The Moto X’ Active Display feature, which lights up the screen to display notifications, has been adapted in a third-party app called for Android 4.3 devices.
Whenever a manufacturer unveils a new software feature for their latest device, there’s always someone who takes that feature and makes it available to everyone via a third-party app on the Google Play Store. That’s exactly the case with Motorola’s Active Display feature on their Moto X, which lights up the screen to display notifications and is now available for every Android 4.3 device.
Meet ActiveNotifications, by XDA-Developers user niko001. Making use of the Notification Listener service that Google added to the latest iteration of Jelly Bean, the app does exactly what Active Display does on the Moto X. When you receive a notification, such as a new message or email, the display will light up to show a notification icon and preview, with the option to swipe up to open it. Like Active Display, notifications won’t light up when the phone is in your pocket or kept face down.
Furthermore, there’s an option to set which apps’ notifications you wish to receive through ActiveNotifications, the “Sleep at night” feature stops the screen from lighting up at night, and if you fork out the cash for the premium version (available as an in-app purchase), you can prevent the notifications from showing sensitive data, like SMS text or sender name. An AMOLED device is recommended to save battery life, though there’s nothing to stop you from using the app on a device with an LCD display.
ActiveNotifications can only be used on Android 4.3 for now, though the developer has promised to bring support to older Android versions if there’s enough demand. In my (short) time of testing on a Nexus 4, it has been working pretty well and doesn’t seem to have any noticeable niggles, so go ahead and give ActiveNotifications a try to partially turn your phone into the Moto X.