The Moto X 2014 is a well designed phone with plenty of extra features integrated by Motorola in ways that make sense. Twist your hand and the Moto X 2014 automatically opens its camera app. Wave your hand above its screen and the Moto X 2014 shows you the latest emails, missed calls and app updates. Say the right phrase and the Moto X 2014 will connect to Google Now for the latest information to answer your question.
It’s that last one that’s key. Perhaps no other Android smartphone makes Google Now more usable than the Moto X 2014. The device has a dedicated processor that’s constantly listening for a catch phrase. Once it hears that catchphrase the Moto X 2014 springs to life, asking you what you’d like to do or find out more information about.
Here’s a breakdown of Google Now and how you can customize Google Now on the Moto X 2014.
What is Google Now on the Moto X 2014?
Google Now is first a search engine. Using voice commands, owners of Android devices can search for information without manually performing a search on Google. Say you wanted details about a movie and when it’d be playing at your local theatre. Simply asking Google Now gets you a synopsis of that movie’s plot and a list of show times at movie theaters around you based on your location at that moment.
In addition to answering questions, Google Now is also designed to learn more about you and present you with relevant information. It then surfaces what it learns in the form of Google Now Cards. Today there are Google Now cards for plane information, websites you frequently visit, travel time, weather, birthdays, reminders and package tracking. Google Now surfaces the travel related cards by monitoring your email account for relevant travel information. It’s able to tell you how long it will take you to get to work because it learns where your appointments are from your calendar and where you home is because its monitoring your location.
How to Customize Google Now on the Moto X 2014
Now let’s talk about making Google Now do the things you want. When you first setup your Moto X 2014 you’re asked if enabling Google Now is ok. If you chose to do so than you’ve done all the setup you need to.
You can access Google Now on the Moto X 2014 by tapping the microphone icon in the Google search bar on your Moto X 2014’s homepage at the top. Additionally, you can keep swiping to the left to reveal Google Now’s card interface. If you haven’t changed your Moto Voice key phrase in the Moto app then Google Now is always accessible by saying “Ok, Google Now” in your Moto X 2014’s presence.
Once Google Now is on then it’s time to fine tune in to your own use cases.
Turn on your Moto X 2014 and unlock it.
Once at the home screen, don’t use the Google Search bar at the top of your screen. Instead, place your finger on the left edge of your screen and slide it to the right until you see the Google Now area.
Welcome to the Google Now tasks interface. By default it shows you a picture based on the time of day it is. Google then populates the rest of the interface with different cards based on your interests. Tap the Menu button in the Google Search bar at the top to break down those interests.
Now it’s time to sort through your interests and preferences. You want to start with your primary mode of transportation. Google Now will tailor the directions it gives you based on that. If you’re a car person, tap car and so on. Normally this option is filed in the Everything Else area.
If you like television there’s a Google Now card for that too. Tap TV & Video to choose your cable provider and to select your favorite on-demand services like Netflix and Hulu Plus.
Places is strictly for different locations you tend to frequent. In the beginning you can create two places, Home and Work. As Google Now learns more about you, it’ll ask you if you want to add other places. Google Now uses this information for traffic monitoring to make your commute as easy as possible.
Stocks holds the latest companies you’re interested in, in case you want to be notified to sell or buy during market volatility, I suppose.
Finally, Sports allows you to add different teams from across different sports leagues. Users who do get up-to-the-minute score updates and more.
Here’s what Google Now looked like for me after a bit of customization. Notice that Microsoft stock price that wasn’t there before. Tapping on it gets me more information about their stock price. Further down there are now cards for restaurants near my location, weather, and news from websites that I’ve frequented on my phone and on the web using the desktop version of the Google Chrome we browser.
Have fun customizing Google Now on your Moto X 2014. Remember to change your key phrase if you’d like to activate Google Now with a phrase of your own making.