The Moto X is one the most talked about Android phones in the market, and comes packaged with a bevy of great features in an effort to outpace the competition. Being designed under Google ownership, many consider it to be sort of an unofficial Google Nexus. Among a few keystone features of the device, the ‘always listening’ Google Now voice commands integration that lets it hear and respond to you even while the screen is off is the most impressive one. Using it, you can quickly access different features via Google Now without having to even touch the device for launching Google New itself. While the Moto X is still in limited availability in select regions only, you can replicate some of its coolest features on your existing Android device, thanks to third-party apps. Open Mic+, for instance, is one such app that brings the aforementioned ‘always listening’ feature of Moto X to any Android handset running Jelly Bean.
The app is inspired by Moto X’s Touchless Control option, and allows you set a voice phrase (Okay Google by default) that it’ll listen for, which is integrated with Google Now for voice searches and optionally, even with Tasker for more advanced actions. The design of the app is really clean and simple, and so is its usage. When enabled, it begins running in the background and actively listening for you to say the ‘Okay Google’ voice command, upon which it will launch and trigger Google Now for you.
Besides the voice command, it also enables the wave feature that lets you activate Google Now via simply waving your hand in front of the screen. Another interesting bit is that it uses offline voice recognition, which means you don’t need to be online in order to access or use it.
If you use Tasker on your phone, you will be excited to hear that you can also use different voice commands that are supported for Tasker actions. The app is pretty fantastic out of the box, though you can further customize it via its Settings screen. The Start on Boot option ensures that you don’t have to manually enable it every time you restart your phone. You can also toggle listening when screen is off (though this option increases battery consumption), and hide the app’s notification. What’s more, you can change the default Okay Google hot phrase to anything you like.
The app is still under development, so expect changes in the final release. Open Mic+ is not available at Google Play Store, so you will need to download it and install it via sideloading its APK file.