How to Get Moto X-Like Touchless Controls on Any Android Phone

Motorola touts the Moto X’s touchless controls as the device’s standout feature, but the truth is you can get some of those capabilities with almost any Android phone. Open Mic+ for Goole Now is a free Android app that lets you launch Google's voice assistant without having to lift a finger. You can’t train it to recognize your voice like the Moto X can thanks to its dedicated language processor, but this app will certainly get the job done.

Here's how you can use Open Mic+ to have a touchless experience on your Android phone.

1. Download Open Mic+ for Google Now from the Google Play store. 

2. After opening the app, press the Start button to turn touchless controls on. This means that the phone is listening to your commands.

3. Exit the app and use your phone as you normally would. Say the phrase “Okay Google” when you want  launch Google Now and ask a question.

4. Ask your question. Google Now spells out the words it hears you say as it looks for search results.

5. Change the phrase required to launch Google Now by tapping the Settings icon at the top of the screen within the Open Mic +  app. Tap the “Hot Phrase” option change the phrase. You can enter a whole sentence before the app reaches its character limit. You can even change it to “Okay Google Now” if you want to mimic the Moto X experience, or just leave it as the default "Okay Google."

6. Check "Start on Boot" if you want your Android device to automatically listen for your Hot Phrase without having to enable it in the Open Mic+ app.

7. Tap the Stop button to turn off Open Mic+. This means the phone will no longer listen when you say your designated “Hot Phrase.”

Open Mic+ for Google Now may not replicate the exact same experience as Motorola's Moto X, but it sure does come close. Google Now doesn't launch quite as quickly when using the app as it does on the Moto X, but we still successfully triggered voice search multiple times.

Even after we changed the "Hot Phrase" to words of our choosing, we had no problem launching Google Now while surfing the Web, browsing the app drawer or using other apps. Open Mic+ also supports gesture controls, but we couldn't get Google Now to launch when waving our hand in front of the screen. Open Mic+ may not be as speedy or accurate as the Moto X's touchless controls, but it's a sound substitute for Android users seeking a voice control shortcut. 

Lisa Eadicicco
LAPTOP Staff Writer
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.