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AcDisplay Receives Major Update to v2.1 – New UI and New Features

AcDisplay, an app we have become bigs fans of thanks to its Moto X-like abilities, received a major update to version 2.1 today that introduces a new UI and all sorts of other new features. This new version is currently only in beta, but after helping test the app over the last couple of days, I can tell you that it works quite well in its current state.

So what’s new? Well, since the last time we wrote up the app, all sorts of stuff.Β 

First, you’ll notice that the UI has changed quite dramatically. It no longer fully mimics Active Display from the Moto X in terms of looks, but that’s OK since it greatly improves upon Motorola’s initial idea. Your notifications are now stacked below a clock that is separated with a timer line to show how long you have before your screen goes to sleep. If you grab an icon and drag it above the timer line, you can pin items for further viewing or action. Each notification can now be dealt with individually or kept alive for later. You really have much more control now than you did before.

Also in the update, you’ll find a new Active Mode, that helps wake your phone once it has been pulled out of your pocket (a lot like how the Moto X does). You can set AcDisplay to replace your current lock screen, use a wallpaper as its background, blacklist apps, and even set proper inactive hours.

Again, it’s a major update that you should check out after you watch our video of it in action.

To join the beta, be sure to join the AcDisplay Google+ community. [Play Link]

  • Daniel Lee

    quick question: isn’t this app (or the battery saving benefits of having such notification software on amoled screens) sort of redundant on the nexus 5? Not to hate, just want to know the benefits of this on battery life.

  • Sabby

    Please provide download link as v1.25 is show in play store

  • engemasa

    On the Google+ community for the AcDisplay Beta under the FAQ section, there is the following:

    Q: Why was the interface changed?
    A: In order to avoid legal trouble with a certain company, a redesign was necessary to make the two products distinct. You’ll hopefully like the new design better, as it’s more streamlined and is aimed at giving you the best possible experience!

    You can speculate who the “certain company” is but I think we all know. My opinion: I think the “Certain Company” didn’t like that AcDisplay was doing it better (especially when dealing with multiple notifications). And I think that AcDisplay’s new interface change is even better than the previous version as well as another company that does something similar.

  • feztheforeigner

    Wish this worked on my G2 πŸ™

  • mrjayviper

    has anyone compared this app to dynamicnotifications? feedback please. thanks

    • elpcmaster

      It lacks breathing notifications and was a good app until the total redesign. Now it is useless.

  • dshizzel

    Play store says it’s not compatible with my phone — CM10.2 is only at 4.3, and AcDisplay is 4.4+. No problem. I’m using ActiveNotifications and it’s pretty good.

  • Chris Gatley

    In the beta if you double tap the screen when it is on it will turn off the display. cant seem to get the notifications to work though…

  • BryanMatthews
  • thermoplastics

    How well does this actually replace the lockscreen? When the phone boots what loads first the stock lockscreen or AcDisplay? What happens when you want a secure lockscreen with a password, pin or pattern?

  • nycebo

    Great post Kellen. AcDisplay has come a long way. Very nice interface and potentially challenging DynamicNotifications at this point.

  • michael hill

    I can’t get it on my note 3 from Verizon unfortunately

  • cj

    wallpaper please

  • Jason Matthew

    I want that wallpaper. PLEASE.

  • Once the dev adds support for the movement sensors and breathing, I will definitely use this as a replacement for Active Display.

  • MikeSaver

    PRETTY dong looking. If only I had a G2 instead of a moto X

    • Adrynalyne

      “PRETTY dong looking. If only I had a G2 instead of a moto X”

      Alrighty then.

  • joseph barrientos

    i dont really need a use for replying to an email from the top level view. but the rest i like!

  • Antonio Cefaliello

    Wallpaper Link PLEASE πŸ™

  • napes22

    I still prefer slidelock.

    • I really like slidelock’s UI, but I just can’t stand the glitches it has every now and then.

  • Al Moral

    Not bad, I’d use it if it had shortcuts to apps (kinda like touchwiz or sense) at the bottom.

  • Why cant I become a tester or post anything on there google+

  • Kree Terry

    As soon as this gets breathing notifications and can detect when i pick my phone up and not just pull it out my pocket ill be sold. This looks much nicer than active display.

    • Tony

      What’s breathing notifications?

  • Chris Choncek

    How is this with IPS displays? I have the LG G2 and Dynamic Notifications was hit and miss with my phone because it isn’t Amoled.

  • Silky Johnson

    kellen that wallpaper…. please

  • Corey Foltman

    acDisplay vs Dynamic Notifications?

    • JoshGroff

      Features, DN wins by a landslide imo. Some prefer the look of AD and simplicity though.

      • Corey Foltman

        I’m currently using the paid version of DN. so unless someone has a kickass reason why AD is better, im staying with DN

        • Colton

          curious what phone/version of android you are using with DN. I have paid version but on my gs4 on 4.3 the lock screen is not very reliable (flashes the home screen before it pops up more often than not)

          • Corey Foltman

            N5 4.4.2. a couple times a day the password screen pops up before the DN lock screen. not too often though.

          • Colton

            guess it’s just an issue with lock screen alternatives (not a big issue). I wonder/wish they would one day let you choose default lock screen app like they do with launchers/sms/etc.

    • elpcmaster

      Dynamic Notifications of course. You can customize it to look just like the Moto X.

  • Mark Lebbink

    I now have 3 persistant notifications :O. One i already had (and hated) from lightflow, and now 2 more from acdisplay. The active mode and the locksreen ones. It works great ! i love it so far. the only bad i thing is i cant skip songs or pause music from my lockscreen πŸ™

  • It does this, like the Moto X. It does that, like the Moto X. Never any mention of the newest Droids which also share the Active Display feature with the Moto X. Breaks my delicate little heart.

    Also…dat wallpaper….forward it like it’s hot.

    • JoshGroff

      Carrier exclusive phones aren’t worth mentioning.

      • sirmeili

        Well, this site, “Droid”-life, was started about carrier exclusive phones (the “Droids”), So don’t see why it would be so bad for them to mention them (I am a MotoX owner).

        • JoshGroff

          It started with THE Droid, aka OG. Carrier exclusives since then have been one-offs of phones not worth mentioning. (Aside from maybe the RAZR series)

          • athom07

            It actually started with the launch of the 2 original droid phones – Motorola Droid and Droid Eris. They were both launched on the same day and were the 2 original phones with the Droid name if ya wanna be all snarky about it.

  • Marco

    Beautiful beta. I’d like to configure the black wallpaper for the active notification and the classic dekstop wallpaper for the lockscreen. Is it possible?

  • creed

    I know that a lot of people really like this app, but I really don’t see what the big draw is. I’ve tried this app on my phone two times and dynamic notifications a couple of times. Each time I use it for a day and then delete it. To each his own.

    • turdbogls

      same here. this and dash clock….I just dont need to see my notifications in 2 different places. android handles notifications wonderfully…out of my way when I dont need to worry about them, and in my face (pulling down notification shade) when i want them there.

  • Arjun Narayan

    Please someone assist with this wallpaper.Thanks

  • Bryant

    Please post the wallpaper!

  • disqus_GO5Zqz1fG3

    please post wallpaper

  • Ryan O’Neill

    This app has a pretty small audience. It only supports phones on KitKat, half of which already come with Active Display built in.

    • You’d be surprised. I know these phones (that don’t have Active Display) for sure can enjoy it:

      -HTC One + One Mini + One Max + One M8
      -Nexus devices on KK
      -Sony Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact, Z Ultra, Z2
      -LG G2 in some markets, LG G Pro 2
      -Samsung Galaxy Note 3 + S4 in some markets + S5
      -Motorola Moto G

      There are more, too, but I’m too tired to remember at the moment. πŸ˜›

    • Kassidy Klink

      every single phone on cm11 as well…

  • Greg Abbate

    wallpaper please

  • TheRunner024

    Wallpaper please?

  • Colton

    is it just me or do lock screen replacements just not work well on 4.3, specifically my Galaxy s4? Any replacement I try flashes whatever app I was in or the homescreen before “realizing” it is supposed to show the lock screen. It’s like the app falls out of memory maybe?

  • Jonathan Figueroa

    I think you need to look into Dynamic Notifications again. That dev has done a ton with it that still sets it heads and shoulders above the rest and well worth the price for the premium version. I liked playing with AcDisplay but it’s still not quite there yet though.

    • JoshGroff

      I’ve been singing that song for a while now, it’s leaps and bounds ahead of anything else I’ve tried.

    • Aldrin Tauro

      I actually bought the premium version of Dynamic Notifications, and while it has a lot more potential for customization and what not, I feel that AcDisplay is still a better plug-and-play option. When it was emulating Active Display, it felt more like a port than a copy. Even with the new redesign, it still feels like a more solid replacement, rather than something patched together. No offense to the developer of Dynamic Notifications, I used to use that app for a very long time.

  • Kenny Woodard

    I kind of like it. I personally liked the older interface better. Not a big fan of dragging the icon to a random spot on the screen to unlock/open. But it’s really great. Especially since it’s free and open.

  • Rafter

    Joined community and went to “Become a tester”. It says there is nothing for me to see. Any help?

  • jasonlee1

    so is this kit kat only? my note 3 doesnt seem to be able to join the beta

    • I have a Note 3 and joined just fine. I am on Kit Kat though..

  • G

    Has anybody tried this on Moto X or any of the new DROIDS with Active Display? I like the UI more than on my DROID MAXX, but wondering if it’s as good?

    • TSK

      Ive tried it. It’s nice because it works with the AMOLED display quite nicely, but i still always drift back to active display because i like to be able to just pick up the phone and see a notification, along with the “breathing” that active display has over AcDisply. AcDisply works only when you pull it from your pocket, no movement sensors or breathing.

      • Please explain “breathing.” I have a Droid Maxx and sometimes I notice it will flash the Active Display every once in a while even when I haven’t touched it. Is this what you mean by “breathing?”

        • sirmeili

          Yes… that is Breathing, and it only does it if it is face up. You can also tell it not to do it between certain hours, though I’ve noticed that when docked in the griffin dock it appears to ignore it.

      • JoshGroff

        DynamicNotifications also has a “breathing” feature, but it only breathes when you actually have a notification. Pretty sure it’s one of the paid version features.

      • Jones

        Not true..
        I use AcDisplay and I never put my phone in my pocket.

        When my display times out it appears.

        Also use it as a lockscreen

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    put this one on the top floor of the useful department.

    hopefully it doesnt break knockOn and has decent battery drain. Does it breathe? or just the pocket pull out.

    • Nate

      If it breathes–I might start using it instead of Active Display. This looks way nicer than what Moto did. I wish they would implement some of these features into Active Display…

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        Honestly moto needs to buy them.

        • Nate

          Wishful thinking. Apparently, Motorola contacted the dev and asked that he change some stuff–so we know they are at least looking at this.

          • moelsen8

            Interesting if so.. Source?

          • Nate

            Go to the Google Plus community. Scroll down and eventually you’ll find a post from the Dev saying Moto contacted him.

          • moelsen8

            nice. thanks.

  • ChuckDz3

    This looks incredible. Really tempted to switch from Active Display to this, I just don’t want to compromise batter life for a few more features that active display does not have


    Joined the community, how do I push the beta to my device? Do I just uninstall and reinstall?

  • ok

    Please post your tasteful wallpaper.

    • It’s a secret? πŸ˜›

      • lexer

        cmon wallpaper link!!! πŸ˜€

    • Matthew Cheung

      Dat Wallpaper… #Want

    • turdbogls

      I made an unwritten rule a couple months back that Kellen had to post a link to his wallpaper whenever he posted a pic of the phone…..but he doesn’t listen πŸ™

      • I will SOON, hah. I shouldn’t have been using it in this video. Teaser?

        • Shaunwin


        • turdbogls

          Aaahhh…new icon pack incoming I assume.
          good stuff man.

        • RΓΊben Santos

          Come oneee, that wallpaper is awesome!

  • Ghgore

    Not sure if this is an April fools prank or not. The replace lock screen feature saying that it is in beta is kind of weird, because wasn’t that the whole point of the app?

  • There is some kind of sorcery going on with Active Mode. It only works when I pull my phone out of my pocket, and no times else, which is exactly how I want it. Even if I mimic the hand gesture of pulling out of my pocket, it doesn’t light up. But it works every time out of my pocket.


    Props to the dev

    • My phone stays on my desk or most of the day. So, I would’ve loved if picking up the phone did this thing.
      Plus, I liked the previous implementation of one swipe to enter app, more. Now I have to swipe up to “dock / sticky” the notification and then act on it..? Kind of not what I wanted. I like the blacklist feature though.

      • Alter

        I agree, now that actions require two steps, it’s a bit less convenient. Since it’s beta, I still hope that feature will return eventually.

    • finder999

      it works when it screen is not under light and when you flip it – it “thinks” that you pull it out of your pocket, so.

      you can check this trick, put the phone face down (with notification ,of course) and after a while, pick phone as usual and you will see that it “thinks” that you pull it out of pocket.

      • Yeah, can confirm this works. Don’t even need to wait a while (or have a notification).

    • Hothfox

      This is why I won’t use it. I’d love to be able to interact with all of my notifications, but the Moto X breathes when it has a notification, and I sit my phone on my desk most of the day. AcDisplay won’t show me that I have a new notification unless I flip it over. Since the Moto X doesn’t have a notification LED, I need my active display solution to show me my notifications as they come in.