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Is Motorola the only 'OK Google Now' in town?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Crudes, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Crudes

    Crudes Member
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    Hi,


    This is a hard topic to google, so I figured I would ask you all directly. I have the Moto Droid Maxx (Best phone I've ever owned) and my wife has a Moto X. We love the 'Always Listening' OK Google Now processor.

    I'm considering getting a new phone for my wife, and am looking to retain always listening feature (I'm not interested in the ROMs out there that can replicate, at the cost of battery). Have any other manufacturers managed to copy the always listening? We need a phone with an SD Card. Not having one is Motorola's biggest downfall.

    Thanks
     

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  2. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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  3. Crudes

    Crudes Member
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    That would be so I can use "Google Now" once I have my screen/phone active and turned on.

    Motorola has a dedicated processor which is waiting for the words 'OK Google Now'. Once it hears those words, it will then turn on by itself and await the following command. Basically, it means that we can activate the phone without even touching it.
     
  4. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User
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    from what little I have read on it... it seems that the newer snapdragon processors have it too... but do not take advantage of it. why I don't know.

    the Note3.. I heard has that hardware ability... but the software does not tap into it.

    maybe... some new version of touchwiz will.


    and while we are at it... I want the double tap screen.. to wake up.
     
  5. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I'm not sure how Motorola is selling it, but "Google Now" is available for any Android phone running 4.1 or higher. And you can turn off the listening function if you want, or leave it on so your phone will search with the phrase "Okay Google".

    You can even train it to respond to something else.
     
  6. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I think Samsung wants you to use sVoice for voice commands. I haven't tried Google Now on my Note 10.1 because I'm still trying to figure out when I'd use sVoice. :rolleyes:
     
  7. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User
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    hhhmm....

    I think the op is talking about the ability of some phones (MOTO) to use a smaller part of the cpu to listen while asleep. this part of the cpu is very low in battery use, so that it uses very little battery.

    I have seen the option to turn on the "OK google" .. and always listen on touchwiz on my NOTE3. but i have heard that it will cause a huge battery ding. so i assume it is NOT using the cpu's little ability to do it like MOTO.
     
  8. Crudes

    Crudes Member
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    ^

    That's correct, thank you Dan. Motorola created the designated processor specifically to listen for the 'OK Google Now'.

    If some of the other manufacturers are able to utilize 'always listening' without a huge battery drain, that's new to me.
     
  9. Thom

    Thom  
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    I believe Motorola found a way to use one of the four graphics processors to do the constant monitoring ... I wouldn't stake my life on it. I believe Motorola is the only ones to have it. All the others you start by touching the screen.

    What's the big deal? Sitting here typing on my computer I say "OK Droid weather" and it tells me the local weather as I continue to type.

    I hated the idea of advertising Google all the time. I tried some different launch phrases. I trained it with "OK Droid Now" and it responds with me saying "OK Droid". (In the quiet room I actually tried it 26 times before it started accepting it.)

    ... Thom
     
  10. Crudes

    Crudes Member
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    I suppose the only big deal is the fact that I find myself often talking to my phone without actually being attached to it.

    I could have it charging on my nightstand, and when I realize I forgot to set my alarm I just shout to my phone to set my alarm. To me, not having to get up (Or even roll over and reach it) is an enjoyed benefit.
     
  11. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I have seen a bit of chatter on XDA about the battery drain for Google Now and the consensus seems to be that if you have location services disabled and listening on, it will constantly search for locations, but with location services enabled, it's a minimal drain. I just check on my Nexus 4 and Google Search power use shows 2%.
     

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  12. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert
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    Google Now rolled out an always listening function a few months ago, but it only works with the screen on. The exception is if you have the phone plugged in and charging.
     
  13. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I've had that same feature for years ... at least my wife keeps telling me that i stop listening when I go to sleep. ;)
     
  14. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    Figured I'd weigh in here, as there's some confusion going on.

    Google has steadily increased the ease of use for Google Now voice commands and "OK Google" word recognition. However, all official methods still require that you have the device screen on.

    Motorola has a unique solution. OP please note, to answer your question, this solution is still officially unique to Motorola and hacks/mods for other phones seriously drain the battery.

    Motorola's always-on listening works with the screen off so long as the phone can "hear" you. Lost in the living room somewhere? Just say, loud and clear, "Ok Google Now...find my phone," and it will start ringing. Want to be totally hands free in the car? "OK Google Now...(insert call/navigate/whatever command here)."

    This is accomplished on the Moto X (both years) by a separate Texas Instruments DSP that runs at a ridiculously low wattage at all times. Yes, the newer Snapdragons have the capability of always-on listening, but even they require more power than this separate chip to do it.

    If this feature that important to you, then you'll probably need to remain with Motorola for the immediate future.
     
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  15. mrsmumbles

    mrsmumbles Android Enthusiast
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    There's an app called SoftPower which is supposed to wake and turn off the screen without the power button. I've been using Screen Off and Lock to turn my Nexus 5 off for about 6 months. I saw a different wake up app a few weeks ago. I don't remember what it was called.
     
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  16. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User
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    does it affect the battery? or do you find yourself accidently turning it on?
     
  17. Crudes

    Crudes Member
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    Thanks Medion. I suppose that's the answer I was expecting but it is still disappointing. So now all I need to do is convince one of the other vendors to copy this feature (patent issue?) or convince Motorola to add an SD Card! Which is more likely? :rolleyes:


     
  18. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    I suppose it depends on why you need a MicroSD. For me, the swappable storage never appealed to me. I only wanted a MicroSD to have an adequate amount of storage backing the 8/16GB built-in that most phones were coming with. At the time of my Galaxy S4 GPE purchase, the Nexus 4 was in 8/16GB configurations, while the Moto X/Nexus 5 didn't exist. If I wanted stock Android, my choices were the limited Nexus 4, the HTC One M7 GPE (32GB, no MicroSD), or the Galaxy S4 GPE. I went with the S4 GPE and added a 64GB MicroSD.

    But then KitKat drastically altered the MicroSD landscape. So I swapped it for a 64GB Moto X. I could definitely live with 32GB, but it would be a tight fit with no room to grow over the next two years or so.

    So for your wife, perhaps the Moto X that she currently has is the best option for her at this time. What, specifically, about that phone causes her to want to upgrade? You cited the need for MicroSD, but which camp above to you fall into? Needing the MicroSD for swappable storage, or just adequate storage? Maybe try to trade/sell it towards a 64GB 2013 Moto X before they're all gone? The sad thing is that you're going to have to compromise on something here. No phone is perfect :(
     
  19. mrsmumbles

    mrsmumbles Android Enthusiast
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    I sometimes do accidentally turn the screen off, but not often. No battery impact with it I can tell. :)
     
  20. Crudes

    Crudes Member
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    She has an absurd amount of music, and streaming her music is very taxing against her data plan. I could try and get her onto a 64GB Moto X, I was not aware they made it that large
     
  21. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    The 2013 model has a 64GB version that came out a few months ago (I have one). The 2014 model doesn't yet, but I hope that they add one much sooner into the life cycle than last time.

    EDIT: Motorola seems to have finally discontinued the 2013 Moto X on their website. Redirect loop. That sucks, end of the line for a truly amazing phone :(

    You could look into this?
    http://www.zdnet.com/moto-x-gets-ex...d-case-android-l-update-confirmed-7000032339/
     

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