Get Moto X Active Display Functionality on any Device Running Android 4.0+

The Moto X smartphone has been recently announced by Motorola that comes with Android 4.3. Moto X is the first device to run Android 4.3 and has an Active Display functionality which lets the user view important notification on the lock screen of the device which can be customized according to the user’s needs. This functionality isn’t exclusive to the Moto X anymore, thanks to the open source nature of Android.

Active Notifications

A member at XDA-Developer forums, Niko001 has ported this functionality to all Android 4.0+ running devices. Here is what the developer has to say regarding this port:

It uses the new ‘Notification Listener’ service introduced in 4.3 and therefore has minimal impact on your battery. If you own an AMOLED-phone, the ‘battery saving’ feature should work automatically, since black pixels are simply not turned on. The app comes with similar features as the Moto X Active Display (such as not turning on when the device is inside your pocket, purse, or lying face down). Unfortunately, relying on the 4.3 Notification Listener also means that you need a device running Android 4.3 (which are pretty scarce at the moment)… I’ll think about creating a version for older versions of Android if there is enough interest.

While I tested this app on my phone, I can confirm that it works flawlessly. You can not call it a lock screen replacement unless you have an unread notification from an app that you wish to see notifications from on the lock screen. Upon installation, the app prompts you to exclude apps you do not wish to see notifications from. Rest apps are enabled by default and are shown as marked already.

Active Notifications1 Active Notifications2

The lock screen remains the same unless you have a notification. When you have a notification, you can see the app icon on the lock screen. Here is how it works after that:

  • Swipe up to see more details about the notification
  • Swipe down to unlock the device (respects your unlock-security settings)
  • Swipe left or right to dismiss the notification


  • Notifications don’t light up when your phone is in your pocket, purse, or face down to avoid accidental unlocks
  • Select which app-notifications you’d like to receive via ActiveNotifications
  • “Custom timeout”: Select for how long ActiveNotifications should be shown (Premium feature)
  • “Sleep at night”: Don’t show notifications at night (Premium feature)
  • “More privacy”: Hide additional notification details (e.g. SMS text, sender) (Premium feature)
  • “Adjust screen brightness”: Select how bright the ActiveNotifications screen should be (Premium feature)
  • Automatically switch off screen when dismissing notifications(Premium feature)

Though many features in the app are “Premium-only”, I guess the free one does the job pretty well. You can go ahead and download the app from the link below.

Download Active Notifications

  • Akhil Somaraj

    Tried it Lalit. It ain’t perfect on 4.1.2. The listening service is part of 4.3 only I believe and hence the gllitches.

    • I have tried it on Android 4.0 and it works perfectly! Probably the app is still in development. Make sure you try it on the stock ROM.