If you're anxiously anticipating the release of Motorola's common hero smartphone Moto X and like the idea of confirming specifications before the device itself is revealed in full, today is your lucky day. What we've seen today in the reveal of three new Motorola smartphones with DROID branding for Verizon is the re-appearance of a few features that'd previously been tipped for the Moto X. They'll carry ever-so-slightly different user interfaces, but will they keep the same Android-deep features?
Gesture to Launch Camera
As we saw in a leaked video earlier this month and as indicated by Motorola's own Dennis Woodside back in May, Moto X will be able to detect when you take it out of your pocket, then will be able to activate its built-in camera with a flick of your wrist.
"The [Moto X] knows when it is in my pocket, it knows when I take it out of my pocket. I might want to do something, I might want to take a picture, so it fires up the camera." Dennis Woodside for Motorola
Today Verizon's new DROID line hints at a similar bit of functionality. They suggest that you'll be able to "quickly launch the 10-megapixel camera with a simple gesture", just the same. This indicates that there are two possibilities, the first being Google adding this flick feature to Android itself, therefor moving it to their Nexus line not too far into the future. The second possibility is that this feature will be Motorola's own, and will only appear on Motorola smartphone (until hacking can commence.)
This morning we saw a leak of what was called a Moto X camera interface. There we saw what very well could appear on a Nexus device and not look out of place in the least. Many of these same images appeared on-screen at this week's Verizon event introducing the phones, shown as Motorola's new UI for cameras on all devices.
It's shown again on Verizon's purchase page for the DROID MINI in short. They've also reminded us there that the device "helps you take better photos in low-light environments" - that kind of power comes from the device's processor, but it's very possible the same claims will be made of the Moto X.
Always On Voice Commands
Back in June of 2013, Qualcomm (with LG) revealed that they'd be bringing on "Always On Voice Commands" in their next-generation processing architecture. We've heard from Qualcomm earlier in the year that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 brought this ability natively, then we heard about Android's Open Mic.
It was leaked as part of the hands-on video shown earlier this month of the Moto X, and here once again we're seeing the exact same user interface appearing on the new DROID lineup.
"When Droid Mini is on, it’s ready. Command this smartphone without touching it, even when it’s asleep. Use voice commands to get directions or open a Mobile Hotspot." - Verizon
So don't expect that bit of functionality to be limited to Moto X, not by any measure. Instead we may very well see not one whole heck of a lot of Motorola-centric software appearing on the Moto X when it's formally revealed on August 1st at all. Not unless Google has something up their sleeves for reveal tomorrow morning!
And don't forget that fancy super-minimal notifications screen while the device is sleeping, either.
"The low-power notification system displays alerts so you can avoid constantly waking your phone." - Verizon
We're to understand that Motorola has formulated a way to only light up a portion of the display to show these notes, saving energy as they do so. Stay tuned!