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Motorola Updates Touchless Control for Moto X – Expands Commands While Phone is Locked and More

Motorola pushed out an update to its Touchless Control app through Google Play this afternoon, making it more powerful while your phone is in a locked state with a PIN or password. Additional Google Now commands should now work with your phone sitting idle and locked.

Motorola is also giving you the ability to speak your PIN through Touchless Control and introduced a new tone when you say “OK Google Now.” It does appear to say that this new update is only available to devices running Android 4.4 “Kit Kat,” so the new DROID family is out of luck until Motorola and Verizon can push that out. 

The full “What’s new” list:

  • More Google Now commands now work without having to unlock your phone first. Personal information such as emails, messages, and contacts are still protected by your PIN or password.
  • Say your pin to unlock your phone when using Touchless Control
  • New listening tone when you say “OK Google Now”
  • Compatible only with Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Bug fixes

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Cheers JBartcaps!
  • Scott H

    I’ve been giving the X serious consideration. Looking at reviews, one big complaint (among many raving reviews) is call quality. Is that still a common problem, or has that been improved via any updates?

  • Timmy

    Touchless Control question: In all the examples, the app talks back to you, telling you things. On mine, it types back on the keyboard but does not speak. Is it supposed to speak? I have 4.4 Kit Kat and all the latest updates but no talk. Any thoughts? Thanks so much…

    • watchthesky

      In the google now settings there’s a voice option and you have to turn speech output on, if it’s not already.

  • GregSki86

    I just got a new moto x on Verizon with kit kat :-). However, my free mobile hotspot app no longer works, seems like Verizon blocked it. Does anyone know how to get around this without having to shell out $20 a month? I also have unlimited data if that makes a difference.

  • brianem

    This phone is so much nicer than my galaxy nexus. good grief it was worse than I thought it was after getting my hands on a real phone.

  • ricketyrick

    Does anyone need a $150 off motomaker code? I have an extra one that expires tomorrow.

  • nate

    I think we need a poll to see what phones everyone has now.. A lot of moto xs. Lol

  • GregSki86

    My wife and I both got moto x’s cyber because of the cyber Monday sale. Def impressed with Motorola over this phone

  • Ajax Dono

    Motorola is back baby. These guys are unbelievable. It’s like John Travolta’s comeback in pulp fiction.

    Upgraded to Moto X Dev from Galaxy S3.

  • Todd Bettenhausen

    Are new Moto X’s shipping with Kit Kat yet?

    • gooner13

      Got mine 2 days ago. Not shipped with kit Kat. Started to download update immediately tho.

      • Todd Bettenhausen

        They are now shipping with Kit Kat. The Verizon model I received last week did, anyhow.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths


  • Pat Leck

    This is some really cool technology right now. but they will just have something else out in a couple of months.


  • aaron

    anyone know how to “say the pin” can’t figure out the right sequence

  • watchthesky

    Can’t seem to get the pin to unlock with touchless control. Do you have to say something first?

  • MikeSaver

    What does this mean?

    “New listening tone when you say “OK Google Now””

    • Tiger He

      There is a tone right after you “OK Google Now” to acknowledge that it is listening for a command next.

  • John Garlits

    I wish you could use a custom unlock phrase, or at least drop the “Now” part of it.

    • watchthesky

      I never said now when I recorded it so I just say OK Google and it seems to work fine.

    • NexusMan

      I actually did say “Now” when I recorded it, but it still allows me to just say “Ok Google.”

    • NexusMan

      Just discovered, it’s working with just “OK Google,” with me because I’m using the Google Experience Launcher.

  • jg

    I tried to update my Droid MAXX with this in the play store and it was already installed. It says it only works on 4.4, but all the new commands are working with my 4.2.2

    • traumadog

      Which version # is your app? I have and I don’t seem to have any new commands…

  • clobberedchina

    Dear Motorola,
    I take back all the crappy stuff I said about you on Cyber Monday.
    Love the phone.

    • NexusMan


  • cmdub

    got my moto x on thursday and im never going back to a phone that doesnt have active display. i’ve only been using it for a day and its something that ill never be able to leave

    • Droid4Life

      I feel the same exact way. I was initially scared to leave the LED light behind but I don’t miss it one bit and The Moto X is the best phone I have had!

      • cmdub

        its so great and it runs really smooth now and if its still just as smooth or close to being as smooth and quick a year from now then thats awesome

        • NexusMan

          Also got mine on Thursday and loving it like you guys. One “glitch” that I’m noticing though, and I’m curious as to whether others have noticed this also, when I scroll very fast through the app drawer or through widgets, the graphics don’t keep up, and the screen goes blank until they can catch up and reappear. I’m wondering if this happens to you guys too, or if it’s something I have installed that’s causing the lag.

          • cmdub

            negative ghostrider, just did it on mine and there wasn’t any lag. check ur apps or at worst just do an FDR and see if it fixes it. i FDR’d mine after it updated to 4.4 to try and fix an unrelated issue and it runs real smooth

          • NexusMan

            Damn. Just spent all day setting mine up!

          • NexusMan

            Ahhhh! Looks like I’ve discovered the culprit. I’m using the Google Experience Launcher, and it seems the lag only exists with that. I switched back to the standard launcher, and it’s swiping just fine. Also discovered that the GEL is why I can get my phone to respond to me with just “OK Google.” When I switched back to the standard launcher, I still have to say “OK Google Now.”

          • Darin

            Go back through the setup and just say “OK Google” when training it. I’ve only had the phone for two days but, but it’s understood me every time, even when the plunge was in my jacket pocket.

  • oaklandj

    I absolutely adore my Moto X. I’ve owned a half-dozen smartphones (iPhone, several other Androids) and this is in a class by itself.
    The build quality is also phenomenal – so expensive looking and feeling.

    • clobberedchina

      It really is something, isn’t it? It just screams quality.

    • NexusMan

      It’s so funny, because despite the 1080p race, I’ve to this day still loved my Galaxy Nexus screen, and the Moto’s makes it pale in comparison.

      • Alex

        I had the same experience. Went from Gnex to Moto x. SIde by side the difference is amazing. I was content with the Gnex-I really was. But I can’t go back. As for people bemoaning the fact that it’s not 1080: they must have really acute eyesight, I can’t see a damn difference. And the active display is great. I can take the phone out of my pocket and it flashes the time and any notifications without me having to do a thing. Nice gadget all the way around.

  • mattybeee

    It’s so nice to have a phone that the manufacturer is paying attention to. I spent far too long on a phone that the manufacturer forgot about – I’m looking at you GNex!

    • John Garlits

      I know that feels! On my last few days of that bugger. My Moto X from Republic Wireless is waiting for me at home right now. Contract on Gnex done on the 15th!

  • KH

    Anyone else having an issue w/ their Moto X going black screen and unusable randomly for minutes at a time? Super annoying and just happens.

    • oaklandj

      No. Sounds like it might need repair.

  • Michael Quinlan

    I ordered a Nexus 5 during Motorola’s Cyber Monday fiasco, and at noon that same day I was able to order a GSM Dev Ed Moto X. The more I use both devices, the more I lean toward the Moto X. Fast OTA updates, combined with all the updates that have been de-coupled from the OTA, are really pulling me toward Moto. The X offers features the N5 can never deliver, like Active Display and Touchless Controls, but what the N5 offers that the X doesn’t can be addressed with software. Moto hit a home run with the X, and continues to deliver over and over again. Way to go Moto!

    • ĴⒶ₡Ҝ

      Is the Nexus 5 noticeably faster?

      • guesswhat

        no not really..and N5 screen is bad ,,washed out colors and bad viewing angles ..X has much more vivid display and better viewing angles

        • NexusMan


      • Paul Hansen

        Not really. Most of Android and its apps are designed for dual core.

    • zurginator

      I prefer the screen, design, and price of the N5… but I really like some of the options that the Moto X has. It’s a really rough decision for me to make right now.

  • NexusMan

    This is so dope. So I finally am a Moto X owner as of yesterday, and already after opening it last night, I got an update to Kit Kat, an update for the camera, and update to Active Notifications, an update to Touchless Controls, an update to Motorola Connect, and NOW THIS…ANOTHER update to Touchless Controls. I’m loving Moto right now.

  • Curtis

    I went to update this and 6 other Google apps were available for update…! This can’t be real!

  • Patrick Chapman

    Ok, dumb question…. Do I have to do anything special to unlock the phone by saying the pin?

    • Mark2134

      Try sending a text while locked. It will prompt you to say or type pin

      • NexusMan

        That is true. However, when I ask it to do other things, like say, “show me a picture of….” It opens Google and shows the pic, then once you clear that pic, the phone is unlocked. (Don’t know if they meant to have that happen)

  • kixofmyg0t

    “It does appear to say that this new update is only available to devices
    running Android 4.4 “Kit Kat,” so the new DROID family is out of luck”

    Not all of us 😉

    • FragDroid

      Do tell……

  • Richard Giordano

    C’mon Motorola and Verizon update the DROID Family already !

    • jg

      Supposed to be coming in January.

  • 2Berad

    can the droid people get some kitkat love…. really moto.

    • John Garlits

      I’d pin that one on Verizon. Case in point: Galaxy “Nexus.”

      • 2Berad

        Ya I hear you on that but Motorola pulled some strings getting the Moto X updates so fast it would be nice if all moto products got the same treatment.

        • Jason B

          They probably convinced Verizon that the Moto X would be the test bed for Kit Kat, so their precious Droids wouldn’t have the bugs associated with Kit Kat’s release. I have a feeling they’ll jump straight to 4.4.2.

  • Travis Walls

    That’s creepy. I was just griping yesterday when I tried to get my X to set a reminder for something, and I had to stop what I was doing and pick up the phone to unlock it to proceed. It’s like they’re… always listening.

  • Suralin

    Awww.. and I bought the Moto Skip so I didn’t have to say my pin, haha.

    • BlackMaGiC1o0

      Your Moto X didnt come with one? They shipped me a skip with my Moto X for free.

      • TheDrunkenClam

        Mine didn’t come with one (moto maker x on vzw)

        • BlackMaGiC1o0

          Yea same thing got a moto x on vzw with moto maker. I guess I got lucky or maybe it was a promotional thing.

      • Suralin

        Is yours the developer edition?

        • BlackMaGiC1o0

          Nope got Moto X through moto maker on VZW.

      • NexusMan

        They stopped shipping the Skip for free when they started the Cyber Monday/Holiday sale. I bought a skip too, because I wanted one didn’t resent paying for it one bit, since I got $150 (possibly $200 since I was planning on waiting for the wood edition) off of the phone.

        • BlackMaGiC1o0

          Oh ok that’s what it was then. Cause I did it the day moto maker went live for VZW.

  • BeejRich

    “Only on 4.4 kitkat” no love for the new droids 🙁

    • jg

      It’s working on my vzn MAXX. Try going to the play store.

      • traumadog

        Which version do you have? Mine says I’m up-to-date at and doesn’t have the listening tone – and I’m not sure which commands are allowed now.

        • jg

          3.15 is the same version I have, but in the description, it says only 4.4 compatible yet is installed already with the new commands working. None of them did before.

          • traumadog

            Well, the only command I can use with the screen locked is the call one. All the others trigger the “unlock phone” screen.

      • Paul Hansen

        Same. Up and running on my Maxx

  • Flat_Stanley

    I wish they would list which commands exactly

    • traumadog

      That would be ideal – especially since they didn’t say which version of the app has the updated commands…

  • Jeff Tycz

    doesn’t saying you pin out loud kind of defeat the purpose of having a pin?

    • Adrynalyne

      Would you use voice controls in a group of people though?

      I wouldn’t…lol.

    • Devin Miller

      Not if you’re by yourself…

  • Kyle Miller

    Wait. VZW and Moto have not updated the DROID Family yet to Kit Kat? LOL What? How does that happen?

    • Adrynalyne

      Well, first Motorola sends them the update.
      Then they sit on it, pretending to test.

      That is how it happens. I am not sure where this idea of the DROID line getting priority updates came from, but its not true.

      • Kyle Miller

        Well we all know the VZW waiting process. But how did the Moto X, which cam out after the Droid Ultra family, received Kit Kat way early than normal? I thought once the partnership between the two would bolster the update process a lot faster on ALL Moto products. Crazy!

        • zurginator

          Because Motorola owns all rights to the X and can pull strings – meanwhile Motorola probably signed a 5+ year contract with Verizon for the Droid line, and Verizon pulls all the strings there.

    • BlackMaGiC1o0

      This is how it’s always been with VZW phones. Nothing new here lol.

    • Radgatt

      The update is probably bring held because the phone isn’t screaming DROID!

  • disqus_Cc3WecARt4

    Motorola is in beastmode right now.

    • Maxim∑

      Republic Wireless needs to hurry up with 4.4…. Moto is moving fast

      • John Garlits

        For real! Mine is coming today. I heard though this update might just work with 4.2, at least that it does on the similar Vz Droid MAXX line (comment above). Have you tried?

        • Maxim∑

          yeah, it says that I need for 4.4 in order to update unfortunately which sucks. the good news is sprints moto X received Android 4.4 recently so republic Wireless should have it also soon

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          ▲▉▲■ ▲■▲▉ ▲■▲▉ ▲■▲▉ ▲■▲■ ▲■▲▉▲■▲■ ▲■▲▉ ▉The X offers features the N5 can never deliver, like Active Display and Touchless Controls, but what the N5 offers that the X doesn’t can be addressed with software.

    • Jeff Martinez

      Seriously thinking of selling the Nexus 4 and buying one. The Moto X is the only phone that’s making me rethink that whole “Nexus or nothing” philosophy. Bravo Motorola!

  • jay

    wish my nexus 5 could have this

  • Ayyy

    Set up my X yesterday and I gotta say, I’ve never had a phone with so much special attention. So many phone specific updates, camera, etc, etc. This phone is simply amazing right now, Moto is going in for the kill in 2014. Literally no jank like every other Android phone known to man…

    BTW, all updates this week seem to hit my phone immediately. No more staged roll outs or….?

    • sirmeili

      I’m really loving how fast updates are hitting my new MotoX as well (I just got it Wed). I amazes me how much they can update without having to do an actual firmware update. All companies should take notice and start doing this (I’m sure a lot do, but it’s just awe inspiring how fast things can change).

      • Matthew Dickinson

        Love how Moto decided to pull a lot of the frequently updated apps out of the firmware and run them separate. Great way to bypass the carriers and get the users updates faster.

    • I can’t wait to get my hands on mine! I ordered it through Moto-Maker using the delayed cyber-monday promo code but it still hasn’t come in! The wait is killer especially with all the news about updates that seem to be coming out daily!

      • Ayyy

        I didn’t hear a peep out of Moto on my moto maker phone either. Then all of a sudden I got an email at 11pm saying it was shipped. Then I found out they overnighted it via FedEx and got it the next morning!

        • sirmeili

          That’s exactly what happened to mine. Tuesday night I got an email that it was shipped and it was here the next morning. I was so psyched!

        • Mezocy101

          Same with me. Ordered on Monday, they said est . shipping date of 12/18 , it came yesterday!

    • DisGuy

      I love it too!!

    • Raven

      I am having a problem with Motorola updates on my new Moto X. None of the ones that have been mentioned here showed up for me when I went into “My apps” to check for updates, but as I have gone into each of “Touchless Control”, “Motorola Active”, “Motorola Camera”, and “Motorola Assist” I have found updates waiting for me. Does anyone know how can fix updates not showing up for me or refresh something to make them show up? It makes me wonder what else I am missing.

      • Ayyy

        Same here. They slowly trickle onto your phone. Meaning you might get an app update here and there or a notification explaining what these Moto apps do and how to activate it. I also had a bunch of the bloatware install all of a sudden. The phone didn’t have much when I got it then like 15 apps started downloading all of a sudden. Such as google drive, google translate, moto assist, moto connect, nfl mobile, quick office and a couple verizon apps.

        • NexusMan

          None of those, other than the Verizon apps are bloatware. Stock Google devices ship with the Google apps. And the Moto apps are baked into this device.

      • NexusMan

        When I 1st activated the phone, the Moto app updates didn’t show up for me either. I had to go to the Play Store, search for “Motorola,” and then they showed up, and I manually updated them from there. After that 1st time, they now show up with my regular list of apps, and I get prompted to update them like I should.

  • mswansonxi

    “Okay Google Now: Define ‘wewt’.”

  • head

    Say my pin to unlock my phone. Cant wait to use that one