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Motorola is Now Updating the Moto X Camera Through the Play Store


This morning, Motorola pushed an update to the Moto X camera through Google Play. Yes, through Google Play, not as an OTA update. As has been well documented, the Moto X camera at launch was one of the phone’s weak points, however, a recent OTA update to all variants dramatically improved its performance. Since then, it appears as if Motorola has made the camera available for updates more regularly without carrier interference. To continually update the app, Motorola is pushing updates through Google Play going forward.

If you own a Moto X, you should find an update awaiting you. 

Here is what’s new:

  • Brightened camera viewfinder so it’s easier to see
  • Enabled Quick Capture for more Enterprise users IT policies
  • Bug fixes

Play Link

We haven’t had a chance to test the camera after the update since it just went live, but we’re excited to see Motorola taking updates this serious. Google took this route with a number of Google apps over the last year, a move that gives them more control over updates and features. We like it.

Cheers Rick and Patrick!

  • Josh Meade

    APK Please? would be appreaciated

  • moises1204

    i can not find it on the play store.

  • Great news. Hopefully OS updates start coming through the Play Store too. Oh wait, Microsoft and Apple already do that. CATCH. UP.

  • NexusMan

    Love Moto. Love Google.

  • Joshua Kirchmer

    is any one rooted, not taken the OTA, and seeing “incompatible with all your devices” on this link?

    • matt


  • THIS IS TRULY AMAZING! I already have the update! I love this phone more and more as time passes. Google, you are doing the right thing with Moto.

  • terry12s

    I’m hoping this way of updating will come to the Droid Maxx camera!

  • tharealoc

    My moto X doesn’t have any update for the camera. As stated earlier, this Dev doesn’t match Motorola’s Dev account. Motorola Mobility, LLC is what all the other apps are posted under. This app according to the screenshot is Motorola Mobility, INC

    I recommend don’t go looking for the update, wait for it to push to you

    • Suralin

      Except this might be showing for those that already got the OTA update. Verizon Moto-X here and I manually updated. I was able to get this app update.

      • tharealoc

        I’ve had the update. And that doesn’t change the fact that it is a different Dev account

  • Knoxie

    I wish they’d update it for the DROID lineup :/

    • bull3964

      My bet is we need the initial camera update first (which is coming soon.)

      If you go to the play store in a browser, it actually says that it’s “Installed” just not compatible. So, after the first update gets pushed, it will likely become compatible.

  • Paul Hansen

    Can someone pull the APK so I can test sideload on the 2013 Droid lineup. Thanks!

    • Paul Hansen

      Downvote… Lulz…

  • Droid Ronin

    Hmm…not supported on my T-Mobile Moto X?

  • Guest

    Makes me believe that the AOSP camera will be moving to the play store…

  • T S

    i’m surprised this doesn’t work for the MAXX, Ultra and Mini as well. .(just tried on my MAXX) 🙁

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      It probably will. My Moto X isn’t showing this update yet, so I’d say give it some time.

  • Woot! Thanks for the cameo!

  • fartbubbler

    even on the verge of the Nexus 5, I am completely satisfied and still in love with my Moto X. So encouraging to see recent updates like this, Touchless Control, etc. being sent out from Google to my phone via the Play Store!

  • Tyler Rynberg

    Not a big deal. Motorola has updated proprietary software through the Play Store for a while now. Still, nice to see. Now, Moto, where is 4.3 for my HD MAXX?

  • Adam Emshwiller

    now… if it will only update to 4.4 i’ll be happy 🙂

    • ddevito

      I’m happy without it – only because of how well the phone is optimized by Moto. With that said, I want 4.4 for one reason – to use Google Wallet tap-to-pay again.

  • Tim Swann

    that’s an awesome carrier workaround!

  • ddevito

    I truly love this phone, and Moto seems to be committed to keeping users happy – this is one of those examples. Not to mention Moto’s support (especially on Google+) has been astounding.

    This is such a smart move and undoubtedly under Google’s influence. The camera is very good since the update, and I can’t stress enough how great the call quality is. I thought I’d have Nexus envy by now but I don’t at all.

  • Adam Johnston

    What a nice surprise! I hope this is the future feature for updates rather than waiting for carriers to roll out their updates

  • Are we sure this is real? The actual Motorola Spotlight app is from Motorola Mobility LLC.. This is from Motorola Mobility Inc.

    • Uninstalled. I don’t trust this app. I need some confirmation from Moto.

      • CW Larson

        I agree, that is a little strange that they made an entirely different account to post another app…

      • Tim242

        You got a Moto X?

    • Seth Merritt

      This does look suspect now.


      That is strange.

    • jnt

      Interesting – the email and links all look identical to other Moto apps, but it is literally the only one by Motorola Mobility Inc that I can find (vs. LLC)

    • Mark Faustino

      When I clicked on the link, it gave me an “Update” option, no “Install” option. Unless shifty developers are able to disguise their app as updates…

      • jnt

        True – if it was a shady separate app, it would install a new camera apk and shouldn’t be able to update a current system app.

      • This has happened before, when developers had their keys stolen.

    • Adrynalyne


      LLC is developing add-on apps, and Inc. would be developing updates to roms, and apps within those roms.

      LLCs (at least in my experience) hire contract employees, not permanent, which would seem more likely that they do third party apps.

      • tharealoc

        Touchless controls was updated through the LLC account

        • Adrynalyne

          Well, there goes that theory.


          Of course, if the digital signature is the same… (and it is considering it gives update options) they are the real MCcoy.

  • combi06

    So I have the Verizon Moto X and when I go straight to the Play Store link from my Moto X it says “Your device isn’t compatible with this version” …Whaaaaaat?!?!?!

    • Reginald Jefferson

      If you’re up to date from the OTA that came out last week it won’t update since they’re the same update.

      • combi06

        Yea I haven’t installed that update yet (don’t want to lose root)

        • Suralin

          You don’t lose root if you used the original MotoRoot method and not the PWNMYMOTO method. If you use pwnmymoto, you’ll need to flash back to stock.

      • Suralin

        I forced the update by grabbing the zip file online and I was able to get this app update. You may need the OTA first in order to get this update.

  • Frettfreak

    i LOVE THIS!!!! I have been saying for YEARS that the OEMS need to do this with as much as they can.

  • JZ

    I see you’re using AIO on your Moto X! Would love to hear your thoughts on the service!

  • Blank slate

    Can’t download says my VZW moto x isn’t compatible , yet it says it’s already installed 🙁

    • combi06


    • Blue Sun

      Staged rollouts people!

      • Blank slate

        Doesn’t mean I have to like it lol

      • combi06

        Yea but why would it say ‘Not compatible with this version’?? During staged rollouts when u go to the app in the Play Store if the update is not ready for you yet it just says ‘Open’ and ‘Uninstall’ but never does it say ‘Is not compatible….’

        • Blue Sun

          It doesn’t make sense, I agree. But I have seen this occur on other apps. To me it seems that they haven’t created a condition built into Google Play that states the rollout hasn’t made it’s way to your device yet.

          • combi06

            I hope ur right!! I’ve had the ‘Camera Update’ pop up on my phone constantly now but can’t take it cause I dont wanna loose root. If this works then I would only need the Voice fix and I’ll bet set

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            The camera update was to more than just the app, the kernel was tweaked significantly too. Most likely, your device is “not compatible” because you are not on the latest OTA build. May be able to trick it via build.prop edits, but there is no guarantee that it would work without the newest kernel/framework/drivers/binaries/etc.

          • combi06

            You may be on to something there but…isn’t that the point of this update? To get the camera update without having to wait for the carriers? (say if VZW hadn’t still pushed out the update)…if not then this would be a ‘Second’ camera update I assume…

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Again, the OTA “camera update” was huge, and many system files, some of which can only be updated OTA, were touched in the process. To prevent any compatibility issues, this new camera update (through the Play Store) would only be available to the latest build, especially if it was tested on the earlier build and was found to have issues. So, if you want the better camera, you don’t have much choice here, at least unless/until a dev finds a way to force it to work.

          • combi06

            Crap! I guess im SOL then 🙁

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            At least unless/until another OTA is cracked (this one or a future one, though jcase already stated this OTA would be really tough), if you absolutely NEED permanent system write permissions.

    • Tony Spence

      Installed fine on my Verizon Moto X

  • eric

    Yeah. Let’s start getting the Droids caught up. Waiting for my soak test.

  • Jack3D

    App is incompatible with all of your devices (including my VZW MotoX).

    I wonder if it’s still capable of being blocked by the carrier??

    • Ratamacue2

      My VZW updated without issue.

      • Jack3D

        Probably just a rollout thing then…

      • ddevito

        Mine too

    • JRUIV

      I clicked on the Play Store link in this article from my Verizon Wireless moto X and it worked for me

    • Daniel Clifford

      Show’s it is compatible for me at first, but then in the drop down menu say’s it is not.
      EDIT: NVM, now shows that I am up to date.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Are you on the latest software version, 139.15.1? If not, that would probably be why it shows as incompatible. If you are on the latest OTA, then yeah, Play Store bugs suck 🙁

      • Jack3D

        Good call. Yes, I haven’t updated to the new OTA, so that’s probably it.

        I was going to safestrap this weekend.

  • mec

    lemme get photosphere, too, and i will be even happier

    • ddevito

      Photosphere belongs to the Nexus line, but if you really want it (as I did) you can simply sideload the .apk without issue.

      • mec

        did you end up with two galleries?

        • Adrynalyne

          You should, because the Nexus camera is built into the stock Android gallery.

        • ddevito


  • GentlemanScholar

    But I thought Google wasn’t going to have much of an impact on Motorola, that whole walled garden between them and all. /s

  • red014

    DROID Ultra/Maxx too?

  • PuttsMoBilesiCit
    • bagheadinc

      lol, I’m guessing you have a Droid Mini/Ultra/Maxx, cause I’m seeing the same thing. Seems we’ll need to wait for Moto to get around to us. 😛

      • PuttsMoBilesiCit

        Yup, Maxx

      • Jonathan N.

        Yeah I really hope they also make it available for the Droid line since they essentially have the same software… (Even the camera)

    • Exactly what I was thinking. Something is fishy.

  • Ant

    Thanks for the news Kellen. A nice distraction from the frenzy i’m dealing with that is the Nexus 5 lol.

  • GuidZilla

    Pretty brilliant.

  • Booyah

    Brilliant move. Well done Moto.

  • Aven

    Just updated this app! Awesome Moto!

  • brkshr

    Why the change from Motorola Mobility LLC to INC?

    • Frettfreak

      Cause Google likes to deal with inc. They are familiar with that and may provide a better tax structure for the way they run things.

      • brkshr

        That sounds good to me. Thanks

  • Fresh360

    Not a Moto X owner but this is really great…Google is a great influence…

  • Now if they can just get the process down to update the entire OS (4.2.2 —-> 4.3) this way, Google can throw a middle finger to all the carriers.

    • Weber

      I’d imagine that making the Moto software closed source on the Play Store would make updating the firmware a lot easier, since VZW won’t have to do much to it. Think about how fast the soak test went from testing to pushing out to customers. Things are looking up, it seems, thanks to Google.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Hoping that they having been laying the foundation for this exact type of update mechanism with the slow but steady increasing of the Google Play Services permissions. It already has every permission possible, and can give itself more permissions if it decides it needs them.

    • Adrynalyne

      They can’t due to the framework.

    • Josh Meade

      they skipped it and went to 4.4

  • Dragonscourgex

    Good move I think.

  • Kassidy Klink

    apk please?

  • Steve B

    Awesome, good job Goo….I mean Moto.

  • You guys write faster than I can hit refresh! Dang, you guys are ON it today!

    • Steve B

      They’re being fueled by the hype beast today.

    • This is what we train for!

      • Ej McCarty

        I wish Ron would train harder

      • Droidzilla

        I sure hope you’re playing the song, “You’re the best . . . around!” in DL HQ. Here it is in case you’re not:


      • Frettfreak

        Its cause everyone is on edge, had 2 POTS of coffee today frantically looking for NExus info….

  • Seth Merritt

    This is huge right? Someone agree with me immediately.

    • Shane Redman

      immediate enough?

      • Seth Merritt

        Pretty damn good.

    • Steve B


    • Seth Merritt

      Did moto announce this? The dev name doesn’t match up with their other apps.

  • MikeCiggy

    Great move. Very Google of them as well.

  • Shane Redman


    • SparkysShocker

      Does not offer the download option wonder if they will see the same treatment after they get the initial OTA fix

      • Jonathan N.

        That’s my guess too. And another thing I’m noticing on the comments here is that the app is appearing incompatible for Verizon Moto X owners.

        • TJWaterskier

          Verizon Moto X (DE) Installed just fine

        • David Verba

          I have a verizon Moto X and it d/l’d just fine

  • Bassdj

    Solid move, Moto.

  • Droidzilla

    Google’s been using this tactic a lot, lately. Completely bypasses the whole carrier approval process. The more stuff like this we see, the better!

    • Jeff Tycz

      Except when google does this the app that was already open source, becomes closed source

      • Frettfreak

        it was a camera app that was proprietary to moto. It was ALWAYS closed source. This isnt the AOSP camera app. This would be the same as Samsung or HTC releasing their camera app to the play store.

        • Jeff Tycz

          clearly you didn’t understand what I was saying….but thanks for playing

      • Adrynalyne

        Can you name a single application pushed through the play store from Google that was originally open source?

        • How about the Music player. Look, it’s misleading to say that once Google pushes an app to the play store, the app becomes closed source. It doesn’t, but once an app goes to the play store, the AOSP version gets left behind in limbo — Google just doesn’t update the AOSP version any more. I found this an amazing read:


          After reading this article, it’s hard to imagine Samsung leaving Android any times soon, unless it’s ready to replicate every service Google has created.

          • Adrynalyne

            They replaced it with an entirely different app though.

            It contains Google proprietary code in it, and therefore cannot be put on AOSP.

            They still offer the one that is open source though.

          • I agree with you, but I did not say they made the app closed source neither. I was saying “it’s misleading to say that once Google pushes an app to the play store, the app becomes closed source. It doesn’t” — but what Google did isn’t any better.

          • Adrynalyne

            Well, to be fair, there are many apps that get regular updates, despite Google Play store.

            The calendar, for instance, still gets updated. So does the gallery. Music player does get minor updates too, but its a completely different app, so yeah, there is a point there.

        • Jeff Tycz

          Calendar app, Music player,google search

    • abqnm

      And at least Motorola gets to take some of the good points from Google. This is GREAT news!

    • Yup. They deployed Google Play Services for this specific reason to bypass the device manufactures and wireless carriers with their slow updates. Makes sense to me since it provides the latest Google app updates to most, if not all, Android devices regardless the version of Android the device is running.

      • decidedtochangename

        Plus at the same time they are gutting Android (without Play services) of all the improvements and features. Leaving something less desirable for Amazon and others to work with.

        • Adrynalyne

          No they aren’t.

          Just because its on the Play Store doesn’t mean they don’t also go into stock Android releases.

          The source code that can be forked doesn’t include a lot of improvements, and never has. Stock Android gallery? Closed source. All Gapps are closed source. Google sync of anything is closed source, and so on. Google has always mixed open and closed source with retail releases.

          • decidedtochangename

            To my understanding actually it does. None of the Play Services/apps are part of AOSP Android.
            If an OEM tried to release a phone tomorrow without Google’s blessing with just AOSP Android there would be no Google services or apps on it, none.

          • Adrynalyne

            It has been that way since Android 1.5.

            Not sure why anyone would expect that to change now.

          • DKDigitally

            Technicalities… 😛

          • Adrynalyne

            Not really, LOL.

            OEMs even have access to the very latest Gapps in those private branches.

        • Amazon is utilizing Android AOSP as it was intended – forking and making its own ecosystem, API’s and apps. They don’t need all those Google Play Services considering Amazon wants control over the content from their store. AOSP releases does not include any of the Google Play Services apps, which is why AOSP ROM developers have to make separate Google App packages available for install – if they follow Google’s guidelines.

          Samsung is obviously working on creating their own apps, which copy functionality of Google apps, considering the amount of bloat on all of their phones. It’s possible that Samsung may consider going Amazon’s route in the future and start building their own app store but that would kick them out of the OHA (Open Handset Alliance). However, they are the most successful OHA partner with boatloads of cash to spend, so, the possibilities are endless for them.

          • Adrynalyne

            You know, technically NO rom developer is following Google’s guidelines for Gapps.

            The loophole was that you could backup the ones that came with your device and use those. CM used to have a script built in to do it. Google has grown complacent about the subject so packages are being offered for download.

            Google is within their right to serve CnDs to a bunch of people. I don’t think they will, but they could.

          • enigmaco

            samsung is also working on tizen to though, so I am curious about that.

        • Josh Meade

          well thats good. It pisses me off how amazon and samsung screw up the android expierence with their “TouchWiz” and “S features”

      • Droidzilla

        This x1000. Full OS updates are going to become less and less important, and carrier interference will be less and less of an issue. Google might even be able to Nexify the Android experience for things like Moto phones on Verizon.

        • Butters619

          Google just needs to move the stock launcher to Google Play.

          • I believe they will never do that. That’s a proprietary launcher which ties in heavily with Google Play Services.

    • Paul Hansen

      Can someone please pull the APK so we can test on the 2013 VZW Droids? Thanks!

      • Justin Lindh

        Agreed. It’s the only reason I care about the upcoming system update, since they’re not expected to bump the Android version.

        Well, that, and I hope they get around to fixing the capacitive buttons when on dock to not light up. But the camera is good enough for me at the moment.

        • Paul Hansen

          Agreed. I don’t have a dock so just the camera update would be a nice touch. I already installed the new radios.

    • goodidea

      Yeah I’m definitely interested in the way we’re starting to see the Play store used to update system stuff. Can’t wait to see exactly how the Google Play Experience launcher is going to work.

    • Adam Truelove

      Eventually I hope every piece of GUI from Android will be put in the play store. Sort of like Windows on top of DOS, or one of the many desktop GUIs available for Linux.

    • enigmaco

      Like the saying goes “if you want something done right do it yourself”. Glad google is taking more of a initiative to be proactive, and get past the games the carriers are playing.