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Open Mic+ Looks to Bring Motorola’s Touchless Controls to All Google Now Devices


When we posted about Motorola’s Touchless Control app hitting Google Play yesterday, there were many readers that were a little disappointed that it only worked with the new Moto devices. However, Android developers always love to step up and make our days so if you are looking to get some voice control action on your new phone, Open Mic+ is something you need to check out.

Booting up the app for the first time, you can either start the app listening manually, or you can set a hotword to activate the app. The default phrase is “Okay Google,” but this can be changed to whatever you want. The settings menu isn’t large, but very helpful. You can set the app to start when your phone turns on and you can set the app to listen constantly even when the screen is off. Be forewarned though, this will eat up battery like you won’t believe. The only way that the Moto X avoids that battery drain is thanks to that low-power CPU core they have dedicated to listening. Did I mention you can pair this app with Tasker to get some really cool stuff going on?

Overall the app is fairly consistent. Using the hotword to get to Google Now works most of the time, but sometimes the phone just doesn’t respond and it takes a few times to get it going. The developer is looking to put a lot of time into this, so expect bugs and kinks to be worked out pretty quickly. And the app is completely free, only caveat is that your device must be Jelly Bean or up for it to work.

Play Link

Cheers Open1Your1Eyes0!

  • Kyleoty

    Went to go look for this in Google Play store. It is no longer there. Does anyone know why it’s gone?

  • Joe

    How does it work, I am trying to work it on my s4 Not responding

  • Gytole

    So… They say that quad cores usually only use 2 cores. For the Nexus 7 FLO how how would it be for developer to dedicate one core at an insanely low clock dedicated to just the voice commands like the moto x… If a dual core can do it… Then a quad core can also.
    And considerigng you can select each core voltage withthe elemental x kernel why isntthis a posibility?

    • Kenton Douglas

      because even at its lowest clock its still far higher than the dedicated core used by Moto

  • Christopher Grame

    I wish it was “okay google” instead of “ok google now” the latter sounds so much gayer

  • Chase Chick

    Is the active display app going to eat up battery life too?

    • GentlemanScholar

      I’ve been using DynamicNotifications (formerly ActiveNotifications) and it doesn’t drain my GNex.

      • Chase Chick

        I had that installed. Battery life seemed a little worse to me so I uninstalled it.

        • nxtfari

          Note that it only saves battery if your phone has an AMOLED screen. If it does not, then it will be using more battery than regular notifications.

          • Chase Chick

            I have a Gnex, and I definitely notice worse battery…

  • Jason Kahn

    Set mine to “Hello Computer”

    • Wyveryx

      Couldn’t resist the Trekker in me 🙂

  • NexusMan

    This is dumb…all of these apps attempting to mimic another device’s features, like these, without said device’s infrastructure….aint nothing like the real thing.

  • MK17

    I love how people complain that the Moto X has inferior hardware tech, but when someone introduces the moto x software people say that any other phone can’t compete without the moto x hardware.

    • Joey Funk

      this. exactly this.

      • MattyP

        That doesn’t make the hardware tech in the Moto X any less inferior. It’s simply because one aspect of the software was designed specifically for that hardware. If they had used a Snapdragon 800 SoC with the same “8 core” processing concept, it’d be much better in overall performance and be capable of doing the exact same thing.

        Similar to how a computer with the exact same specs running Win 8 can’t run a game as well as a PS4 or Xbox One with an APU will be able to, as the optimizations for those systems are much better and there are dedicated processes for certain aspects of those machines that the manufacturers dedicated for gaming, menus, etc. which a PC wouldn’t have through its OS, BIOS, drivers, etc.

        • nxtfari

          The problem with the Moto X’s hardware is that many people (this includes you) don’t know about hardware past brand names and labels. People see “Snapdragon S4 Pro” and freak out, calling it an aged processor like suddenly it can’t even run the OS without lagging. had you researched a bit more, you would have learned that the “Snapdragon S4 Pro” is actually an underclocked Snapdragon 600, the same SoC present in the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. Regardless, it features the Adreno 320 GPU (also features in the One and GS4) meaning graphics are very strong. The 600 was only underclocked to lessen battery strain, most likely. So there you go, the Moto X can go head to head with teh One and GS4 any day, how is it any inferior?

          • MattyP

            I hope that’s not to me, because it’s completely wrong. I was replying to someone talking about the hardware tech and other things competing, not on just the Moto X being perfectly capable itself. I know it is a perfectly acceptable SoC.

            I actually work for a manufacturer and completely understand the hardware past brand names and labels. I have no problem with the “Snapdragon S4 Pro” and when I see it I certainly don’t freak out. The point is, the S4 Pro is inferior to the 800 SoC, as I said. If they DID use the 800 it WOULD be a step up in more ways than one. End of story.

            You also have to realize that I never said anything about the Moto X not going head to head with any particular devices, right? You can’t say, “The Moto X can go head to head with the One and GS4” when it JUST came out and other devices are coming out with the 800. That’s like someone saying, “The iPhone 5S can compete with the S3 and Droid DNA!” or for my previous analogy, “The Wii U can compete with the PS3 and Xbox 360!” You’re arguing in favor of it competing with older devices when new flagships are already launching…that’s suppose to entice someone?

            I’m NOT saying I don’t like the Moto X or that it’s even a problem with the performance of the device itself, it is a great performer, just like the iPhone 5S and 5C will be, along with the Wii U is. It gets solid battery life, has some great software, and I love the design and concepts it presents. That has little to do with what they could have done but chose to put in the device hardware at the time it was being produced.

          • nxtfari

            Okay then, let’s hear it. How would a Snapdragon 800 be better than the X8 system they have now? Because you’re essentially saying “The Moto X is perfect, it runs everything great, but it could be better with the Snapdragon 800.” It doesn’t make sense. You couldn’t notice a difference. The only thing that would really change is gaming performance, which would be slightly better due to the Adreno 330 GPU. Not that it matters anyway, it’s still pushing a 720p display, so even the Adreno 320 has no problem with any game on the Play Store. If you think two extra Krait cores are going to change anything, you’re dead wrong. the Moto X’s lead designer, Iqbal Arshad, already came out an explained that virtually zero apps aside from benchmarking utilities use more than two cores, so the extra Kraits would just be sitting around. More than two cores are not necessary for the Moto X (or any phone really) and when paired with the Adreno 320 GPU, it isn’t bottlenecked in any way. So do explain, how would a Snapdragon 800 be better than the X8 system?

            edit: the reason I was comparing it to the GS4 and One was because they both feature Snapdragon 600 processors and are considered “high-end performers” even today, while the Moto X can’t escape its “midrange” label.

          • MattyP

            First of all, you’re ignoring my facts to the original statement that it is inferior tech. It IS inferior tech whether you notice the performance or it overall matters to you or not. Just because the iPhone 5 performs fine and is capable of doing what most people want, doesn’t mean it isn’t using inferior tech to the GS4, HTC One, or Moto X. That’s ALL my original point was, is stating simple facts. You’re going on your feelings towards it not being important, but it is still factually inferior tech.


            “Okay then, let’s hear it. How would a Snapdragon 800 be better than the X8 system they have now? Because you’re essentially saying “The Moto X is perfect, it runs everything great, but it could be better with the Snapdragon 800.” It doesn’t make sense. You couldn’t notice a difference.”

            Are you just trying to look foolish and be annoying now?

            You’re putting words in my mouth. The Moto X is far from perfect and I would hardly say it was close to…it’s just a very solid device that can fulfill most needs. Just because it can run things smoothly, doesn’t mean it couldn’t run things much better or offer a much improved experience. With its display quality, not much enhancement in many software aspects that other OEM’s or even custom ROM’s offer (outside of a couple select features that could be developed on other devices), and of course many people not really caring about those things, it doesn’t have much for a lot of people to say it differentiates itself. And before you say those things don’t matter as much as what it does have, of course that’s your opinion…some people care more about other things it is missing that current devices or upcoming ones do have.

            Back to you question…let me just ask it back to you: Why does any phone need a Snapdragon 600, or Snapdragon 400? Why does any computer need a Core i5 instead of a Core i3? Why does anyone need a 1080p or 2560p display over 720p or 480p? I could go on and on. Are you an authority on what people can or can’t use to improve their experience with technology? Just because someone doesn’t notice the difference or it doesn’t affect their experience, doesn’t mean it won’t or can’t be taken advantage of in the near future or even right now for other users.

            And to actually answer your question of why the 800 would be better: obviously performance, more efficient, future-proofing and longevity, potential for wider support/development, and of course the psychological reasons for someone to feel they got great value out of their purchase.

            With that said, you seem to have blinders on and this narrow view of my comments. You’re only seeing, “Doh, this guy wants the highest end specs no matter what effect it has on a device!” That’s not what I’ve said at all.

            To put it into simple perspective for you: It’s like someone trying to tell me about the Wii U and that it’s a great product and saying that it doesn’t have inferior hardware to other flagship products. It may perform well for its purpose, and it may have some great games, a good experience, etc. BUT to say that it doesn’t have inferior tech to other devices…the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One, along with a high-end PC, just makes you look foolish and ignorant.

            You also seem to be incapable of separating the difference between what you find to be important for the experience of a product, and what technical specs are. I’ve been responding specifically about technical inferiority, NOT on that being perfectly capable of most people’s uses. Then again, isn’t that why Apple takes so much flack these days? Because they simply satisfy the lowest common denominator at a higher price-point, instead of pushing for even better components and options. In turn, all that does is increase their profit margins, which is probably what Google/Motorola went for with the Moto X…by choosing the inferior/older tech, it saved them on the components, even if the newer one was available to them.

  • dk1golf

    Only worked the first time I tried it. After that, nothing…

  • illinipoke

    I downloaded Utter lady night to try on my note 2. Have it turned on today to see how fast it eats battery. It’s nice but didn’t actually use Google voice search. It’s more powerful but more rigid. I tried getting it to start up Google voice search, but it won’t.

    Battery seems to be lasting about 70% as long as with it not running..

    • Illinipoke

      Umm…. Utter “last” night. Not sure what utter lady night is but I’m in.

      Oh and this murdered my battery in the end. Dead by 3:30 when its usually at about 35%.

    • Andrew Thorsen

      Utter beta actually just released an update that pretty much let’s you do what this app does. Saying “Ok Google” will open up Google Search, even when the screen is locked. Pretty nifty, IMO.

  • br_hermon

    It’s ironic that you mention pairing this with Tasker when you could actually build this functionality with Tasker (and Autovoice if you want more advanced).

  • Steve

    Isn’t the G2 with the Snapdragon 800 supposed to be designed similarly to the Moto X in that it can always listen without eating away at the battery as much? If that’s the case, would an app like this have to be designed to take advantage of that ability or will it automatically work? [serious question]

    • Charlie R.

      I read quite a bit about the G2 and I don’t remember reading that at all. I could be wrong though. It will more than likely eat battery just as much on any non-Moto phone. The G2 does have a fairly large battery though, which would help a bit.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Since LG made no mention of such a feature at their press conference, I’m going to go ahead and assume that they have not yet taken advantage of that portion of the Snapdragon 800’s featureset. It should function similarly to the Moto X when implemented though, and I would be surprised to see it used on the Note 3, though obviously tied to S-Voice, which would make it significantly less appealing to use (imo at least). Also, I much prefer “Okay Google Now” to “Hello Galaxy”.

    • brkshr

      The Snapdragon 800 has the capability, but I haven’t heard that anyone has implemented it yet

  • Keg Man

    I cant wait till I see someone with a MOTO X. and I’ll say really loud “GOOGLE NOW, CALL MOM CELL” laugh and walk away

    • BattMan

      You can train MotoX to only respond to your voice.

    • Steve B

      And they you’ll look like a dumbass when it doesn’t work. The Moto X only responds to its owner (through voice learning), after it’s set up.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        I’d also point out that it takes into account the specific tones, inflections, and cadence you use during training. All in all, its pretty well implemented, and takes someone with a very similar voice and speech pattern to hijack.

  • Joel
    • Joel

      oppo find 1

  • Godzilla

    Without the low powered mic from the moto X, this app will probably just eat away at battery life.

    You can already go into settings on a Galaxy S4 and turn S voice to “always listening” and it takes away from battery life a lot.

    • SUNupe

      I went to the Play store to check out the app: Disables lock screen, keeps your phone from going to sleep…….Ahh…NOPE!!

  • valapsp

    doesn’t work on N7.

  • that icon tho.

  • crazed_z06

    Dont the newer Galaxy devices (GS3, GS4, GN2) have some kind of wakeup ability? Ive seen “wake up command” in the settings for Svoice on my GN2. I never tried it because Svoice sucks and it says using the wakeup command “May drain battery”

    • Jordan Webb

      Isn’t it something like “Hey Galaxy”?

    • Godzilla

      yes, you go into setting and turn it on, but it eats battery

    • acey_zero

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain that the s-voice wakeup command will only start s-voice listening from the lockscreen or within the s-voice app itself. It cannot wake the device from sleep, or even from other apps.

  • aye_winchell

    “Jelly Bean or up for it to work”

    whats above Jelly Bean that a person could have?

    • OreoMan

      Chocolate covered Jelly Bean.

      • aye_winchell

        you win sir, you win.

        I think maybe he just left the 4.1 out. 🙂

        Although that would be a cleaver way of naming versions, 4.1 jelly bean, 4.2 chocolate covered jelly bean, 4.3 chocolate covered jelly bean with sprinkles, 4.4 chocolate covered jelly bean with sprinkles and deep fried (but only on the american versions).

  • RaptorOO7

    Then buy a Moto X with lackluster specs and a locked bootloader. At least a Developer is doing something to offer us the features with out buying a crappy phone.

    • mustbepbs

      Hey man, Ron wouldn’t like you talking about the Moto X like that.

    • trixnkix637

      “lackluster specs” that enable it to run smooth and not drain the battery (nor is it specs that the average consumer gives a damn about) & a locked bootloader that they are creating a developer edition for. What exactly is the point of slamming the phone for the sole purpose of complimenting the developer community?

      • Raj Bhatt

        Some of like to plan for the future though, and those lackluster specs won’t be handling KLP+ well.

        • brkshr

          KLP is rumored to be designed to work better on low end devices… So if the rumors hold true, that won’t be a problem at all.

          • Raj Bhatt

            It’s not the OS I’m worried about. It is apps that take advantage of new hardware. We all know that by the end of our two year contract, not even the most cutting edge phone can keep up anymore. If we were to buy a phone with last year’s specs, would it really be reasonable to expect it to last for 2+ years?

          • trixnkix637

            I just bought a Galaxy Nexus for VZW that’s completely quelled my desire to get the One or the X or the Maxx. I have no issues with how the phone holds up at the moment (though that could be it running 4.3). Now am I going to be satisfied until Oct. ’13 (2 yrs after it was released)? Probably not, though that speaks to the geek in me more than the phone not holding up that long.

            (I understand a Nexus device might be an exception to your statement just by its design)

          • Dec 15th is release day for GNex on verizon
            Yes, im counting the days.

          • nxtfari

            But the Moto X does not have last year’s specs. It uses an underclocked and stripped Snapdragon 600, a very fast Adreno 320 (this year’s second fastest, only a tad bit behind the 330), and assorted dedicated cores. I could easily see it lasting 2+ years, though at that point it would be subjective if you could resist the temptation of “latest and greatest.”

          • Godzilla

            There is that rumor and then there is the rumor that it will make a lot of phones obsolete due to needing quad core

  • What is the hand wave option?

    • CoreRooted

      Uses the proximity sensor to activate Google Now.

  • Nelson Apistia

    I’ve had this installed for several days and I’m keeping this installed so I can be aware of updates as they come in the hopes that it becomes more functional. At this point it’s just not. On my S3 it seems to work best right after you’ve turned it on but then after a short time it becomes very reluctant to respond. But even when it works best it does so very sluggishly and intermittently. And then there’s the fact that it will occasionally play the “listening” tone (the one you’re all familiar with when Google Now begins listening) at random times even when it doesn’t seem to have activated. In it’s current state it’s just not a usable app.

  • Paul Hansen

    As we wait for the complaints that the app drains their battery… Without the coprocessor this is going to be a giant drain.

  • mustbepbs

    “Okay Google”

    “OKAY Google!”



    ~Dead Battery~

    • Shane Redman

      My thoughts exactly. Without the processor enhancements, this has got to be nothing but a strain on any other device.

    • Jordan Webb

      Yeh, one guy tested on Reddit and it took his S4’s idle drain from 1.5%/hour to 8.5%/hour.

      Though 1.5% on an S4 for standard idle seems high, so grain of salt and all that.

      • Godzilla

        how is 1.5% per hour high? My Bionic was draining at 3% per hour with the extended battery installed

        • Steve B

          That’s because the Bionic is quite possible the worst device ever made….oh wait, Charge….wait again, Thunderbolt.

          • joseph barrientos

            my thunderbolt was a beast! ………with an extended battery and CM10 on it lol

          • Joshua Polivka

            are you forgetting the Moto Devour? or the Droid Eris?

        • Cory_S

          … Bionic. Your Bionic sucked. Get over it.

    • New_Guy

      With your Tuvok avatar, at least you could change the hot word to “Computer.”

      • michael arazan

        Montgomery Scott: Computer….

        Montgomery Scott: Hello computer…

        Montgomery Scott: (Picks up the Mouse)

        Hello computer……..

        Engineer: Just use the keyboard

        Montgomery Scott: the keyboard, how quaint

        from Star Trek 4 the Voyage Home

        • New_Guy


    • master94

      I tried it on the Moto Droid Razr and made it throughout the whole day with it on. Instead of my normal 14 hours I got 10. Not bad imo.

      • MicroNix

        So a 30% hit on your battery is not bad? Wait, let me post this land listing for you….

        • master94

          Well I don’t need it for more than 8 hours since I only have to work for 6 hours and the commute home is just 1 hour both ways. So it doesn’t matter for me. Makes it through the day and I’m happy.