it. might need a file broswer to find it in systemapp or else where. i may be wrong on the name though im going based off the play link

      • Open1Your1Eyes0

        Use Root Explorer, it would be either in /system/app or /data/app.

    • jnt

      you don’t need root to pull it right? because I didn’t think we had root yet… just “adb pull /system/app/***.apk” right?

    • christophermcconkey

      Here is the APK that I think that it is.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/y9sre79hsftone2/AudioMonitor.apk

    • LilMoby

      It is linked in the story now. Have fun.

  • Mr ilheis

    APK Anyone?

  • Ryan Gullett

    I am still mad I have to wait for Moto maker. Screw you AT&T. You suck and your service sucks.

  • jayray78

    And with just a few tweeks to my build.prop….yep…touchless controls on my Galaxy Nexus. Thanks Motorola.

    • Steve B

      Can you upload the apk somewhere?

      • jayray78

        Well, it installs….then fc…so, I’ll save you the agony.

        • Steve B

          Alright, thanks for trying.

          Could be a permission issue. Have you tried re-installing it as a system app?

    • leenephi

      Hmm! :) Good idea. Just have to modify the device name or something?

    • Nathaniel Mosher

      have fun with that battery life…. lol

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Another google like move…

    • Steve B

      Exactly. The more Google influence we see the better.

  • Steve B

    Can we get an apk? I’d like to know what/ if anything this will do on my GS3.

    • MacNificent

      same

      • LilMoby

        It’s linked above now.

  • Robert Macri

    I really want to see how fast Moto pushes out 4.3 before taking the plunge for the Maxx.

  • Shane Redman

    The conundrum: Retire the GNex or wait for next year’s Moto

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      NEXT YEAR? I don’t think Droid Life Fans speak that language

      • Steve B

        What’s next year?

        • Shane Redman

          It’s VZW consumer slang…

          Curse these golden handcuffs

      • Chicostyles

        must be a CUBS FAN with that talk!lol

    • Eric R.

      Nexus 5 or Note 3 are good options if you wait a few months

    • LucasMonroe

      Picked up the GS4 yesterday and retired my GNex. Don’t regret it one bit.

      • http://www.naskaras.com/ Thanassi Karageorgiou

        I said the same thing a month ago, but now I do regret it. first GS4: broken charging port within 3 weeks. Second GS4: overheats within 5 minutes of screen time use and reboots. I’m about to sell it and go back to Moto. =(

    • Dorian Brooks

      Next year does not compute

    • JRomeo

      Retire the GNex when the new Nexus is released in October 2013, then go make that your next phone.

  • cjohn4043

    Man, I got all excited until I read the last line…

    • Nathaniel Newman

      Yep. Even though I plan to buy the Maxx. It won’t be til Oct. So I was hoping to beable to use this app on my S4 til then….

      • http://androidiantech.com/ Juan Lopez

        Nah you should get the MAXX now!

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      lmfao… tell me about it.

    • leenephi

      Indeed. Clearly many of us did not expect it as the writer suggests. XD

    • Tim Buchanan

      Makes sense though. Only those devices have a dedicated core for an “always listening” mic. Without that, I imagine this thing could suck the juice right out of your device in no time flat.

      • T4rd

        Yeah, this is what I was thinking. If you have a previous Maxx phone or Note 2 or something though, I’m sure it would still be managable.

        • DanPatrickFlores

          Yeah, I have last year’s Maxx HD, and using utter’s always listening mode drained my battery quicker than I expected, so I wonder if this’ll be a little more efficient.

          • michael arazan

            Manufacturer’s should just go stock android and turn all the software into apps and then they could sell it in the play store if it becomes popular and make additional profit, while still keeping stock android for fast updates saving time and money of having to retweek their skin for a newer version of android. And you can still buy their phone which would come with all the app software which would be free with their phones

          • ®yan C

            i cant even open the app after i installed it in my photon!

          • Orlando Santos

            duh… no a listed Motorola device

    • Justin Barrett

      It’d kill your battery anyway. No dedicated core like the Moto devices.

      • KleenDroid

        I bet the apk will be out soon and we will all be surprised that it won’t be draining the juice like we think.

        In other words all the cool features on the X will be ported to all phones.

        • samari711

          It definitely will kill your battery life. My phone is past the end of it’s useful life and every so often the wifi state machine doesn’t let the processor go into deep sleep mode. When that happens my 8-9 hour battery life becomes 3 hours if I’m lucky. Without the dedicated processor for the sensors your main CPU won’t go to sleep and your battery will be red hot and dead before you know it.

          • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

            Who cares if it kills your battery if you only enable it while it’s docked (i.e. charging) in a car? I’d LOVE to get this working for my phone!!

        • shadowdude777

          No, it absolutely will kill your battery. These phones don’t have dedicated cores for language processing. The device will be in perpetual wakelock.

  • philnolan3d

    Lame. “incompatible with all of your devices”, all of which are from Motorola.

    • Elliot Kotis

      You don’t have an x8 acrt equiped phone I would guess.

  • Ethan Besbris

    Post the apk. Anyone?

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Would it even work?

      • Steve B

        Worth a shot.

      • RoadsterHD1

        NO. You need the special processor and only the New Droids and Moto X have it. Its part of the computing system

        • Steve B

          Well it might work, but it sure wouldn’t work efficiently. If it works at all, it would annihilate your battery.

  • Guest

    Apparently my Galaxy Nexus isn’t compatible with this app say google play
    edit: nevermind, I really gotta read the whole thing lol

    • T S

      last line of the article. . “As you would expect, the app is only installable on the ULTRA, MAXX, Mini, and Moto X”