Motorola has enabled some features from the Moto app for the new Moto G 2015. We first saw these "smart" — and fully disableable — features with the original Moto X, and they have been refined to work better with newer versions of Android. To Motorola's credit, the current version provides three simple, yet powerful functions that work well — even on the "lesser" hardware of the Moto G 2015.

Moto app

The Moto app breaks down into three basic sections — Assist, Actions and Display. When you first setup your Moto G, you'll be prompted to have a look at them via a notification. If you head into the app via it's icon in the drawer, you'll be greeted with the screen above. Before you can do anything though, you'll need to agree to Motorola's privacy policy for the Moto app and get yourself signed in.

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Be sure to read any documents presented to you, and understand the policies before you agree to them. Your privacy is important.

Once that's done, you can get started.

Places and Activities

Places and activities

This is pretty simple once you understand what the app is going to do for you. Based on your location, the clock or your calendar, the Moto app is going to adjust your notification sounds.

Choose Sleeping or In a meeting from the activities list, and the Moto app will silence your ringer when the time comes. You can adjust your sleep hours so the Moto app knows when you're sleeping (sort of like Santa Claus) and decide whether or not to have the screen stay dim, the ringer and notifications silenced and vibration enabled or disabled. For the meeting settings, you can also set an auto-reply for messages and choose which calendar you want the Moto app to watch.

The best part is that it really works. I have everything shut down while I sleep, and when a meeting is happening that I have scheduled on my work calendar, my Moto G is the only phone on my desk that stays quiet. Sorry, Phil.

It's easy to set up, and the results are fantastic. Be sure to give this one a look.


Moto Actions

The simplest, and coolest, feature of the Moto app is the gestures or actions. Turn them on and you can do two things:

  • Make a chopping motion to turn the flashlight on and off
  • Twist your wrist to quickly open the camera

Both actions are reliable and consistent once you get the motions figured out. Being able to grab my phone and chop-chop to turn on some light when my dog Rex needs to go outside every morning at 4am is pretty handy. You'll definitely want to use these.


Moto Display

This is an active display feature, much like the one built into Android that Google "borrowed" from Motorola in the first place.

When your phone is sitting down with the screen off, notifications can be displayed in black and white on the LCD. When a new notification arrives, it is displayed for a few seconds. The same thing happens when you pick up your phone. Moto is quick to tell us that any active display features won't happen when the phone is face down or in your pocket.

You have a few options to look at here. The first thing to decide is how you want any notifications displayed — the Motorola way (Moto Display) or the Google way (Ambient Display). If you choose the Moto Display method, you have an extra option to look through — blocking certain apps from displaying notifications when the screen is off.

Doing that is easy — tap the menu entry, and choose the apps you don't want to see notifications for while the screen is off. Your notifications will still sound and your phone will still vibrate, but you won't see any notifications until you unlock your phone and look up top in the tray.

It's worth mentioning that the "select how much detail shows" option really only lets you turn the whole thing on or off, at least on the Moto G.

Moto Display

Be sure to take a look at the Moto app and give it a try before you disable it. You might just like what you find!