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Moto X Actually Has an Awesome Green Notification Light Hidden Under the Earpiece

While Active Notifications may be one of the coolest parts of owning a Moto X, it was a little bit hard for some Android users to give up the notification LED light they grew to love so much. Thanks to some intrepid hackers over at XDA, not only did we find that the Moto X has a notification LED, but it can be enabled at your will with root permissions and some Tasker code. 

This elusive LED light has been hiding in plain sight the whole time. As programmed by Motorola, we are only supposed to see this alien-like green LED come on when the device is so extremely low on battery that it can’t even power up the screen to show you the “low battery” symbol. That is a pretty boring use for a notification light that looks so cool, so a thread popped up on figuring out how to harness this power.

XDA user carock figured out a string of commands that you could plug into Tasker to control this LED whenever you wanted it. Root is a necessity though, so do not go trying this if you do not already have your device rooted. However, if you have that and feel comfortable with Tasker set-up, we have a video that walks you through getting this set up. As always with rooting, be aware of what you are getting into before deciding to tackle this project.

Would you use something like this if Motorola allowed you to toggle between this and Active Notifications?

Via: XDA

    What was moto thinking when they took the regular notification light out of the game? I thought just about everyone used and liked the notification light.

  • watchthesky

    I’ve had my Moto X for a few weeks now and I still miss the LED light from the RAZR HD. I love active notifications when I have the phone by me but it’s a bit of a pain when it’s farther away. Motorola Connect helps but most of my messages are through Twitter and not SMS.

  • jimmyf101

    I wish that the active notifications icons were in their actual app colors, not just plain ‘ol black and white. Please change that, Motorola.

    • Japneet Dhaliwal

      That’s how it gets the great battery life. Besides, some icons would look terrible because they wouldn’t fit in with the minimalistic and flat nature of the rest of the active display tech.

  • Garrett Kinsman

    WHY does it not use this stock?????? that looks sick

  • Tony Francis Tirona Degan

    kind of a pointless hack if you ask me. active notifications was created for the soul purposes of a) providing a better use than a notification light, and b) using less power than a notification light. if you really need a notification light on your phone, wouldn’t it have been easier for you to just purchase a different device that would suit your needs? that’s like me buying a galaxy s4 and hacking it to do active notifications. possible: maybe. practical: no.

    • Famouz Starz

      moto should give users the option whether or not to use active notifications or led notification.
      1. i have a droid maxx with active notifications which works fine when the phone is near or if i unpocket it.
      2. active notifications is point less if your not within a few feet from your phone as you wont see the pulse in a bright room.
      3. led notifications can be seen almost across a large room, separate colors for different apps, i know whats what not a single color like the active pulse.
      4. why would any one hack a s4 to get a pulse notification there is already an app for that

      • Tony Francis Tirona Degan

        I guess you both missed the point of my comment. yes you can install an app to do that on your lg g2, but a) i

      • Tony Francis Tirona Degan

        better example: that’s like buying a moto x and “hacking” it to act and run exactly like an iphone, instead of just doing the more logical thing, like JUST BUYING A DAMN IPHONE. see how it makes more sense?? buy moto x…. no notification light…. hack to enable notification light. OR JUST BUY A PHONE THAT HAS A NOTIFICATION LIGHT. and if you’re gona tell me that you shouldnt need to get a different phone because blah blah blah, let me ask you this.. if it wasnt for the features of the moto x (specifically the active notifications and/or touchless controls), then what other reasons would you have to have gotten it over another phone?? because spec-wise, it’s not a leader. and feature-wise it’s not as robust as other phones either. so here’s to assuming you bought it BECAUSE OF THE FEATURES IT HAS over other phones. so in essence you want to undermine the integration of those features by manipulating the phone to do something the other phones already do, and that the moto x didnt really want to do (or what motorola designed the phone not to do).

        • Famouz Starz

          calm down your active notifications down its just a phone 🙂 so basically your also saying you use the phone completely stock no third apps (games and crap not included)

          • Tony Francis Tirona Degan

            i cant argue when you’re in such a good mood ahahaha

    • Bald_Sasquach

      Yeah! Who wants more options?! Also it was pretty easy to “hack” my G2 into having active notifications. Check it: I went to the play store, searched “dynamic notifications,” installed it, and boom! Active notifications with whatever background I want and an LED so I can see if I have notifications while my phone is charging 15 feet away.

  • 8bitremixguy

    To the author of this post: Droid Life and Android Authority are reporting it wrong, the green LED does not, and will not, come on for notifications at this time. It only works in select situations when it’s charging

    source: i’m the guy who made the video in the bottom of the article

  • C-Law

    I don’t believe this part about the green light coming on when the display can’t turn on from low battery. I’ve had my vzw Dev edition moto x since October and have been using it several times when it was on 1% and plugged in the charger and never has this light come on. I’ve also woken up to the phone once on 1%, plugged it in and still no green light. If I waited any longer, pretty sure the shut down screen would come on. What am I doing wrong

    • Japneet Dhaliwal

      You have to let the shut down screen come on. or come off rather.

  • Hothfox

    Meh. I’m sure this will be useful for some (most?) people, but I just don’t see it. Active Notifications gives me much more information than a single-color LED light.

  • fermin

    Doors this light also come included on the new Droid lineup phones?

  • Chris M

    Got the Moto X because it was close enough to vanilla android that i did not need to root and for active notifications. this is a step backwards imo.

  • Daniel

    This makes me like the MotoX even more, though it would be really nice if Motorola just let the system use the light as a setting rather than the effort this currently takes :-

    • NemaCystX

      well now that the public knows it exists, even though its in the manual (which most people don’t read = me) maybe if enough people “yell” loud enough, they might hear us and give us an option to use it as a notification LED or system level API access of some sort.

      • Tony Francis Tirona Degan

        why ruin the experience and design/software choices they gave us, when you could have easily just bought a different phone?? it makes no sense to me and i agree with a comment up there: it’s just a step back from the innovation they created with this phone.

  • NemaCystX

    Do we know if its an RGB led?

    • Mojor Izin

      yes we do know.

      • NemaCystX

        so it is or isn’t? :-/

        • Mojor Izin

          it’s not

    • The answer’s in the title. HINT: Green LED.

  • Raven

    Although I find it very cool that there is a LED hidden under there, is it only green? That is boring and not very useful. What I miss about my old phone is that I had text messages color coded and I could see the LED from across the room. If it was Pink it was my wife, if it was Orange it was a close friend, if it was just blue I could ignore it. The fact that active notifications seem to be all boring black and white on my Moto X rather disappoints me. Various colors are so much easier to distinguish from a distance.

    • Liderc

      Yeah, one of my favorite features is being able to color code notification lights. It helps a ton to know who has texted/called/emailed.

      • LionStone

        Like a Blackberry! 🙂

    • Paul Hansen

      It can likely support the full range of Moto LED colors from the past but seems to be locked down. Skrillax was looking into it for a while so that it could be used with CM11 but I think he’s shelved it for now.

    • Raven

      I used mmc0 that I found in xda instead of battery-charging-or-full that the video showed and now I have a “HDD” activity light that blinks when the internal memory is being accessed, very geeky cool.

  • morgan boyle

    if this isnt about the real rosewood back, im not interested.

  • Gr8Ray

    This is stupid. CES going on, and this is the best you could do?

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      I just saw the end of Xbox One. 4.2 million!

  • bobbymay1

    Discovered the green light this morning, went to google what it meant, and apparently everyone else just discovered it as well!

  • AbbyZFresh

    Is there a real use for this though? The active display already does what i need pretty well.

    • Mike Aurin

      Need? No. Android is all about choices though and this just demonstrates the point.

      • chris_johns


  • StuckOnVerizonForever

    Cool, but won’t it affect the battery?

  • Jerry

    Does the new DROID family possess this fancy light as well? Hardware is nearly identical…wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Paul Hansen


    • jamaall

      yes, it is in the droid maxx owners manual

    • Nolemiwi Witawemat

      It’s right in the users guide. Check it out 🙂

    • Lucky Armpit

      According to the xda thread, it does. But that was only one poster who mentioned it early in the thread and no one else acknowledged it. Would be cool, but I tell ya, I love my Active Notifications.

    • Mojor Izin


  • Suman Gandham

    This piece of news has actually made my day. Long live the NLED!!

  • Bryan Burch

    Really need a 4.4 root for non-dev Moto-x. The root path option that currently exists is way too complex. New exploit needed, for sure.

    • morgan boyle

      i had waited and waited for a wood moto x but now with root being such an issue, im tempted to just buy a Dev monolith.

      • Bryan Burch

        Customization is exactly why I didn’t get the Dev.

        • jab416171

          My reason was price

        • Joaquin Cerritos

          will there be one for droid maxx as well or just the moto x?

    • agree!

    • DrBenji

      It’s easy. Read the instructions twice. Takes about an hour.
      It looks a lot more intimidating than it is. It’s not like exploits just grow on trees.

    • Fozzybare

      unless you find an exploit there will not be another one. jcase has already said he will not release another exploit.

      • Bryan Burch

        Alas, my haxxor skills are weak–I’d never know where to start to find a new exploit. I want the benefits of root and I’m willing to paypal the devs who do the work (some people are like that). Buying the dev phone though wasn’t an option.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      its actually not too bad. Don’t use rsd. Fxz back to 4.2.2(camera update), root it, wpnomo it, restore it to 4.2.2 again (to use the 4.4 root you cannot be rooted already.), accept the upgrade to kitkat, then copy his code,instal su, reboot. Thats pretty much what the instructions say(or atleast what i did) with no code. and i know, i didnt make it any easier.

      • Bryan Burch

        I’m thinking about it, but wow, what a mountain to climb for root. All I really want to do is tether.

      • chris_johns

        what is this fxz u speak of…i tried rsd last night but it didnt recognize my phone…i rebooted my computer and got the blue screen of death…instead of getting mad i unplugged it and went to bed n ill deal with it tom bc i wont be home tonight…not looking forward to it ugh…one thing on top of another sticking with 4.2.2 root until i can get my comp good and fig out a dif way to flash back to 4.2.2 update without rsd light

        • Big_EZ

          I’m not even sure how to use FXZ files any other way besides with RSD Lite.

    • chris_johns

      actually was superrr confused at first and a lil overwhelmed…honestly its not that bad…i just didnt know what telnet was but fig it out and how to work it and it wasnt bad at all…but the 4.4 update is a hassle ive yet to do

    • 640k

      I’m writing a script to automate the process. Have to tweak the telnet sessions then it will be on xda. Stay tuned.

      • Bryan Burch

        Epic news!

        • 640k

          Up at xda if anyone cares. ☺

          • Bryan Burch

            Thanks! I’ll be using it tonight. Looked at the 4.2.2 DL’s, how do I know which is the right one for my VZW 1060 (easting on xda)

          • 640k

            Once you’ve identified your carrier, select the correct version. Vzw has two for 4.2.2. Just download the newer one, or if different carrier, the one with the most hit counts.

      • dsass600

        I love you

  • AndrewScottRox

    Anyone have a solid root method for the Verizon Moto x? Already on 4.4.

    • TheDave1022

      Only way is to go back to 4.2.2 and root from there

    • dazz1996

      Slapmymoto look it up on XDA

    • Jared Denman

      I’m still waiting on a better method too. I miss root (especially for ads), but it is way more manageable on the moto x without root!

  • ZeeX1

    I’ll pass… Active notifications is really all what I need. Plus what really differentiates the Moto X from Sammy for example, is that it doesn’t have to have all the damn features on the planet and then use 20% of it. So no I’m not amused by having to undergo this tasker “project” to get something I already dumped for a much awesome feature

    • Mojor Izin

      what does this have to do with active notifications? the LED light isn’t for notifications. it’s so you can see your phone charging from a distance and see when it’s full

      • 8bitremixguy

        Can confirm. Droid Life and Android Authority are reporting it wrong, the green LED does not, and will not, come on for notifications at this time. It only works in select situations when it’s charging

        source: i’m the guy who made the video in the bottom of the article

  • rotard777

    Yeah when this first came out everyone thought it was hardwired to the battery and not usable, but looks like it is.
    I’d like to see it function as a fully charged indicator, that’s about the only thing I miss about active notifications. Or there should be a pulsating fully charged icon.

    • Mojor Izin

      there’s a trigger that let’s you make it a fully charged indicator. also there’s on that makes it turn on while charging but off when full

    • 8bitremixguy

      Try this:

      battery-charging-blink-full-solid >/sys/class/leds/charging/trigger

      may seem counterintuitive but carock said it only is on when charged

      source: im the guy who made the video shown in the article

  • Ry Sav

    saw this a week or two ago on XDA, seems like they have come a long way and figured some stuff out… I LIKE!

  • MichaelFranz

    Same go for Droid line or no?

    • I wouldn’t try it unless you know what you’re looking for.

      • MichaelFranz

        Just curious…i lost root with the 4.4.2 update as i was part of the soak test. Womp Womp. I miss root

        • Fahad Beg

          there is a 4.4.2 update coming??

          • MichaelFranz

            it was pulled. reports of it bricking some devices. I had no issues. maybe a few small ones but whatever. I wanted to get in wiht the soak so i went with stock. hoping for a new root methos with straight 4.4. otherwise you need to follow slapmy moto procedure.

          • Nolemiwi Witawemat

            There were soak test emails sent out for the Ultra and Maxx over the weekend, so I suspect a fixed update is on it’s way shortly.

          • Fahad Beg

            Nice. hopefully they do a 4.4.2 update for Moto x

      • Mojor Izin

        it’s exactly the same (except for location of led). the softwrae is like 99.9% the same between the vzw moto x and the droids. trying things out is why android’s so cool

  • Maxim∑

    So when the X is very low on power it flashes green? makes sense

    • socarwolverine

      When it’s low on power and charging.

      • I think he’s commenting that the usual “low power” color is red and “full” is green.

        • ToddAwesome

          Has anyone actually seen the light in action? I’ve run my phone completely out of juice a few times and I’ve yet to see it.

          • I’ve never seen it, the phone has to be insanely low on battery but enough to get the light to flash. Probably a delicate balance since the Moto X’s screen doesn’t take that much power to function anyway.

          • ToddAwesome

            That’s the odd thing, the first time I ran the phone down to 0% the screen wouldn’t come on at all while plugged in, it got to the point that I actually began to panic. It wouldn’t even show me the battery charging pic on the screen. I have to imagine that would fall under the “low enough” category that the light should come on. Eh, whatevs I suppose, I just wanna see it once to believe it! ha

          • tyguy829

            I got it to show on my dev edition. killed the battery until it shut off, then booted it into the bootloader and let that sit on until that shut off. Repeated until I could no longer even get the bootloader to show up. then i plugged it in

          • leffer

            Totally worth it.

          • Zach B.

            Wife and I have both been to like 1-2% and never seen this light, charging or not.

          • Supposedly this is for when the battery is too low to even have the phone boot up, and too low for the screen to flash the “low battery” symbol.

          • Zach B.

            Oh gotcha. That’s a bit more clear… and daggum I don’t think I’ve ever let a battery get THAT low.

          • Detonation

            From the user manual:

            Low Battery LED:
            This LED lights up when you plug in your
            charger and the smartphone’s battery level is too low to
            power on the display. It means that your smartphone is
            charging and will be ready to use shortly.

          • ToddAwesome

            been there, haven’t seen it, come on Moto, show me the blinky!

          • Zach B.

            You know, I see them, I throw them away… but it NEVER occurs to me that phones actually come with user manuals that might actually have informative info… like this!

          • TSK

            I saw it very early on when I had my X, within the first week of having it and was awfully confused. I got it to come one twice and was able to snap a few pictures way back when but have not seen it since October maybe? Either way I love the Active Notifications and do not have root. Would like this for charging, cause there is no real easy way to tell if it is fully charged or not but I’ve grown accustomed to it.

  • NotARapper

    But I’m not a rapper

    • For some reason I don’t believe you…

    • jjadams


      • Noice

        I’m Noicing your Noice!

        • joseph barrientos


        • Riz Virani

          I’m the noice guy.

    • Roy Chao


  • Adrynalyne

    Pretty cool.