Leaked Video Highlights Moto X Software Features, Including Always-On Voice Commands

Motorola’s secretive Moto X smartphone has been spotted in its fair share of photos (leaked and otherwise) this past week, but there are only so many thrills to be derived by looking at still images. The folks at Ausdroid got their collective hands on a short demo video from Canadian wireless carrier Rogers that affords us our best look yet at what Motorola’s first post-acquisition phone brings to the table when it comes to software.

One of the earliest and most persistent rumors about the Moto X (or the X Phone as it was known) was that the device would always be listening for voice commands. The Rogers video confirms that is the case, and that the command “OK Google Now” is all it takes to rouse the phone and prompt Google’s proactive data surfacing service. Curiously, yet another leaked video shows another Moto X reacting to the “OK Moto Magic” command instead. At this point it’s tough to say if the change in activation commands is a regional software difference or just a holdover from earlier stages of development.

Also onboard the X is a new visual notifications scheme that doesn’t rely on an embedded LED — the video notes that “information quietly appears” on the display in the form of icons that seem to help users differentiate, say, Facebook messages from standard texts. Users can also fire up the X’s camera by vigorously whipping their wrists while holding it, though it’s unclear whether or not we can redefine that action to launch different applications. Once the camera is up and running, users can tap anywhere on the screen to snap photos, or hold their fingers down to enable a burst mode of sorts. It strikes me as a much savvier approach to operating a camera than what Google does in stock Android Jelly Bean, and hopefully those tweaks make the leap from Moto exclusive to stock Android staple.

Curiously absent from the video is any mention of the customization options expected to be part of the Moto X experience. Canadian customers can pick up a black or white X starting in August, and I suspect those in the U.S. will be able to pick up their non-tweaked models from multiple carriers around the same time. As it happens, engravings and colorful plastic backs may not be the only design choices Motorola will leave up to its customers — AndroidAndMe’s Taylor Wimberly (who’s had a generally solid track record with Moto X reports) says that wood trim may also be an option when the device launches this summer. Really, the only thing this torrent of leaks hasn’t turned up yet is a price tag, but at the rate things are going I wouldn’t expect that last tidbit to stay a secret for too much longer.