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Moto X Feature Request: Dear Motorola, Please Copy AcDisplay’s Handling of Multiple Notifications

Yes, a new feature request is ready! A couple of weeks back, we ran our first feature request that begged for a third action button to be added to Gmail notifications. Today, we’re asking Motorola to take a serious look at how AcDisplay has taken the power of their Active Display feature from the Moto X and then improved upon it by allowing users to fully manage notifications. 

A little background – AcDisplay started out as an incredibly minimal Active Display clone that brought pieces of the Moto X to all other Kit Kat devices. It initially didn’t do much, and was really just a way for you to get your screen to light up and inform you like a Moto X that something had arrived. Thanks to a recent update, it is now my current favorite app of the year, when I’m not using my Moto X, of course.

The update introduced management of multiple notifications. Moto X owners will know that if you have multiple notifications waiting for you, Active Display will only let you act upon the recent or most important. The rest, sit in a tray at the bottom that can only be accessed once you fully unlock your device.

Screenshot_2014-03-12-11-01-09 Screenshot_2014-03-12-11-01-15 Screenshot_2014-03-12-11-01-27

With the latest update to AcDisplay, you start off with the most recent notification as the actionable middle button. With a swipe upward, you can jump right into that specific notification, just like on the Moto X. Should you decide that you can ignore that notification for now, a simple swipe to the left or right will dismiss it and then bring up your next notification. With the Moto X, a swipe to the left or right turns your phone back off and is somewhat of a wasted gesture.

To take it up another notch, AcDisplay also dismisses notifications from your notification pulldown as they are dismissed from the AcDisplay screen. So rather than swiping them away and then finding them still sitting in your notification bar, you can clean up your entire notification load without ever entering the notification bar or unlocking your phone. It’s brilliant.

So, Motorola, we are assuming that you are considering new features for Active Display. If you need inspiration, look no further than AcDisplay.

Here is a link to app.

If you have other general Android or device specific feature requests that you would like to see us write up, be sure to hit us up.

  • Dacowick

    Link send me to a version 1.2…

  • RustyTechGuy

    Works nicely on my HTC One at first I though something was wrong I would push the power button and it would be at my standard lock screen. Then I realized stupid me it doesn’t replace your lock screen it only comes with new notifications….Early morning no coffee yet.

  • John Davids

    Eh I dunno. I feel like we are making too many mini-ecosystems and giving the same functionality to all of them. Your active display not give you enough info? Maybe tapping the wake button to access your 5 lockscreen widgets may give you the information you desire. Still not what you needed? Unlock the device for your homescreen widgets. Still not enough? Launch the app.

    Listen, I get that all these mini-ecosystems have their places and reasons for existing, but I think its getting a little silly. Active display is and should remain supremely minimalist. Frankly it shouldn’t be actionable at all. If I am forced to touch my screen, just give me the whole goddamn phone please and not these nested little unnecessary and redundant information repositories.



  • Brandon

    I remember having this on my S4, then I got the X and loved it. I’ve had it for about 2 months and I’m bored with it already. Gonna use my first jump to go to a phablet.

  • SBH14

    I don’t care what Motorola do with their active display. If they can’t be bothered to supply 32 Gb models to the UK Market then i can’t be bothered to buy their products.

  • Adam Truelove

    But don’t copy its bugs. Seriously, sometimes AcDisplay refuses to open an app from sliding to a notification. It simply won’t open pics in hangouts at all.

  • Drew

    I love my mid spec Moto X. It’s the fastest phone on the market right now with 4GB of RAM and Snapdragon 810. I think Apple’s iPhone 5C is the only device that might come close. It really is the best phone for everybody.

    • Raven

      I love my Moto X too, but last I checked it only had 2GB of RAM and used the X8 Mobile Computing System based on the Snapdragon S4 Pro which is nowhere near the 64-bit 8-core Snapdragon 810.

    • Michael Quinlan

      I love my Moto X too, but there is no single phone that’s best for everybody.

      • Drew

        Yes there is. Moto x or Nexus 5. Best phone for everybody

    • Gregy T

      Moto X doesn’t run 4 Gigs of ram or a snapdragon 800 series……. doesn’t need to
      & I totally doubt you have a moto x2 you’re 6 months too early

  • NYCHitman1

    I just want them to release the damn kernel source already lol

  • James_C_L

    Am I crazy or is this not on the play store any longer? Link?

    • Gregy T

      It is hard to find, typing “Ac display” in the playstore search bar doesn’t work, I had to find dynamic notifications then look in the “users also installed” or “users also looked at” lists @ the bottom

  • Detonation

    Still wondering why AcDisplay is getting all this attention when DynamicNotifications was around first and included this functionality, plus it works on all 4.X devices (not just 4.4) and has more customization features. I used it for months before I got my Moto X and it worked great.

  • Michael Quinlan

    I’d like to see Active Display do the following:
    1. Allow for repeating audible alerts (user-defined frequency & sound) when when select notifications remain uncleared
    2. Duplicate the above, but with a separately defined sound & frequency for priority notifications (as defined by the user)
    3. Optionally clear the notification if swiped away in Active Display
    4. Clear the notification if opened via Active Display (this doesn’t happen with some apps)
    5. Make all notifications on the Active Display individually actionable, without having to clear a notification queue (as shown in the video)
    6. Allow for a way to change between silent, vibrate, and “normal” ringer volume from Active Display, without waking the device

    • needa

      #3. this really does need to be optional like you said. i often times swipe a notif off of the screen so it will still be there when i unlock.

  • Ryan Gullett

    I am truly convinced that they will add this feature, and probably could have when they released the Moto X. But they purposely hold back features to give more hype for future devices. I am sure this strategy is used all the time in the tech world.

    • Alec

      Lol yeah like no fingerprint scanner in the new iPads…

      • Gregy T

        If they added it in this gen, apple sheep would have no reason to line up @ the sheep dip for the next one

  • Miguel

    I have an N5 and I’ve been using AcDisplay since you guys feature it here and I love it, great work by the developer.

  • David Hyman

    Has anyone tried this on a Moto X? I love active display but would totally switch to this if it didn’t drain the battery. I would also like to add in the ability to control music from active display. Seems kinda a no brainer to be able to pause, skip, etc what’s currently playing esp with 4.4 supporting it

  • David Narada Brown

    i use dynamic notifications. is active display better than this app? I think dynamic notifications only lights up pixels it needs (in amoled screens) like th Moto X. Active display doesnt work like that does it?

    • Michael Quinlan

      Active Display only lights the needed pixels, but its power savings come from a combination of selective pixel lighting AND running on the low power core, allowing it to do its thing without waking the main CPU.

    • Gregy T

      I Beg to differ, if it didn’t use the entire screen you wouldn’t get the CRT screen off effect every time you dismiss a notification would you not?

  • paticao

    the swipe down to unlock doesnt work for me on my nexus 5. does anyone know why?

  • calculatorwatch

    Too bad Dennis Woodside is gone. He would see this and be all over it.

  • Off topic question – Is the app drawer icon part of the icon pack or something different?

    • Chris

      It’s seperate. Go back to when DL did the “show us your home screens day” (February 2014) and when Kellen shows his current set up he has a link to it. I grabbed it that day and absolutely love it.

      • Awesome. Thanks, Chris.

      • dylopillow

        It wouldn’t show me anything when i clicked it. Do you know what the name of it is?

  • pizzaparties

    This would be a nice feature. Right now, I just want the battery issued fix–although that seems it may just be a 4.4.2 error.

    • apingaut

      Totally agree. The last update has wrecked the battery and mine has a spontaneous reboot option I’d like to see go away

  • Andrew Merewitz

    Does this just kill the battery if you get lots of notifications?

    • Battery life has been pretty normal on my Nexus 5.

  • Sieve

    Personally, I would tweak this in one way –
    A right swipe (for example) removes the active display notification AND the notification bar notification.
    A left wipe ONLY removes the active display notification.
    This way – one can “keep” the notification in the notification bar for later “reminder” when you actually unlock the device.

    • Jonathan Berry

      Haha, great minds! 😉 Although I was thinking the other way around. Trying to match the call answer/ignore. Swiping left “ignores” the notification and gets rid of it. Not sure which way would be best.

    • Agree, would be nice to have a choice of whether or not to keep it around.

    • EC8CH

      I’d rather see a left wipe toggle between active notifications. It seems odd to me to have a notification active one place but not another. That’s why I think it would be better to have the ability to toggle between notification without dismissing them with a swipe one way, and dismissing them and toggling to the next the other way.

      That’s just me though

    • calum wilper

      second o/

    • epps720

      Or just download DynamicNotifications which lets you choose the actual action that each swipe does. I have it set as:
      Swipe Right: Opens to home screen notification remains
      Swipe Left: Goes directly into the app and removes all notification
      Swipe Down: Dismisses all Notifications and turns off screen
      Swipe Up: Launch Camera

      • epps720

        Every swipe is customizable

    • t.virus

      what you’re suggesting is cool but the thing is we often neglect the fact that manufactures have to worry about all customers, meaning not just us advanced users so with that said I’m not too sure if that is simple or confusing much to the “newbies”

      • jmsbwmn

        Then make it an option in the settings. We can’t dumb everything down to the least common denominator. 🙂

  • Jonathan Berry

    I would like to see the swipe to the side be dual-action. Swipe right could be just “silence” the notifications, while swipe left could dismiss the current notification like in AcDisplay. So you could decide if you want to leave it or not. Note that right now swiping left or right stops the continuous “breathing” of the notification, where just lifting your finger does not.

  • faganm24

    I’m wondering if there is a setting to dismiss one notification (like shown) by swiping one way and all notifications (like how the Moto X currently handles the side swipe) by swiping the opposite way…

  • Kellex,
    Would you recommend abandoning Active Display for AcDisplay on the Moto X? Or does Active Display still work better since it’s baked in?

    • Jonathan Berry

      I assume anything other than Active Display will not take advantage of the low-power state that Active Display runs in.

      • That was my initial thought. Curious if he’s tested and compared them at all.

        • i would like to see a battery use comparing them. i can live with a little drain. but not really worth it if its a battery hog… will have to try it out i guess

      • BK

        This is my concern too. I’ve tried similar apps, and found the hit on battery life to be an unacceptable trade for added functionality.

      • JoshGroff

        For a while, I was running dynamicnotifications over Active Display; mainly because it only lights the screen when a notification is received, and since you can choose the breathe interval. Lately, however, I haven’t been using either.

        • Gregy T

          Yeah I’ve used both, Dynamic is far more practical & customizable, but also uglier & more cumbersome
          Ac is simpler but so much more attractive, & a better visual match to any moto phones interface therefore I prefer Ac but it won’t be perfect until Motion sensor activation is added
          Also neither are battery hogs though dynamic will chew more depending on breathing intervals, tested them both on Razr M, nexus 5 & moto g, 2 of which don’t run amoled, battery drain is negligible, the g still takes forever to drain unplugged 13 hours ago still @ 34 percent,

      • brkshr

        I believe you are right. While the amoled display is inherently low power. Active Display also uses the contextual processor (low power core) to check if your phone is in your pocket or face down. So it won’t turn the display on at all if it is in your pocket or face down, saving even more power. I doubt third-party apps use the contextual processor.

        • Jonathan Berry

          The display also has a special low-power mode that only powers the lines that have pixels turned on. So for Active Display, only a small fraction of the display is even on at all. Further, I think the touch screen is processed by one of the low-power processors in this mode. Not sure if the Moto X always routes through that way (so it is transparent) or not.

          • brkshr

            Good points! I forgot that the touch screen can be processed by the contextual processor as well. As far as the amoled goes, I thought that all amoleds only powered the individual pixels that are turned on? I guess it could makes sense that some minimal amount of power is always going to all parts of the screen, even when portions are black/off. So Moto completely cuts the power to inactive lines as well? Interesting…

  • Alec

    Dear Motorola,
    After I get a missed call, show the notification on Active Display instead of taking me straight to the homescreen, while the phone is still in my pocket.
    Is anyone else having this problem?